Our best 100 roaring fire pubs

We asked our district offices around the region for their favourite roaring fire rural pubs. Unsurprisingly, they leapt at the chance to revisit some of their favourite haunts.

We asked our district offices around the region for their favourite roaring fire rural pubs. Unsurprisingly, they leapt at the chance to revisit some of their favourite haunts. Our criteria? The open fire, we thought, was a shorthand device for everything we all love about our countryside inns - real ale, good wines, traditional food using local ingredients, character, individuality and charm. Here's our team's favourites, starting with our top 10 from around the area, and continuing with the 90 'best of the rest'.

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1. The Victoria, Holkham: Sitting at the gate to Holkham Hall, and opposite Lady Anne's drive an air of shabby and aristocratic chic pervades this hotel, with comfy sofas, wooden floors and log fires providing the perfect setting on a dark, wind-whipped evening. Award-winning food is provided by chef Neil Dowson and his team, who have just won an AA rosette for the second year running.

After you've visited: Have a quick dash along Holkham beach in the rain, then dry off at the hotel and appreciate the cosy atmosphere all over again. Contact: 01328 713230

2. Angel Inn, Larling: Despite being just off the busy A11, the Angel is everything a rural pub should be with friendly family atmosphere, log fire, five real ales and a menu that uses locally sourced food. The pub has been run by Andrew Stammers and his family for the last 23 years and also offers bed and breakfast.

After you've visited: Thetford Forest is just a short car journey away and the whisky distillery at nearby Roudham is set to open its doors to visitors in the summer. Contact: 01953 717963

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3. Fleece Inn, Bungay: An early 16th century coaching inn, this warren-like drinking hole offers something for everyone. This is the place to come for a pub lunch in Bungay, whether it be a Sunday roast or toasted sandwiches and cheesy chips. Bag a space near the roaring fire if it's a chilly day. There's a non-smoking area too and loads of room for the kids.

After you've visited: Take a walk round Bungay, have a look at the castle or maybe hire a canoe on the river. Contact: 01986 892192

4. St Peter's Hall, South Elmham: The Library bar is small but perfectly formed and housed in one of the most beautiful buildings you're likely to drink in. It's off the beaten track, but the journey is rewarded with nice furniture and interesting real ale brewed on the premises. Food includes home-made soup with organic bread, and steak pie brewed with St Peter's ale.

After you've visited: Make a booking for the stunning restaurant, or visit the shop to stock up on your favourite beers. Contact: 01986 782288.

5. Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe: Bustling, real ale boozer just around the corner from the harbour. It serves mega portions of good food which can be washed down with real ales from the Brancaster microbrewery on the premises. Stone floors give the pub a quaint and cosy feel, and there's a breezy beer garden for those summer afternoons.

After you've visited: Take a bracing stroll round the harbour. Contact: 01485 210314

6. Rose and Crown, Snettisham: Quintessential gastro-pub which combines a low-beamed, cosy-cornered village local with an award-winning restaurant. There are twisting passages, uneven pamment floors, log fires and excellent beers and wines. You can even stay over: the Rose and Crown offers 16 stylish bedrooms, including purpose-built disabled chalets.

After you've visited: Drive to the beach (about three miles away) for a bracing walk and to marvel at the birdlife. Contact: 01485 541382

7. Nelson Head, Horsey: Classic, unspoilt rural pub with a reputation for home-cooked food, including its legendary steak and ale pies. Andy Hewitt and his wife Barbara took over nine months ago and have kept the pub's traditional character. A selection of excellent beers and wine including Woodforde's Wherry and Nelson's Revenge are available.

After you've visited: There are good walks to the sea or round Horsey Staithe on the Norfolk Broads. Contact: 01493 393378

8. Harbour Inn, Southwold: Nestled in Southwold's picturesque harbour, the Harbour Inn offers great food, wonderful views across the marshes and a fantastic atmosphere. The pub itself is brimming with character - look out for the plaque showing the high water mark from the 1953 floods.

After you've visited: Take a stroll into the quaint seaside town of Southwold, or for less than £1 be rowed across the River Blyth to neighbouring Walberswick. Contact: 01502 722381

9. White Hart, Blythburgh: This former courthouse dates back to the 16th century and retains a number of fine original features, including beams in the bar and an impressive inglenook fireplace. Traditional ales from Adnams are served, and there's a great choice of food from bar snacks and children's meals to a full à la carte selection.

After you've visited: Enjoy a walk on the shores of the River Blyth, or visit Blythburgh's Church of the Holy Trinity, known as the Cathedral of the Marshes. Contact: 01502 478217

10. Scole Inn, Scole: Dating back to 1665, Scole Inn has its very own ghost known as the White Lady. According to tradition, she was murdered by her husband who thought she had fallen in love with a highwayman who used to ride up the staircase. There is a huge inglenook fireplace with carved bressumer beam, and each of the en suite bedrooms in the main building has its own fireplace. The restaurant has a wide choice of bar meals and a selection of wines and cask ales.

After you've visited: Call in at nearby Diss with its picturesque mere, park and host of shops. Contact: 01379 740481


11 Vernon Arms, Church Street, Southrepps 01263 833355

12 Chequers, Stratton Road, Hainford 01603 891657

13 Goat, Long Road, Skeyton, 01692 538600

14 Butchers Arms, Oak Lane, East Ruston, 01692 650237

15 Crown, North Walsham Road, Smallburgh, 01692 536314

16 White Horse Inn, The Street, Neatishead, 01692 630828

17 Swan Inn, Sea Palling Road, Ingham, 01692 581099

18 Saracen's Head, Wolterton, near Aylsham, 01263 768909

19 Crown, Colby Road, Banningham, 01263 733534

20 Wheatsheaf, Church Road, West Beckham, near Holt, 01263 822110

21 Ostrich Inn, Fakenham Road, South Creake 01328 823320

22 Red Lion, Wells Road, Stiffkey, 01328 830552

23 Globe Inn, The Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea, 01328 710206

24 Lord Nelson, Walsingham Road, Burnham Thorpe 01328 738241

25 Three Horseshoes, Bridge Street, Warham 01328 710547

26 White Horse, Fakenham Road, East Barsham, Fakenham 01328 820645

27 The Wiveton Bell, Blakeney Rd, Wiveton Green, 01263 740101

28 The Ship Inn, The Street, Weybourne, 01263 588721

29 Pigs, Norwich Road, Edgefield, 01263 587634


30 White Horse, Kirkgate Street, Holme, 01485 525512

31 Dabbling Duck, The Green, Great Massingham, 01485 520248

32 Lifeboat Inn, Ship Lane, Thornham, 01485 512236

33 Orange Tree, High Street, Thornham, 01485 512213

34 Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph, 01366 382229

35 Neptune Inn, Old Hunstanton Road, Old Hunstanton, 01485 532122

36 King William IV, Heacham Road, Sedgeford, 01485 571765

37 Jenyns Arms, Sluice Bank, Denver, Downham Market, 01366 383366

38 Windmill Inn, Water End, Great Cressingham 01760 756232

39 Blue Lion, Hillside, North Pickenham 01760 440289

40 Ploughshare Inn The Street, Beeston, King's Lynn, 01328 701845

41 The Three Horseshoes, Roydon, 01485 600362


42 Cock Inn, Barford 01603 757646

43 King's Head, Hart's Lane, Bawburgh, 01603 744977

44 Champion, Chapelfield Rd, Norwich, 01603 765611

45 Alexandra Tavern, Stafford Street, Norwich, 01603 627772

46 King's Head, Old Norwich Rd, Hethersett, 01603 810206

47 Duke of Wellington, Norwich, 93 Waterloo Rd, Norwich, 01603 441182

48 King's Arms, Hall Rd, Norwich, 01603 766361

49 Eaton Cottage, Mount Pleasant, Norwich, 01603 453048

50 Ribs of Beef, Wensum St, Norwich, 01603 619517

51 Feathers, Town Green, Wymondham, 01953 605675

52 King's Arms, Market Place, Reepham, 01603 870345

53 Three Boars, Spooner Row, Wymondham 01953 605851

54 Red Lion, 52 Eaton Street, Eaton, Norwich 01603 454787


55 Randolph, Wangford Road, Reydon, 01502 723603

56 Horse and Groom, London Road, Wrentham 01502 675279

57 Village Maid, The Street, Lound, 01502 730441

58 Plough, Market Lane, Blundeston, 01502 730261

59 Bell Inn, Ferry Road, Walberswick, 01502 723109

60 Five Bells Inn, Southwold Road, Wrentham, 01502 675249

61 Kings Head, High Street, Southwold, 01502 724517

62 Angel Inn, High Street, Wangford 01502 578636

63 Fur and Feathers Inn, Slad Lane, Woodbastwick 01603 722266;

64 Queen's Head, Southwold Road, Blyford 01502 478404

65 The Angel, Thoroughfare, Halesworth, 01986 873365

66 The Locks Inn, Locks Lane, Geldeston, 01508 518414

67 Bear and Bells, 11 Old Market, Beccles, 01502 712291

68 White Horse, 5 Norwich Road, Chedgrave, 01508 520250

69 Queen's Head, Beccles Road, Thurlton, 01508 548667

70 Tally-Ho, Mettingham, Bungay, 01986 892570

71 Artichoke, 162 Yarmouth Rd, Broome, 01986 893325

72 Reedcutters, Station Road, Cantley, 01493 701099

73 Fox and Hounds, Thrigby Road, Filby, 01493 369255

74 Reedham Ferry Inn, Ferry Road, Reedham, 01493 700429

75 Fishermans Return, Fisherman's Return, The Lane, Winterton, 01493 393631

76 Harnser, The Harnser, Old Yarmouth Road, Stalham Green, 01692 580347

77 Maltsters, The Hill Drive, Ranworth, 01603 270241

78 Bridge Inn, The Bridge Inn, Acle Bridge, 01493 750288

79 Ship Inn, The Ship Inn, Victoria Street, Caister, 01493 728008

80 Ferry Inn, The Green, Stokesby, 01493 751096

81 King's Arms, The Green, Martham, 01493 740204

82 Lighthouse, Coast Rd, Walcott, 01692 650371


83 Crown Hotel, Crown Road, Mundford, 01842 878233

84 Duke of Wellington, Thetford Road, Brandon, 01842 810219

85 Dog and Partridge, Watton Road, East Wretham, 01953 498245

86 Swan, Market Place, East Harling, 01953 717951

87 Black Horse, Magdalen Street, Thetford, 01842 762717

88 Dolphin Inn, Old Market Street, Thetford, 01842 752271

89 Red Lion, Main Street, Hockwold, 01842 828875

90 White Hart Inn, White Hart Street, Foulden, 01366 328638

91 Crown, The Green, Pulham Market Norfolk 01379 676652

92 Gamekeeper, Old Buckenham 01953 860397

93 Saracen's Head, Mount St, Diss, 01379 652853

94 Cock, Lower Denmark St, Fair Green, Diss 01379 643633

95 Griffin Hotel, Attleborough, 01953 452149

96 Swan Hotel, The Thoroughfare, Harleston 01379 852221

97 Greyhound, The Street, Tibenham 01379 677676

98 White Horse, The Street, South Lopham, 01379 687252

99 Swan Inn, Low Street, Hoxne, Eye 01379 668275

100 De La Pole Arms, Church Road, Wingfield 01379 384545

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