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Best summer pubs in Surrey 2017 – where to enjoy al fresco drinks and dining

PUBLISHED: 16:35 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 21 June 2017

Top row: Percy Arms (Photo: John Powell); King William IV; Mill at Elstead (Photo: Matthew Williams)  Middle row: Queen's Head; Cricketers (Photo: Andy Newbold); Refectory (Photo: Matthew Williams) Bottom row: Platform 3; Weyside (Photo: Matthew Williams); White Horse (Photo: Matthew Williams)

Top row: Percy Arms (Photo: John Powell); King William IV; Mill at Elstead (Photo: Matthew Williams) Middle row: Queen's Head; Cricketers (Photo: Andy Newbold); Refectory (Photo: Matthew Williams) Bottom row: Platform 3; Weyside (Photo: Matthew Williams); White Horse (Photo: Matthew Williams)

Archant

From riverside retreats to secret gardens, we’ve got your summer covered with this selection of Surrey pubs that are perfect to enjoy your favourite tipple and a bite to eat in the sunshine

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2017

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1. Abinger Hatch

Abinger Common, Surrey RH5 6HZ. Tel: 01306 730737

Hidden down leafy lanes, near beauty spots such as Holmbury St Mary and Friday Street, The Abinger Hatch is a welcome retreat. You may get a little lost trying to find it, but the adventure is well worth it! A perfect spot to relax mid-cycle/walk or just while away a few hours.

2. The Anchor

Pyrford Lock, Surrey GU23 6QW. Tel: 01932 342507

With its prime position alongside Pyrford Lock, close to RHS Garden Wisley, canalside walks past Newark Priory and Pyrford Marina, it’s no surprise that this remains the first port of call for many when the sun shines. Grab a sandwich and your tipple of choice and watch the world float by.

3. The Barley Mow

Tilford, Surrey GU10 2BU. Tel: 01252 792205

A picture postcard place, especially when there’s a cricket match on the green, The Barley Mow is a destination pub for motor clubs and ramblers. It’s a pub that’s a comforting nod to the past.

4. Bel & The Dragon

Churt, Surrey GU10 2LD. Tel: 01428 605799

Found opposite the secret Surrey gem that is The Sculpture Park, this is an historic country inn. It’s also home to a very decent bar and a beautiful garden where they serve up fresh pizzas cooked in their outdoor oven.

5. The Black Swan

Ockham, Surrey KT11 1NG. Tel: 01932 862364

Only minutes off the M25 and yet found in perfect tranquillity, The Black Swan’s beautiful garden is ideal for a little al fresco dining. As well as excellent food and drink, they host a classic car and bike meet every second Sunday of the month too.

6. Botley Hill Farmhouse

Warlingham, Surrey CR6 9QH. Tel: 01959 577154

With views out across the Surrey Hills, Botley Hill Farmhouse manages to keep a little of its hidden gem status because it’s so tucked away – but it really is worth a journey. As well as its early 16th century farmhouse and gorgeous views, there’s also the handy Sheep Shed tea room separate to the main pub. It’s a prime destination for cyclists and walkers.

7. The Cricketers

Cobham, Surrey KT11 3NX. Tel: 01932 862105

This stylish place is part of the White Brasserie Company these days and remains one of the area’s prettiest pubs. With 17th century roots it balances old and new and is a top spot for a leisurely pint overlooking Downside Common.

8. The Dog & Pheasant

Brook, Surrey GU8 5UJ. Tel: 01428 682763

Dating back to the 15th century, The Dog & Pheasant is just about the quintessential English pub: all low-hanging wooden beams, log fires and interesting village characters! The pub is found in a gorgeous location, surrounded by a lovely garden and with a cricket pitch across the road.

9. The Dolphin

Betchworth, Surrey RH3 7DW. Tel: 01737 842288

This traditional 17th century pub is a very special place, located in the quaint village of Betchworth and in the shadow of the North Downs. Grab a sharing board, a tipple or two and make their garden your home for a lazy, sunny afternoon.

10. The Donkey

Tilford, Surrey GU10 2AU. Tel: 01252 702124

The two resident donkeys, Pip and Dusty, are an integral part of the character and history of this old pub, and in the summer months they enjoy being close to the clientele enjoying the pub’s garden and terrace. The great food makes this spot another hidden gem.

11. The Drummond

Albury, Surrey GU5 9AG. Tel: 01483 202039

Among Albury’s scenic chimney stacks and red brick cottages, the hanging baskets of The Drummond still catch the eye. Found by the River Tillingbourne, it’s blessed with a great garden and conservatory to soak up the rays. They also happen to love hog roasts and BBQs.

12. The Four Horseshoes

Chobham, Surrey GU24 8QP. Tel: 01276 856257

With an offering that more than lives up to Chobham’s foodie village reputation, this is a fantastic modern country pub. While the food is mouth-watering, you’re just as likely to find regulars stretching out on the patio with a drink and a few horses tied to hitching posts.

13. The Fox and Hounds

Englefield Green, Surrey TW20 0XU. Tel: 01784 433098

One of Englefield Green’s oldest pubs, dating back to 1780, the Fox and Hounds is found in an idyllic location right next to Windsor Great Park, and a short distance from Guards Polo Club and Virginia Water Lake. With hacking popular in the area, horses are welcome too and can be tied up at the front of the pub.

14. The Jolly Coopers

Epsom, Surrey KT18 7SD. Tel: 01372 723222

Perhaps not as famous as some of the racecourse-side pubs, The Jolly Coopers (which is found just outside the town centre) has been making a bit of a name for itself over the past year or so. They’re in the process of adding an as yet unnamed micro-brewery.

15. The King William IV

Mickleham, Surrey RH5 6EL. Tel: 01372 372590

Surely boasting one of the best views in Surrey, ably supported by its beautiful terraced garden, the King William IV is among this writer’s very favourite destinations. Despite parking being a little tricky (stick to the main road and walk up to the pub) it can get pretty busy, but is well worth the effort.

16. Kingswood Arms

Kingswood, Surrey KT20 6EB. Tel: 01737 354053

This pretty family-run pub has long been at the heart of the Kingswood community (since 1898, in fact) and boasts a large garden that’s perfect for catching up over a meal or drinks with friends. Its restaurant is found in the pub’s conservatory, so let there be light.

17. Marney’s

Esher, Surrey KT10 8JN. Tel: 020 8398 4444

Situated on Weston Green beside Marney’s Pond, it’s said that Marney’s started life as a hostelry in the mid-1700s as a hunting lodge for Hampton Court Palace. Whatever the origins, it’s a great place for food and drink, and boasts a lovely garden.

18. The Mill

Elstead, Surrey GU8 6LE. Tel: 01252 703333

Another riverside icon, this pub is found in a unique converted mill. Steeped in history, it offers visitors the opportunity to relax with great food and drink while the swans, ducks and waterwheel outside play their part in the magic. They also have a garden bar, so you never have to take off your shades.

19. The Onslow Arms

West Clandon, Surrey GU4 7TE. Tel: 01483 222447

One of those pubs that you’d be just as happy at enjoying a local tipple with the Sunday papers, watching jazz with a wine or settling down for a meal with friends and family. There’s a well-stocked bar, a relaxed ambience and a welcoming enclosed courtyard garden that are sure to appeal.

20. The Park Hatch

Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 7DN. Tel: 01483 274374

Having recently been named Surrey’s best at the National Pub and Bar Awards, this family-owned pub is set to improve even further this summer with a newly landscaped garden.

21. The Percy Arms

Chilworth, Surrey GU4 8NP. Tel: 01483 561765

A little piece of South Africa, they specialise in exceptional steaks and summer braai (BBQ). The large garden has a stream and is overlooked by St Martha’s Church, perched high on the Surrey Hills above. Perfect as a beginning or end to outdoor adventures.

22. Platform 3

Claygate, Surrey KT10 0PB. Tel: 01372 462334

While there are a few micropubs springing up now, Platform 3 has caught the imagination ever since this tiny former cab office by a station was transformed into probably the smallest pub in the UK. It’s also home to Brightwater Brewery.

23. The Plough Inn

Coldharbour, Surrey RH5 6HD. Tel: 01306 711793

Another pub that’s home to a microbrewery, they’ve also reopened the village shop next door. After a stroll up Leith Hill, a visit for a pint of their best and a seat in the garden (which has a small kitchen garden at the end) is a must.

24. The Queen’s Head

East Clandon, Surrey GU4 7RY. Tel: 01483 222332

A classy place, found just round the corner from the Albury and High Clandon vineyards, The Queen’s Head has recently been refurbished. It’s only just off the A246 but feels like a world away.

25. The Red Barn

Blindley Heath, Surrey RH7 6LL. Tel: 01342 830820

A 300-year-old rural retreat, this historic barn turned pub disguises a striking interior. Outside, the garden attracts punters like bees to a honey pot. Geronimo Inns is a group more normally noted for its city establishments, but you can certainly understand what tempted them out to the country air…

26. The Refectory

Milford, Surrey GU8 5HJ. Tel: 01483 413820

Every time you enter Milford’s The Refectory, there’s a tendency to catch your breath, as there aren’t many Surrey pubs like it. A transformed old cattle barn, its interior is huge but, handily, there’s also a well-kept garden to settle back in.

27. The Royal Oak

Stonebridge, near Dorking, Surrey RH5 4DJ. Tel: 01306 885420

Only a short trip off the beaten track near Dorking and with sunset views over the open countryside, this Young’s pub is really rather blessed.

28. Skimmington Castle

Reigate, Surrey RH2 8RL. Tel: 01737 243100

A little like royalty among Reigate’s pubs, The Skim is something of a tradition for many families in the area – often as a convenient excuse to escape the house and walk across the beautiful Reigate Heath or via the local fields and farms. It’s a comfortingly traditional place welcoming drinkers, diners and dogs alike.

29. The Stephan Langton Inn

Friday Street, Surrey RH5 6JR. Tel: 01306 730775

Arguably the most secluded pub and restaurant in Surrey, The Stephan Langton Inn is never easily forgotten once you’ve found it, as attested by its dominance at the 2016 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards: they picked up both the Pub of the Year and Best Local Menu crowns.

30. The Surrey Oaks

Newdigate, Surrey RH5 5DZ. Tel: 01306 631200

A local beer legend, The Surrey Oaks has regularly been named among the best pubs in Surrey and indeed Britain by CAMRA. Surrounded by idyllic countryside, this truly is a quintessentially English pub and the perfect place to unwind. They’re famous for their beer festivals, but the food is great too.

31. The Swan Inn

Chiddingfold, Surrey GU8 4TY. Tel: 01428 684688

With a picture perfect ‘secret’ summer garden, The Swan is found in the stunning village of Chiddingfold and has a charming swagger to it. As an AA four star inn with a two rosette restaurant, it’s a classy venue that’s still welcoming for a leisurely tipple.

32. The Swan Hotel

Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey TW18 3JB. Tel: 01784 452494

Perched on the banks of the River Thames with its own private mooring, this 16th century hotel has been recently refurbished by Fuller’s. It’s a half hour walk along the towpath to the Runnymede Pleasure Grounds.

33. The Three Horseshoes

Thursley, Surrey GU8 6QD. Tel: 01252 703268

If you ever need to explain the joy of an English pub to an overseas visitor, then The Three Horseshoes is probably a decent place to start. You walk into the chocolate box pretty building and straight into a bar that’s often packed with regulars. Then there’s the restaurant, which is hidden around the corner and a real gem, and the secluded garden, which is as lovely as you’d expect from this rural retreat.

34. The Weyside

Guildford, Surrey GU1 3XJ. Tel: 01483 568024

Something of an icon in its own right, The Weyside is found only a few minutes walk outside Guildford town centre and yet looks out over the River Wey and watermeadows. It’s easy to see why it gets so busy and you might need to relive your holidays by leaving a towel to reserve a waterside seat! A great place to watch river life.

35. The Wheatsheaf

Esher, Surrey KT10 8AG. Tel: 01372 464014

The green at Esher is its own little world hidden away from the town’s cosmopolitan High Street. Recent years have seen The Wheatsheaf pub, which presides over the tranquil haven, enjoy a new and welcome lease of life.

36. The White Horse

Hascombe, Surrey GU8 4JA. Tel: 01483 208258

While this pub has been much talked about because of chef Daniel Britten and team taking over the restaurant kitchen, it’s also home to a truly stunning country garden that’s perfect for relaxing in with your favourite tipple.

37. The William Bray

Shere, Surrey GU5 9HS. Tel: 01483 202044

With a terrace that’s perfect for alfresco dining, The William Bray looks over the beautiful village of Shere. Try a wine from Albury Vineyard, Surrey Hills Brewery’s Shere Drop or how about a classic G&T with Silent Pool Gin?

38. The Wiremill

Lingfield, Surrey RH7 6HJ. Tel: 01342 832263

Probably the only pub in Surrey that offers its own occasional waterskiing entertainment, The Wiremill is found in a converted 15th century mill on the edge of a lake. Don your shades and pretend you’ve flown off to warmer climes on sunny days…

39. The Withies Inn

Compton, Surrey GU3 1JA. Tel: 01483 421158

As quintessentially English as it gets, The Withies is a time-capsule and a welcome escape from the pace of modern living. Found just down the road from Loseley Park and Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, this is a cultured corner of the countryside.

40. The Wotton Hatch

Wotton, Surrey RH5 6QQ. Tel: 01306 887694

There can’t be many pubs better places to enjoy a sunset view over the fields. It takes a little bit of imagination to transform the passing traffic on the road into a lazy river but you soon adapt!

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• Is your favourite Surrey pub missing from the list? E-mail matthew.williams@surreylife.co.uk with why it should make our next round-up.

• Make sure to celebrate all the hard work of your favourite pubs by voting for them in the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards

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