The salty sea air can often leave you gasping for some liquid refreshment. There’s something a little romantic about watching the waves lapping at the coastline, while enjoying a glass of your favourite tipple.
With the Somerset and West Dorset coasts all within easy reach of wherever you live in the county, there is plenty of opportunity to indulge in a drink or two by the sea.
To help you decide where to go though, here are 12 of the best coastal haunts for a social seaside glass of whatever takes your fancy.
Smuggler’s Inn, Osmington Bay
Situated on the edge of the Jurassic Coast, the Smuggler’s Inn boasts stunning views across Osmington Bay and is a perfect place for a seaside pint.
There has been an Inn at this location since the 13 century and is thought to be the home of Emmanuel Charles, who was the leader of the most feared gang of smugglers in the 18 and 19 centuries.
Nowadays it is renowned for serving award winning cask beers, along with a seasonal menu based on regionally sourced ingredients.
The Anchor Inn
You can’t get much closer to the beach than at the award-winning Anchor Inn at Seatown, near Bridport. It has been crowned the county champion at the National Pub & Bar Awards and their food has won a Taste of the West Award.
Couple that with a sandy beach just a footstep away, with views of the stunning Jurassic coast cliffs, this is a winner for any summer’s day.
The Castle Inn
This 16 century thatched inn is a few hundred metres from Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. It is extremely dog friendly, with the four-legged friends even benefitting from their own treats bar!
It also boasts the largest selection of ciders in Dorset, so happy days all round.
If you slip into Devon and head for the harbour at Lyme Regis, then you will almost certainly find yourself drawn towards the delights of the Cobb Arms. If the idea of cosying up with a stiff drink as the sea crashes against the famous Cobb Wall, then this is the place for you.
The Reed Arms
If you’re looking for good times by the coast at Burnham-on-sea, at a reasonable price, then The Reed Arms is the place to go. It was built in the 1850’s and for many years it was the Queen’s Hotel.
It bore the family arms of Burnham’s leading citizen, George Reed and eventually, when it was renamed, it took on that name too. As it is now a Wetherspoon pub, which means there will be plenty of real ale choice and an extensive, affordable menu.
Brean Down Inn
Just up the road from Burnham-on-sea is the Brean Down Inn, which comes with its own extensive camping site. It claims to be Brean’s only traditional ale house and is another place where man’s best friend is more than welcome.
Being a few hundred yards from the beach is also a big bonus, especially when you want to walk off a couple of pints.
Old Ship Aground
The iconic harbourside pub in Minehead has been serving the people of the seaside town since 1911. The Edwardian premises boasts a ‘River Cottage’ style that takes inspiration from the landlord’s farming experience with home smoked fish, freshly baked soda breads and farm raised meats.
Add a good sprinkling of real ales and being on Minehead’s seafront, this is the place to go when in town.
Smuggler’s Inn, Blue Anchor
Smuggling seemed to be big business in the West Country in centuries gone by and it wasn’t just the Dorset coast that was a favourite with these bandits. On the edge of Exmoor is Blue Anchor Bay and the Smuggler’s Inn was another favourite hideout.
Nowadays, the pub is a favourite with travellers on the West Somerset Railway and it serves Somerset ciders and Cornish ales, ensuring there’s a taste of the West Country for visitors.
There may be plenty of choice if you’re looking for a drink in Weymouth but few places are nearer the water than the Ship Inn. Positioned on the harbour side, you can watch the ships roll in and then watch ‘em roll away again.
Inside there is a contemporary feel, with wooden floorboards, an open fire and a show-stopping copper bar.
Elm Tree Inn
In a little village called Langton Herring, just along the Jurassic coast from Weymouth, is the Elm Tree Inn. It is a short walk from the South West Coastal Path and attracts many hiker and birdwatcher (there’s a wealth of feathered friends for ornithologists to see).
Locally caught seafood from The Portland Scallop Company is the backbone of its menu and it’s complimented by local game. Meals can be taken outside in the sunken garden, to add to the special ambience of the inn.
The Claremont Vaults
Looking out over the Bristol Channel from Weston-super-Mare is The Claremont Vaults, which is gaining a great reputation for its live entertainment and Sunday carvery.
With a stack of gluten free options on the menu and an extensive range of real ales and cider, it is great place to unwind and take in the sea air.
A stone’s throw away from Weston’s seafront is the lively Scallys. From a weekly bike night with hog roast to live bands every weekend, this pub is not shy from making some noise. There’s steak and curry nights and plenty on the menu besides along with happy hour twice a day. That’s guaranteed smiles all round.
On – 04 Jun, 2017 By Array