Your Essential Guide to the Best Pubs in Wales
Whether you’re looking for a reward after white-water rafting in Snowdonia National Park, or a great ale served over stimulating conversation with the locals, the pubs in Wales will certainly provide. Below, we list some of the best pubs in Wales, helping you to plan your next pub-crawl.
That’s not to say that you should speed through these establishments. Great care and attention is paid by each of the pubs we’ve listed below to provide locally-sourced food and drink, and top-notch service in excellent surroundings.
You’re sure to find the pub for you – no matter what you’re looking for. Keep your eyes peeled for the two pubs named best in Wales by The Good Pub Guide 2020, too.
Best pubs in South Wales
The Crown at Pantygelli
Old Hereford Road Pantygelli, Abergavenny, NP7 7HR, Monmouthshire
Planning a trip to the Brecon Beacons National Park? If so, be sure to add this pub to your list of must-visits for a post hike pint. If you’re after something a tad more substantial, you’ll also be thrilled with what’s on offer – the Crown’s menu features local produce and focuses on hearty, filling favourites. Think beef and bubble and squeak or a goat’s cheese tart rounded off with hand-pumped ales.
If you’re a dog fan, you’ll likely find canine companions lounging on the pub floor after a long day’s walk – and it’s also a favourite spot for families, too. Plus, in the depths of a Welsh winter, you’ll find a roaring fire in the wood burner. What’s not to love?
East Street, Newport, SA42 0SY, Pembrokeshire
It’s hard to beat the rugged coastal paths and dramatic views of Pembrokeshire, and if you’re keen to reward yourself with great dining and even better drink, the Llys Meddyg is the pub to hit. Sample the drinks menu in the cellar bar before settling in the chic restaurant for a meal made from local produce.
You’ll be in good company too, as the excellent food calls locals back time and time again. In the summer, the café bistro and back garden opens up so you can enjoy watching the mountain stream bubbling through.
The Bell at Skenfrith
Skenfrith, Abergavenny, NP7 8UH, Monmouthshire
Looking for food that comes straight from the garden? The Bell serves a delicious menu designed to both delight and fill you up, offering food as varied as chicken liver parfait to duck with chorizo and bean cassoulet. In the summer, you can grab a table on the terrace outside, admiring the beautiful surroundings.
The pub is situated in a valley – there’s even a Norman castle nearby – and the building itself stands by an ancient stone bridge. Well-behaved furry friends are welcome and there are even towels and treats for especially good pups. Complement your views with a good cognac or a great wine, and bask in the peaceful atmosphere.
King St, Laugharne, Carmarthen SA33 4RY
The Browns pub also goes by ‘Dexters at Browns’, so don’t be confused if you hear them used interchangeably. An old haunt of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s, his parents and wife are actually buried in the churchyard nearby.
The food here is truly excellent. They raise their own cattle and dry-age their own meat. You’ll enjoy it in an atmospheric wood-panelled restaurant with sleek furniture. The terrace at the back is a suntrap too, so you can soak up those rays with a good drink in hand.
Best pubs in North Wales
Ye Olde Bull’s Head Inn
The Bull Beaumaris, Castle Street, Beaumaris, Anglesey, LL58 8AP
Ye Olde Bull’s Head Inn – also known as The Bull – was named best in Wales by The Good Pub Guide 2020, so you’re in for a treat if you plan an escape here. A Grade II listed building dating back to 1472, it has a recently refurbished kitchen and dining area that makes for sophisticated, stylish dining. Expect low-beamed ceilings and roaring fires as you take stock of your surroundings – Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson are purported to have visited.
If you want to enjoy the seaside surroundings for longer, plan a stay. The pub’s accommodation is five-star listed, so you’re guaranteed luxury, as well as views over the Menai Straight and Snowdonia National Park.
Brithdir, Dolgellau, LL40 2SG, Gwynedd
This former farmhouse fuses the sleek elegance of steel and glass with exposed stonework and beams. Plus, the food is truly phenomenal. Choose from classic dishes like Conwy muscles, Welsh lamb, or a quality Sunday roast. Travel 15 minutes by car to Barmouth for a coastal wander, or head for a hike up Cader Idris before rewarding yourself with a pint in the comfort of the Cross Foxes.
Pen-y-Bryn, Pen-y-Bryn Road, Upper Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL29 6DD
Don’t be fooled by this pub’s front – inside, you’ll find handsome oak floors, open fires and full bookshelves. There’s also a glorious garden and terrace with panoramic views over the Great Orme lime headland and the sea. The food is unpretentious but excellent, and is always top-quality, fresh and locally sourced. Menus at the Pen-y-Bryn are seasonal, and with this pub having been recommended in The Good Pub Guide 2020, we’re sure you’ll find something to your taste.
Ty Coch Inn
Porthdinllaen, LL53 6DB
If you’re after a truly unique spot, this pub is one of only around two dozen buildings in the coastal Porthdinllaen. Nestled on the Llyn Peninsula, you can only access the Ty Coch Inn by foot (vehicular access is limited to residents only). It’s about a 20-minute walk across the golf course and with the beach on its doorstep, you can even have a splash in the sea. Reward yourself with a hand pulled guest ale as you look out across the Irish sea from one of the top ten beach bars in the world.
Best pubs in Mid Wales
The Harp Inn
Old Radnor, Presteigne LD8 2RH
Another pub named the best in Wales by The Good Pub Guide 2020, this inn sits atop a hill overlooking the Radnor Valley. A former longhouse, you’ll find plenty of real ales, guest beers, and local ciders and gins at the Harp Inn, including some cask-conditioned ales. Food is locally sourced, and producers are prioritised for their ethical standards. Take stock of the surrounding countryside – you can fish, walk and even rally drive – before rewarding yourself with a hearty meal.
The Felin Fach Griffin
Felin Fach, Brecon, LD3 0UB, Powys
Slow the pace down at this quaint, cosy pub. Sit in front of the roaring fire with a pint of ale and play a game of backgammon. The Felin Fach’s restaurant is open-plan – you’ll spot pots simmering on an Aga – and sources much of its ingredients from an organic kitchen garden.
If you love to read, the bookish town of Hay-on-Wye is nearby, or wile the days away in the Beacons walking, canoeing, biking or even horse-riding. Four-legged friends will find dog treats, blankets and towels galore.
The Nag’s Head
Garthmyl, Montgomery, SY15 6RS
If you’re a real foody and enjoy dining out at award-winning locations, consider visiting The Nag’s Head. It has been awarded the AA Rosette for culinary excellence for three years and all the food is homemade and comes from local producers. Dine in the bright, airy restaurant or grab a drink on the patio terrace, where you can admire the nearby River Severn. Look out for seasonal cocktails and local beers too.
Best pubs in West Wales
Stackpole, Pembroke, SA71 5DF, Pembrokeshire
Spend a day at Broad Haven or Barafundle Bay before heading to this delightfully hospitable inn. Food is cooked from scratch and as much as possible is local – think fresh sea bass, Welsh beef and local pork. You’ll find at least four hand pumped ales at the Stackpole Inn and a good selection of whiskeys too. Rooms are clean, contemporary and above all, welcoming.
The Griffin Inn
Dale, Haverfordwest, SA62 3RB
This pub nabbed a place in The Good Pub Guide 2020, and it’s easy to see why. Situated on the edge of the Irish Sea, the Griffin Inn is located in a stunning fishing village. Seafood therefore features heavily on the menu, so if you’re a fan of all things fish, you’d be mad to miss a visit.
You’ll also find real ale, including Reverend James and Cwrw, served at what’s known as the ‘longest bar in Pembrokeshire’. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot the day’s catch coming off the fishing boats.
Wright’s Food Emporium
Wright’s Food Emporium, The Golden Grove Arms, Llanarthne, SA32 8JU, Carmarthenshire
This is a restaurant-cum-café-cum-deli-come-wine shop – and we’re fans. Dig into the excellent nosh whilst you sip one of the excellent organic wines. Sample the soups or take some time out with a great slice of cake. Ingredients at Wright’s are consistently high-quality and local, and you’ll be able to take food home with you from the deli if you get particularly attached to a certain cheese or meat.
If you enjoy a trip to the pub, why not find out how your favourite tipple is made? Take a brewery class and learn how to make your very own pint! And don’t forget to check out all of our food and drinks guides.