Home THE JOURNEY Boating Holidays UK Canal and Riverside Pubs for Outdoor Summertime Dining

UK Canal and Riverside Pubs for Outdoor Summertime Dining

Couple on canal boat

Spending time by the water is great, especially in the summer. Canal and riverside pubs are popular destinations for canal boat holiday-makers, and there are hundreds to choose from across Britain’s 3,000 miles of navigable inland waterways.

Many of them, with names like The Lock Inn, The Navigation Inn, The Narrowboat, The Tunnel, and The Bridge, date back to the days when our inland waterways were the transport arteries of the Industrial Revolution. Canalside inns provided refreshment for working boat families and their horses, as well as professional leggers who propelled boats through tunnels. 

Drifters’ top 10 canal and riverside pubs for outdoor dining this summer:

1.       The Bridge Inn, Chirk Bank in Shropshire

You can reach this popular watering hole on the Llangollen Canal on a short break from Chirk, Trevor or Blackwater Meadow.  Also known as The Trap, the historic Bridge Inn is on the 11-mile stretch of the Llangollen Canal designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and has views of the magnificent Chirk Aqueduct.

2.       The Boat Inn, Gnosall in Staffordshire

This traditional family run pub on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal can be reached on a short break from Brewood.  It has a patio area overlooking the canal and is renowned for its homemade pies and fish and chips.

3.       The Cross Guns, Avoncliff in Somerset

This popular pub in the beautiful Bath Valley has extensive riverside gardens alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal and magnificent Avoncliff Aqueduct, which carries the canal across the River Avon.  The Cross Guns can be reached briefly from Bath, Monkton Combe, Bradford on Avon and Devizes.

4.       The Leigh Arms, Little Leigh in Cheshire

On the banks of the River Weaver near Northwich, boaters can reach this charming riverside pub on a short break from Anderton and Acton Bridge. The Leigh Arms has a garden looking out over the River Weaver and the Barton Swing Aqueduct, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways.

5.       The Fleur de Lys, Lowsonford in Warwickshire

Famous for its pies, this 17th century country pub has extensive gardens alongside the Stratford Canal. Boaters can reach it on a short break from Wootton Wawen.

6.       The Plume of Feathers, Barlaston in Staffordshire

Co-owned by the actor Neil Morrissey, this popular pub on the Trent & Mersey Canal offers homemade food and locally brewed beers. There’s an outdoor dining area overlooking the canal and boaters can reach it on a short break from Stoke-on-Trent or Great Haywood.

7.       The Cutter Inn, Ely in Cambridgeshire

Boaters can reach this popular riverside pub on the Great River Ouse east of Ely on a short break from Ely or March. The Cutter Inn has an outdoor terrace for al fresco drinking and dining with excellent river views.

8.       The Dundas Arms, Kintbury in Berkshire

This traditional country pub and hotel on the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal can be reached on a short break from Aldermaston. It has a large waterside beer garden, perfect for summertime al fresco drinking and dining.

9.       The Trout Inn, Lechlade, Gloucestershire

With over 700 years of history, this Cotswold pub on the banks of the River Thames can be reached on a mid-week boating break from Oxford. The Trout is a traditional family-run inn, with riverside gardens perfect for watching the world go by.

10.   The Bridge Inn, Ratho in Midlothian

This historic pub and hotel on the banks of the Union Canal near Edinburgh can be reached on a short break from Falkirk.  There’s a dining terrace overlooking the canal, and home-grown fruit and vegetables are served from the pub’s walled garden.

For more information about Drifters boating holidays, visit www.drifters.co.uk