A gorgeous Grade II listed dog-friendly Inn just off the A34 and a short drive south off the M4 towards Newbury, south of the town itself. Ideally situated for visiting Highclere Castle (used to film Downton Abbey), or en-route to historic Winchester or Oxford.
I used to work at this pub so i'm a bit bias when it comes to recommending it! The atmosphere is always welcoming and the hospitality of all staff , and inparticular the lovely landlord (Eoin) is second to none. The quality of ale on draught: Hall & Woodhouse (Dorsets Blandford Based 'Badger' Brewery) is always excellent, and the Guinness is divine, though you would expect no less from a proud Irish publican!
Through the summer, the beautiful garden welcomes many dog owners that stop en route to the lovely woodland walks and trails in the area.
The Swan is well worth a stop if you are in the area, and the woodlans and heath at the top of Jonathan Hill (just round the back of the pub, and in walking distance of the pub car park) are a brilliant stroll in which to exercise your pooch after a pint!
Full Walk Details
I can't remember what the reserve is called but its a lovely plantation at the top of the hill (accessible down the village track/road towards the villages of Newtown, Burghclere and Highclere (just a short 2min drive, if that from The Swan). There are benchs along some of the pathways, and in general the paths are clear, but not marked. The paths can get boggy in places though, so suitable foot wear is a must, and you will often meet other dog walkers and local joggers on the paths. Dogs can be off-lead, but please be aware that it is a conservation area, so please pick up after your dogs!
|The Swan Inn||01635 40313|