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A bank holiday guide to the best country pubs in the North West

Confidentials    2 years ago

How lovely, two bank holidays in a fortnight. The perfect excuse to jump in a car, on a train or on yer bike and get out into nature. Or into a country pub. That’s up to you.

Every one of these pubs is a wonderful country retreat, with the bonus of a bar and wonderful food.

Take The Three Fishes in the heart of the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Chef Nigel Haworth uses produce from the countryside on his doorstep. The Cartford Inn takes in beautiful views of Lancashire from its spacious dining room where you’re surrounded by unique works of art and sculptures. And from the Eagle & Child you can take in the whole of Ramsbottom from your dining table. Try a vegan Bury black pudding and beetroot risotto or its award-winning “Double Bomber” cheese pie with chunky chips to fuel your walk back down Rammy’s infamous hill.

Manchester Confidential has also put together a list of 10 walks in Greater Manchester that should feed your desire to get in to the countryside this bank holiday, so read that then read on to top up your triple-cooked chips quota too.


  • The Baum Rochdale
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    The Baum


    Situated in Rochdale’s Toad Lane conservation area, The Baum is a traditional pub that has one foot firmly in the present day. 

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  • The Bells of Peover, a country pub in Cheshire, just south of Knutsford
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    The Bells of Peover


    There’s a story behind the American and British flags that fly over the entrance to The Bells of Peover, a country dining pub in a village south of Knutsford.

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  • One of the dishes served at The Cartford Inn - a restaurant with rooms near Preston in Lancashire
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    The Cartford Inn


    This historic coaching house serves adventurous British pub food in poetic configurations. Cooking is by mushroom forager and head chef, Chris Bury, whose CV includes the Fat Duck and Claridges, while award-winning suppliers include local wine merchants, D Byrne and Gornall’s dairy, near Preston. The interior, some of which dates back to the 1800s, is packed with wood panels and idiosyncratic artworks while the wider complex takes in glass-clad extensions, an al fresco terrace, and cool, eco-style cabins, integrated into the landscape. A place to get away from it all for a day, or a night – and enjoy some of the best food in the region at the same time.

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  • Inside the Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom with its views of the Lancashire moors

    Eagle & Child


    The Eagle & Child is famous for offering excellent Sunday lunches and award-winning pub grub in the hills above Manchester.

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  • The Parker's Arms is a homely pub serving superb modern European food in Newton-in-Bowland in Lancashire.

    Parker’s Arms


    The Parker’s Arms is a homely pub, serving and baking extraordinary, modern European food.

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  • The Three Fishes - Restaurant Exterior

    The Three Fishes


    The Three Fishes at Mitton is in the heart of the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Expect an immaculate whitewashed listed building, a cross between an Inn and a country pub, a welcoming bar and an original slate floor all warmed by open log fires.

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  • Book Now Birtle

    The Waggon at Birtle


    Lovingly restored from, by all accounts, a wreck of a pub, The Waggon at Birtle now finds itself listed in the likes of The Good Food Guide and serves up award-winning menus, which change with the seasons and use the best regional produce from local suppliers.

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  • A pub with a view: The White Hart at Lydgate is 700 feet above sea level on the edge of Saddleworth Moor

    The White Hart at Lydgate


    The White Hart at Lydgate is a rustic dining pub with an excellent reputation and wine list. Located 700 feet above sea level, where Saddleworth Moor starts, the restaurant is in an impressive former coaching house, and it’s a place for all: there’s a restaurant and brasserie with two AA rosettes, a pub, function areas and a boutique hotel.

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  • Inside The White Swan at Fence - a Michelin star restaurant near Burnley from local chef Tom Parker

    The White Swan at Fence


    Some folk in the village still refer to The White Swan at Fence as The Mucky Duck and you can still order a pint of Timothy Taylor’s at its very pubby bar. But over recent years The Swan has established itself as a destination fine-dining spot thanks to young chef Tom Parker from up the road in Burnley.

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