British pubs don’t get much better than The Inn at Whitewell in Clitheroe.
According to the Good Pub Guide 2020 awards, it’s the best in the UK. Even better, it’s just an hour from Manchester.
Alongside real ales and a good mix of spirits, the rather grand old house also has a marvellous wine list of around 230 wines with 21 by the glass.
Handsome old wood furnishings including antique settles, oak gate-leg tables and sonorous clocks offer up romantic, old-world charm in the civilised bar rooms.
And in the pub’s main bar, you’ll find roaring log fires in attractive stone fireplaces and a generally cheerful bustle about the place. There’s also board games and a piano for anyone that wants to play.
Located on the banks of the River Hodder, with a lovely riverside bar and terrace, The Inn at Whitewell offers spectacular views down the valley into the heart of the Forest of Bowland.
It has also won quite a few awards for its food, including Best Country Dining Pub in 2017. Head Chef Jamie Cadman, now in his eighteenth year at the Inn, produces brilliant locally-sourced food.
Think pork loin chop with black pudding bonbons, savoy cabbage and mustard seed potato cake; local sausages with champ, a fried egg and caramelised onion jus; and corn-fed chicken breast with bubble and squeak potato cake, celeriac purée and red wine jus.
Upstairs, individually furnished bedrooms boast open fires and beautifully restored bathrooms for those looking to make a night of it.
A third-generation family business, the estate also has some historic royal ties. In the 1300’s it was occupied by the keepers of the royal forest and remains part of the Duchy of Lancaster to this day.
If you fancy making a real Clitheroe weekend of it, just down the road you’ll also find the Assheton Arms, which has been named Dining Pub of the Year in the 2020 Guide.
Sounds like a mini-break could be on the cards. After all, who can refuse the best pub in Britain when it’s this close?
Also named in the Good Pub Guide’s 2020 awards is Cheshire pub the Swan in Marbury, which has won the New Pub of the Year award.