Guide to the best country pubs: Pt 3

PART THREE: CHARNWOOD

By Matt Wright

CRITERIA USED TO SELECT PUBS:

1) RURAL LOCATION
2) EXCELLENT, COSY AMBIENCE
3) REPUTATION FOR DECENT FOOD
4) GOOD RANGE OF REAL ALES
5) INDIVIDUAL AND SPECIAL

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THE WHEATSHEAF, Woodhouse Eaves

With its ancient trees and buildings made from Swithland slate and distinctive local granite, beautiful Woodhouse Eaves in Charnwood feels detached from the rest of the world. Inside the Wheatsheaf, you’re doubly cocooned from reality. This traditional, characterful pub is cosy but bright (skylights above the bar flood light into the entire ground floor), and there are plenty of areas near the long bar in which to tuck yourself away to enjoy your wine or beer. Racing car memorabilia adorns the walls and the open fire is always lit in winter. On our visit there were plenty of staff serving and the ambience was warm and friendly. We’d have tried the Leicestershire Ploughmans if we’d had time.
The Wheatsheaf

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WOODMAN’S STROKE, Rothley

One of the few pubs in this feature to have three fires – two in the bar and one woodburner in the back – the Woodies, as it’s known by locals, is arguably the cosiest pub in Leicestershire. This is a dyed-in-the-wool Leicester Tigers hostelry. Expect a traditional interior, wooden beams, low ceilings, friendly banter and plenty of weekend events.
Woodman’s Stroke

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CHARNWOOD’S BEST OF THE REST

The Curzon Arms, another pub at Woodhouse Eaves, has a pleasant and individual interior that enhances a spot of weekend relaxation:

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The Griffin Inn, Swithland, is a beautiful old building with a cosy front bar:

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The White Swan, Sileby, isn’t quite a country pub and might not be beautiful from the outside, but inside it’s spacious, warm and buzzy, and is a popular Sunday lunch destination:

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For the best Vale of Belvoir country pubs, click here.

For the best Rutland country pubs, click here.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.