Is there anything better than relaxing in a cosy pub on a cold or drizzly day? Open fires and warm hospitality make the perfect backdrop to enjoy a real ale or a glass of red. Derbyshire is blessed with dozens, probably hundreds of excellent pubs, but here are my favourites and then those which were rated highly by the Lovely Local Indie community. Additions made September 2023.
My personal recommendations of the best cosy pubs in Derbyshire
Devonshire Arms, Beeley and Pilsley
One of my all-time favourite pubs is probably the Devonshire Arms at Beeley. This 18th century inn is part of the Chatsworth estate and hosts both a traditional bar area and a bright, spacious brasserie. The Devonshire is the perfect place for a post-Chatsworth pint, G&T or bite to eat. You can even stay over in one of their beautiful rooms. Dog friendly.
Similarly, The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley is also owned by the Chatsworth Estate. A charming country inn with great food and service. Real fires in the winter and dog friendly in the bar area. For 60+ dog friendly places to eat across Derbyshire, click here.
Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel
Not strictly a ‘pub’ anymore – but the cosy bar areas of the Red Lion are one of my favourite places to drink in the whole of Derbyshire. Great for several reasons – it’s massive so you can always guarantee finding the perfect spot. There’s plush, sumptuous interiors, real fires and professional service. Good for wines, cocktails, coffee etc.
I would also feel very comfortable here alone (a good meeting place for first dates etc) – there’s never going to be that awkward hushed silence when all the locals put down their pints to see who’s entered their territory! Read more in my recent review.
The Cow, Dalbury Lees
Now also a beautiful boutique B&B, The Cow has retained all of its rural pub charm. Situated in a tiny village on the outskirts of Ashbourne, this is a great place to enjoy after a bracing countryside walk – or just to sample the delights of its new restaurant. Read more in my review.
Holly Bush Inn, Makeney near Belper
The Holly Bush was a regular haunt when I lived in Belper and is one of the loveliest, cosy pubs in Derbyshire. It’s cosy, family run and serves a good range of great beer. The homemade food is delicious and this is a particularly good place for a Sunday roast. It’s rumoured that highwayman, Dick Turpin frequented this 17th century village inn on his travels! Families, walkers and dogs are all welcome.
Hunloke Arms, Wingerworth
The Hunloke is a firm favourite in the Chesterfield area. Cosy, rustic décor and roaring fires make this a brilliant place to warm up on a cold day. There’s a good range of cocktails and an expansive menu featuring wood fired pizza and yakitori sticks. They serve over a hundred craft beers and ciders.
There’s a really cosy atmosphere all year round, complete with plenty of faux fur blankets – but this pub comes into its own during the colder months.
Family friendly and dogs are welcome in the bar area.
The Hunloke is part of a small, local chain. The other pubs have a similar vibe and are all worth checking out: The Joiners Arms in Quarndon, The Bulls Head in Repton and The Swan at Walton. Read a full review of The Hunloke Arms here.
The Pattenmakers Arms, Duffield
The Pattenmakers Arms has recently enjoyed a substantial yet sympathetic refurbishment and now boasts several beautiful bar areas, as well as a chic new contemporary dining area. Nestled in the back streets of the pretty village of Duffield, The Pattenmakers is both family friendly and dog friendly.
The Peacock at Barlow
The Peacock is the perfect example of a reinvented village pub and enjoys stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Superb local beers, wonderful wines and hand-selected artisan spirits. There’s an onsite micro-brewery and the best local ales.
Food is served throughout the day, from breakfast onwards. Ingredients are locally sourced where possible – some of it reared or grown, literally on the doorstep.
Family friendly and dog friendly.
The Fox and Goose
The Fox and Goose is one of Derbyshire’s oldest inns, thought to have been built over six hundred years ago. The building was presented to the Monks of Beauchief Abbey in a licence granted by Richard II in 1392. The name was derived from an ancient Viking board game – Fox & Geese – which the Monks used to play at the Inn. The pub have recreated this board game and you can play it in the pub snug!
Situated at the top of Pudding Pie Hill (I just love that road name!), the Fox and Goose enjoys stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Currently open weekends only. Book over the phone and specify you want a table in the pub area.
The Devonshire Arms at Middle Handley
The Devonshire Arms is a family run and truly local village pub situated in the heart of the countryside in the beautiful village of Middle Handley. Although technically Derbyshire, it’s very easily accessed from Sheffield, Chesterfield and Dronfield. The 18th century country inn has been sympathetically renovated and light and airy.
The main bar area is situated within the original part of the pub which dates back over 150 years. The bar is open all day from morning coffee to late-night Gin & Tonics. Open fires and under floor heating create a warm and cosy atmosphere.
The bar area is also dog friendly with a water bowl and treats available. Read our review of breakfast at The Devonshire Arms in Middle Handley.
Bar area at The Bluebell South Wingfield
The Bluebell is a smart, modern gastro pub with a light and airy restaurant (and I am a huge fan of the food – read why here) but the bar area is lovely and cosy.
Dogs are welcome outside and in the bar area with plentiful water bowls and treats available (but note not the restaurant).
The Scotsman’s Pack, Hathersage
The Scotsman’s Pack in Hathersage is a wonderful example of a traditional country inn. Cosy up by the real fires – perfect after a day’s hiking in the Peak District. Read my recent review.
The Barley Mow, Bonsall (near Cromford and Matlock)
The Barley Mow is a small, family run and proudly independent free house with its own microbrewery on-site. Situated in the beautiful Derbyshire Dales village of Bonsall, the pub enjoys a beautiful setting and is the perfect pitstop during or after one of the many local country walks. Warm up by the real fire. There’s a quirky, bohemian vibe and the décor is as eclectic as the clientele. There’s live music every Saturday in the Rock’n’Roll Cabaret Bordello, their mad red marquee. Well behaved dogs are welcome in the pub. Read my review of the Barley Mow.
Cosy pubs in Derbyshire – as recommended by the Lovely Local Indie community
The Old Hall Inn and The Paper Mill in Chinley
These sister pubs are some of the cosiest pubs in Derbyshire. Third generation family run, award winning ale houses. The Old Hall Inn is a former Elizabethan Manor House with beautiful open fires that feels really warm and welcoming. Excellent food at very reasonable prices. And beautiful accommodation if you feel like making a weekend of it!
The sister pub, The Paper Mill also does more causal food such as pizzas and tapas and there’s a delicious looking cocktail menu.
Accessible from the Hope Valley train line from Manchester
Read my guide to the Best Derbyshire Restaurants
White Lion in Great Longstone
The White Lion is situated in a grade two listed building in the pretty village of Great Longstone in the heart of the Peak District National Park. This 18th century village pub offers home cooked, creative, locally sourced menus. There are ale taster boards to sample the quality local ales.
Dogs welcome in all areas with treats and toys available.
Yorkshire Bridge Inn, near Bamford
For a cosy pub that can be combined with seeing the beautiful Ladybower Reservoir in all its autumnal glory, try the Yorkshire Bridge Inn. Family owned and multi award winning, this traditional country inn is a short stroll from the banks of Ladybower Reservoir. Food is prepared using local produce. There’s a great choice of local ales and a decent wine list.
Royal Oak, Hurdlow
The Royal Oak is a charming country pub located near Buxton. With open fires and cosy corners this is the perfect place to relax after a bracing country walk. The Royal Oak prides itself on ‘proper food, generous portions and sensible prices’ and has an extensive menu of hearty pub fayre including some more adventurous dishes and a small tapas menu. Many of the dishes are made using local produce.
Dogs are welcome in all areas of the pub.
The Hardwick Inn is a traditional family run inn steeped in history. Situated near Hardwick Hall, the historic inn dates back to the 16th century. With period features, open fires and friendly atmosphere this is the perfect place to enjoy a meal and a drink.
Each and every meal is hand prepared on site by the chefs using local produce, much of it from local markets and farms.
Old Poets Corner, Ashover
Situated in the historic village of Ashover, The Old Poets’ Corner is a wonderful example of a traditional English pub. The pup is popular with both locals and visitors. There’s a good range of draught beers and ciders, a wine menu, artisan spirits including glorious gins. Open fires make for a wonderfully cosy environment for cold winter days and evenings. The pub is well situated for beautiful countryside walks enjoys stunning views. There’s a traditional pub grub menu plus a few vegetarian choices.
Dead Poets Inn, Holbrook
Built in 1800, The Dead Poets Inn is a delightful old world village pub. Located in the lovely village of Holbrook near Derby.
Stone flag flooring and a huge open log fire. Low hanging wooden beams and brewery memorabilia are abound, as well as nods to poets current and past to make it feel like your stepping back in time.
The Poets is a proper pub and the emphasis is on beer. You can even buy ale by the jug. There’s also a decent gin menu, single malts, wine etc.
Did I include your favourite? Is there somewhere else I need to try? Let me know your favourite pubs in Derbyshire in the comments below!
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