Top 10 ‘Muddy’ pub names we stumbled across

Thursday, July 02nd, 2020

As a nation marks the reopening of pubs with a pint and pack of pork scratchings, we thought it a suitable opportunity to don our beer goggles and take a look at the Top 10 ‘muddiest’ country pub names out there.

We’ve steered clear of The Plough – now the fifth most popular name for a pub in England – and the likes of The Wheatsheaf, Black Horse and the many connotations of Bull – and there isn’t a Three Horseshoes anyone on our list…

So in no particular stumbling order, we start in muddy Maidstone…

The Dirty Habit Country Pub (Hollingbourne)
Maidstone may not conjure up images of chocolate box views and roaring open fires but this centuries-deep rooted country pub has bags of charm. A short walk from Leeds Castle on the Pilgrims Way, it’s rumoured The Dirty Habit was a monks ale and cider house in the 11th century and even put up King James II whilst escaping the country to France.

The Impeccable Pig (Sedgefield)
The website tells us to expect Swills and Thrills at this old brick coachhouse set in a stone courtyard. In fact, they have really hammed up the pig punnary so much they need an impressive array of local real ale on tap and a never ending wine list to distract us – and that’s exactly what they serve up. We would indeed be as ‘happy as a pig in muck’ to find ourselves in the cosy snug next to the open fire.

The Drunken Duck (Ambleside)
A staple on ‘Top 10s’ of novel pub names, The Drunken Duck in Barngates, Ambleside does everything you would expect of a renowned pub in the very muddy heart of the Lakes; sweeping vistas, roaring fires, wellies on the welcome mat and wholesome fare, including a decent ploughmans. The ‘Duck’ even has its own onsite brewery meaning your freshly brewed pint has as low a carbon footprint as the come.

The Milkhouse (Sissinghurst)
If Tudor fireplaces and timber beams are your thing then the Milkhouse in the picturesque Kentish village of Sissinghurst will be right up your street; you could almost smell the mead. A former 16th century hall house serving local cask ale and wins from the area’s renowned vineyards, the aptly named ‘Grazing Menu’ is well worth a look on a summer’s evening out on the terrace.

The Moody Cow (Ross on Wye)
There’s much debate about the controversial name (PR stunt?) but modern meets traditional in the beautiful Wye Valley at the Moody Cow deep in the Herefordshire countryside. The T-shaped bar, original slate floors and brick-blown sandstone walls bring rustic character to this tucked away country pub. The ales are ‘well kept’ and the food is classic and well done to 5* Michelin plate standard.

The Golden Pheasant (Lower Farringdon)
Affectionately known by the locals as the cheeky Pheasant Plucker, and previously trading under the much less muddy title of The Royal Oak (yawn), The Golden Pheasant boasts a number of local awards for his traditional country pub feel in Hampshire. What it lacks in kerb appeal is made up by a decent atmosphere.

The Muddy Duck Pub (Hethe)
Slap bang in the beating heart of the village of Hethe, just north of Bicester, the Muddy Duck has a reputation for delivering excellent grub and grog and their website promises some ‘eye raising’ extras from the foodie owners! With an online photo gallery and social media covered in wellies and, obviously, ducks, this one feels right up our street – and the open fire pizza oven definitely helps ?.

The Bull & Spectacles (Blithbury)
Once known as the more mundane Bull’s Head, local legend has it the landlord changed its name after a drunken man climbed up the pub and bravely put his glasses on the bull in the pub sign (where was health and safety). The building itself is a rural inn dating back to 1650 and is said to be haunted by three ghosts.

The Snooty Fox (Tetbury)
There are over 250 pubs across Britain with a foxy edge to their name – with the Fox and Hounds being in the top 10 – but this Tetbury pub stands alone. Thank goodness it changed its name from the uninspired White Hart. Rumour has it the owner fell out with the Beaufort Hunt, renamed the pub to their alarm and put a stuffed fox by the doorway. Well, who wouldn’t!

The Wellington Heifer (Ainderby Steeple)
When it comes to survival of the fittest, this 18th century coaching inn in North Yorkshire is the Bear Grylls of the local pub scene. The ‘Heifer’ is last man standing on three original taverns in the small village of Ainderby Steeple. Now under new ownership, it’s all systems go for a returning to former glories as a quality local with a warm Yorkshire welcome.

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