10 of the best pubs in Lincolnshire
With its wealth of great produce and growing reputation for real ales, it is no surprise that Lincolnshire boasts some of the best pubs in the country.
From glorious country inns in the heart of the Wolds, to chic bars in Lincoln city centre, the county has wonderful variety of establishments to offer.
There are award-winning gastro-pubs, trendy wine bars and a whole host of beam-lined taverns with roaring log fires and real ales.
And if the food, drink and rustic ambience isn’t enough you can catch live music, DJ sets and even open-air theatre from Lincolnshire’s pubs.
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Steve Renshaw secretary of the Lincoln branch of CAMRA said: “We have some great pubs both in the city and in villages, from modern places to very traditional inns.
“Lincolnshire has a great history of farming and it has a reputation for great food.
“I think more and more people are looking for quality food and drink when they visit somewhere. A lot of places are trying to make use of this and I think they are reaping the benefits as food and drink is attracting people to the county.”
Steve says the county’s pubs are also benefiting from the boom in microbreweries and real ales that is sweeping the country.
He said: “There’s a good number of new microbreweries as well as some well-established big ones and I think we mirror the pattern across the country.
“We have had quite a few start up in the last year and CAMRA have been encouraging pubs to stock them. The quality is really good.”
So whether you are heading to the beautiful stone town of Stamford or the Lincolnshire coast it seems you are guaranteed a true taste of the county wherever you go.
Here is our guide to 10 of the best pubs and bars Lincolnshire has to offer...
1. Chequers Inn, Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, Grantham
Type: Food pub
Food and drink: Superb modern British dining, real ales, draught Belgian beers, wines by the glass and over 50 whiskies.
Entertainment: Cricket matches in the summer, board games, televised sport.
Great for: A lazy lunch outside overlooking the cricket pitch and the castle in summer or cosied up near a roaring fire during winter.
Open: Monday to Saturday 12pm-11pm, Sundays 12pm-10.30pm.
The Good Pub Guide’s Lincolnshire ‘Dining Pub of the Year’, Chequers Inn offers fantastic food and drink in a relaxed setting brimming with character.
The main bar is all heavy beams, sturdy tables and leather chairs while the outdoor space offers views of Belvoir Castle and the pub’s own cricket pitch.
There is also a light and airy restaurant and a comfortable lounge area. Named as one of The Observer’s top 50 pubs for lunch, Chequers offers beautifully prepared pub favourites and inventive restaurant quality re-workings of British classics. From homemade burgers to twice cooked pork belly with glazed root vegetables and black pudding mash, you won’t be disappointed.
On the drinks front you can choose between real ales, Belgian beers, 35 wines by the glass, 50 whiskies and local fruit pressé.
2. The Jolly Brewer, Lincoln
Type: Real ale and live music pub
Food and drink: A growing range of real ales and ciders.
Entertainment: Live music, DJs, open mic nights and open-air theatre in the pub garden.
Great for: Shrugging off the mid-week blues bylistening to some of the best live music in Lincoln.
CAMRA’s pub of the year for the county, The Jolly Brewer combines a growing range of real ales and hand-pulled ciders with some of the most varied live entertainment in Lincoln.
The pub hosts a wealth of bands and DJs, an open mic night and even live theatre.
Refusing to simply ride out the recession landlady Emma Chapman took the innovative step of revamping the pub garden and using it to host open-air plays and productions during the summer months.
Designed by the customers, the garden has a heated ‘podium area’ that doubles as a stage.
Inside, visitors will find a friendly welcome and vibrant art-deco style bar.
3. The Railway Tavern, Aby, Alford
Type: Country inn
Food and drink: Home-cooked food and real ales.
Entertainment: Quiz nights, pool, themed events from Halloween parties to ‘games fortnights’and speciality food evenings.
Great for: A hearty homemade meal and a pint of local ale or two after a walk in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds.
Open: Monday-Thursday and Sunday 12pm-11pm. Saturday and Friday 12pm-12am.
Named ‘Best Community pub’ in the Midlands in the 2010 Great British Pub Awards, there is always something happening at the Railway Tavern.
From fancy dress parties to gourmet evenings and quiz nights there is something for everyone whether you are a local or just visiting the area.
A warm welcome is guaranteed, and with its real ales, open fires and wholesome food the pub is a great place to relax after a bracing walk in the Lincolnshire countryside.
4. Thornton Hunt Inn, Thornton Curtis, Ulceby
Type: Traditional pub
Food and drink: Home-cooked pub grub and real ales.
Entertainment: Monthly village nights, children’s play trail.
Great for: Getting together with the family for a leisurely Sunday lunch.
Open: From 12pm daily.
This family-friendly pub offers traditional home-cooked food made from locally sourced produce.
From Lincolnshire sausages to a ploughman’s platter with Poacher cheese the Thornton Hunt has made the very best of the county’s great ingredients.
Locally-sourced meals are flagged up on the menu and the pub was runner-up at this year’s ‘Taste of Lincolnshire Awards’.
Sunday lunches, homemade pies and desserts are a speciality although light bites are also available.
The Grade II Listed building features beams, horse brasses and a classic country inn feel while outside is a spacious garden and children’s adventure play trail.
5. Dogma, Lincoln
Type: Cocktail bar
Food and drink: An extensive cocktail list and reasonably priced food such as steaks, salads and burgers.
Entertainment: DJs and club nights.
Great for: Starting the evening with a cocktail or ending it on the dance floor.
Open: Monday to Thursday 12am-2am, Friday and Saturday 12pm-3am and Sundays 1pm-12am.
A laidback restaurant by day, a classy cocktail bar in the evening and a vibrant club at night, Dogma offers something for all occasions.
The bar offers an extensive cocktail list, imported wines and draught beers in a stylish, contemporary setting.
DJs and club nights get the party going in the evenings and there are a range of drinks offers to entice you in for a post-work drink.
6. The Tobie Norris, Stamford
Type: Gastro pub
Food and drink: Innovative Italian-inspired menu created using locally sourced ingredients. A wide variety of real ales and a well-stocked wine list.
Entertainment: Quiz nights, seasonal parties and real ale showcases.
Great for: Catching up with friends over a homemade pizza and a few real ales.
The multi award-winning Tobie Norris offers inventive food and an extensive choice of real ales in a stylish setting that is second-to-none.
The building dates back nearly 800 years and features seven beautifully refurbished rooms over three floors and a large enclosed patio.
With its wooden beams, exposed stone walls and cosy corners the sensitive renovation has taken the best of the pubs original features and given them a new lease of life.
The bar offers five real ales including one of the pubs own Ufford Ales and two regularly changing beers sourced from some of the country’s most exciting microbreweries. An extensive wine list is also available.
The excellent food gives Lincolnshire ingredients an Italian-inspired twist. The pizzas made in the pubs pizza oven are a particular favourite.
7. Village Limits, Woodhall Spa
Type: Country pub
Food and drink: Award-winning locally sourced food including fresh seafood and a good range of vegetarian options. Real ales from local breweries, extensive wine and spirit lists.
Great for: A real taste of great Lincolnshire food.
Open: Lunch 11.30pm-2pm Tuesday to Sunday and evenings from 6.30pm daily.
Named ‘Best Pub’ for the last two years at the Taste of Lincolnshire Awards the Village Limits showcases the very best produce the county has to offer.
From Poachers cheese rarebit to locally caught seafood you will find it all here.
The pride in the county’s produce even extends as far as ale from Bateman’s brewery and Dennett’s ice cream.
Not unlike its menu the pubs decor is simple but stylish and a warm welcome is guaranteed.
And not content with having Lincolnshire’s best pub Woodhall Spa was recently awarded the title of the county’s ‘Best Kept Village’.
8. Bar 67, The Lincoln Hotel, Lincoln
Type: Wine bar
Food and drink: More than 50 wines from all over the world and a range of meat and cheese platters to accompany them
Great for: A romantic drink or two.
Intimate and sophisticated Bar 67 has become a firm favourite with Lincoln’s more refined residents since reopening earlier this year.
Prior to that this cellar bar had been closed for 25 years and although updated its chic interior is unashamedly retro.
In addition to simply enjoying a drop of your favourite wine you can also buy a "virtual bottle" where you get 6 glasses of wine for £15. You can choose from a selection - even sampling six different wines if you wish.
The meat and cheese platters provide a perfect accompaniment.
Beers and sprits are also available and the bar features a number of intimate booths which can be reserved in advance.
9. The King's Head, Tealby, Market Rasen
Type: Gastro pub
Food and drink: Outstanding locally sourced British classics with a twist. Real ales and an extensive wine.
Great for: A special occasion with friends and family..
Open: Monday to Saturday 12pm-2.30pm 6pm-9pm for food and Sunday 12pm-5pm.
Brenda and Brian McFarlane took over this charming thatched pub and have transformed it into a top quality dining destination.
The King’s Head was named ‘Best Dining Pub’ in the Midlands at the Great British Pub Awards after wowing judges with its mixture of inventive modern British dishes and pub classics.
Favourites include the 12 hour roasted Lincolnshire beef and locally caught fish and chips but it was the homemade fish pie that particularly impressed. Situated in the pretty village of Tealby the pub offers a warm and friendly welcome to locals and visitors alike and is thought to be the county’s oldest thatched inn.
10. The Wheatsheaf Inn, Hubberts Bridge, Boston
Type: Traditional pub
Food and drink: Home-cooked pub grub and real ales.
Entertainment: Live music, beer festivals.
Great for: A hearty lunch after exploring Boston and the surrounding area or catching some live local music in the evening.
With its pleasant water-side location, warm welcome and homecooked pub grub it is no surprise that the Wheatsheaf is seen as something of a hidden gem in this part of the world.
A fixture in the Good Beer Guide the pub offers a range of real ales and goes to great lengths to source its food locally.
The Wheatsheaf beer festival has become increasingly popular and the pub also hosts regular live music.