Albion Ale House, Conwy

Voted CAMRA's North Wales pub of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016, the listed 1920s Albion Ale House has rave reviews on TripAdvisor and is a serious beer drinker's nirvana. The pleasing result of a collaboration of four Welsh craft breweries (Purple Moose, Conwy, Nant and Great Orme) the Albion is low on pretension and high on comfort and contentment. And when you've drunk that last drop, you'll have Britain's best-preserved walled town – the walls of the World Heritage site of Conwy – to explore.

Brown's Hotel, Laugharne

You can't put together a list of Welsh pubs without referencing poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, so one of Thomas' favoured watering holes, Brown's Hotel, had to make the grade. It's said that Thomas befriended landlady Ivy Thomas, and she supplied him with stories and gossip, which ended up as source material for Under Milk Wood. But Thomas isn't the only famous patron of this Laugharne pub. Over the decades U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, Elizabeth Taylor, Patti Smith and Mick Jagger have all swung by for a pint. 

Stackpole Inn, Pembroke 

Within spitting distance of the Stackpole Estate, the Bosherton Lily Ponds and the heavenly Barafundle Bay and Broadhaven South beach, the picture-postcard perfect Stackpole Inn has got as many awards as it's got barrels. The good news is there's no need for a designated driver. Book yourself one of the beautifully serene bedrooms to complete the country pub idyll.

Bessies, Pontfaen

If you're looking for an eccentric night out then look no further than Bessies (aka The Dyffryn Arms). A 'pub' like no other, Bessies is a simple room in the front of a house that is the stuff of Welsh pub folklore legend. The beer is poured from a jug and tastes like proper ale should. You'll love it or hate it, but it will certainly be an experience. '

People playing instruments inside a pub.
People playing instruments inside a pub.
exterior of blue public house with man sat on a bench playing instrument.

Bessies, Pontfaen, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Black Boy Inn, Caernarfon

Dating back to 1522 the Black Boy Inn is one of the oldest-surviving inns in North Wales and has been a mainstay of town life for almost 500 years. Sitting within the medieval walls of Caernarfon, a few hundred yards from Caernarfon Castle, the pub (which also has numerous rooms to stay in) has the kind of homely, old-school atmosphere (think nooks, crannies, beams, wood burning stoves) you'd hope for from a pub that pulled its first pint when Henry VIII was on the throne.

interior of old public house with walls decorated with beer mats and barrel tables.

Black Boy Inn, Caernarfon, North Wales

Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen

It's been named as one of the best beach bars in the world and you can only reach it on foot. Or by boat. With USPs like that it's hardly surprising that the Ty Coch Inn on the Llŷn Peninsula is rightly regarded as one of Wales' top public houses. The pub sits in the shadow of the Snowdonia National Park on National Trust-owned land overlooking the Irish Sea, so it's fair to say that it enjoys natural beauty in abundance, come rain or shine. In fact it's probably even better when the weather is atrocious, it all adds to that feeling of being ever so slightly marooned. 

Couple sitting on a wall enjoying a drink outside the Ty Coch Inn.
backs of two people sat on wall, with view of the sea.
Couple walking on beach at Porthdinllaen.

 Ty Coch Inn on the Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales

Corn Mill, Llangollen

Located on the picturesque banks of the River Dee, the Corn Mill boasts serious #views. The cleverly-restored watermill has retained much of the building's old machinery, including the huge waterwheel (which still turns), and the raised deck at the front overlooks the rushing rapids below, which really come into their own when the weather is wet. Over the other side of the river, steam trains come and go from the beautifully-restored station on the standard gauge Llangollen Railway.

The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Abergavenny

Pub fans with a taste for the noir should check out the Skirrid Mountain Inn, which dates back to at least 1100 (giving it a rank among the oldest pubs in the UK). In a previous life it served as a court room that saw 200 convicts executed by hanging over the stairwell. It was also used by Welsh warrior prince Owain Glyndwr as a rallying point for his men. As a result, tales of hauntings are commonplace. Fast forward a few hundred years and the atmosphere is warm and engaging, the surroundings spectacular and the menus and selection of real ales well worth getting goosebumps for.

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