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24 fab Northants summer pubs

Town centre pubs, country pubs, foodie pubs, drinkie pubs and even a sport pub. Check out where to go when the sun's out

The weather has been very kind and it looks like it’s expected to stay for a few weeks (touch wood), so what more perfect way to spend a few hours soaking up the rays and enjoying a drink, than in one of Northamptonshire’s pub gardens. Some of these you may have already been to and some hidden gems you may not know about yet. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, so grab the sunnies, order in the pints and pop on down!

Whyte Melville, Boughton

This pub in the quaint village of Boughton has a great walled beer garden and terrace, which means plenty of seating for all of the friends and fam. The modern, arty decor is casual and cool. Try a scoop of vanilla fudge brownie or raspberry ripple ice cream as an added treat to cool off and cleanse the palate between those drinks.

The Tollemache Arms, Harrington

This is one for the gin fanatics as this pub’s house gin, Warner Edwards, is produced just 200 yards away. So get yourself a G&T, (the drinks are worth an Insta snap) and sit in their cosy garden knowing that your tipple is truly local and probably being distilled as you sip. Plus, the pub’s been a Muddy Award winner numerous times.

The Four Pears, Little Houghton

This pub/bistro has a cute courtyard garden to enjoy drinks and also a gazebo (definitely reserve a table as it can get busy). So stop by this classic English village to enjoy some Al fresco dining and drinks with their tapas style menu perfect for sharing with pals. They used to have a sticky beef salad which ticked that Asian fusion box very nicely; maybe ask if they’ve still got it on the menu.

The Old Cherry Tree, Great Houghton

Little Houghton’s sister village, this pub in Great Houghton is a perennial fave for the summer. Enjoy a beer (or two) with the plethora of platters on offer. With all locally sourced ales, the pub epitomises a classic, laid back and locally loved English pub. If it’s a beer garden you’re searching for, the Houghton duo have it covered.

Cromwell Cottage, Kislingbury

A modern interior with a seasonal pub menu, this pub is also good for drinks outside. It’s 2 for £10 on cocktails from Monday- Friday, and Muddy intern Ciaran’s fave is the candy floss cocktail…he says it literally tastes of sugary heaven. They also have a 3-page spread of G&Ts on offer, perfect to slurp in the hot weather.

The White Horse, Old

If you’re looking for a large and lovely beer garden step forward The White Horse. It is a hit amongst locals and boasts a luscious green garden overlooking the church. Their annual Beer and Cider fest in late August is a must, with live music and a great atmosphere year upon year – tickets available here.

The Navigation, Stoke Bruerne

A pub where you can stroll along the canal in the summer sun before sipping a bev – sound good? It’s not what you’d call a gastro pub, but the Navigation has a spacious beer garden and patio overlooking the water, and they have mains on offer from £5 Monday- Friday if you’re after cheap and cheerful. With ice coffee becoming the latest summer trend, try their Espresso Martini for a satisfying caffeine (and alcohol) fix. After all, it’s far too hot for just a normal coffee.

The Overstone Arms, Pytchely

Fancy a classic English village pub? This one has a countryside feel with a sizeable orchard garden where you can enjoy a selection of lager and real ales, and there’s an outdoor play area so you can enjoy that well-earned pint in peace! The menu is varied from tapas, hearty British pub classics to something a little more special for the evenings.

The Sun Inn, Hardingstone

Nestled into the picturesque village of Hardingstone, this Muddy fave excels at hospitality.  The food is great, and the menu changes on a weekly basis, as does the selection of local ales.  I particularly love this Pub, because the team there are so friendly and attentive, and the food and drink on offer is really good for a local pub.  The outside area is dog friendly, with a small playground at the back for the kids to enjoy, giving the grown ups a bit of space.  The Sun Inn is a real community pub, where everyone is welcome.

The Aviator, Sywell Aerodrome

The Aviator at Sywell has by far one of the most interesting gardens we’ve seen. Overlooking the bustling airfield this is a particularly quirky place to enjoy a lovely lunch out! With a 1930’s Art Deco theme, springing from its history of being an officer’s mess, the Aviator has a very different kind of atmosphere (maybe to do with its heritage?) with aeroplane engines roaring by as you imbibe! Covered terraces are available if the sun gets too much (or rain, of course!) and you can always go inside to the wooden, 30’s style booths (with a dry martini) should it all get too much. Dogs are welcome in the garden if they like planes.

Red Lion, Brafield on the green

Tucked away in the idyllic Northamptonshire countryside, The Red Lion lies at the very heart of Brafield-on-the-Green. Muddy first visited this pub on a snowy day in December and could have been forgiven for driving past the darkened beer garden, which really does bloom in the summer months.  The idyllic surrounds – a lush lawn enclosed with hedgerow – are a lovely backdrop for the tasty offerings. The Menu is full to bursting with gorgeous bistro fare; definitely worth a visit for the foodies.

The Department of Meat and Social Affairs, Northampton

Dept Meat

Photo courtesy of Northampton Gent

Something a bit different, this pub/club has a cute little garden where you can indulge in a burger and a milkshake from their American diner style menu. With pretty sterling burgers and such, you can enjoy a meal while shopping (the pub is set in the heart of Northampton centre) and is a lovely place to enjoy an afternoon in the sun while the hustle and bustle of town roars by outside. The garden also includes table tennis to keep the more active members of the family entertained; it’s also a goodie for teenagers.

Greyhound, Milton Malsor

This beautiful traditional English country pub can be found in the picturesque village of Milton Malsor. It offers indoor seating, but if you want to enjoy their food and drink outside, there’s a large beer garden with tree-lined lawns and a duck pond that dates to the 16th century. Their menu is bursting with delicious options perfect for either lunch or dinner, and they have some tasty specials to choose from too. The Greyhound is full of history and once served home brewed ales to the local community. Whether it’s dining alfresco or toasting in the sun, just find your table and enjoy the rays. You can also get 3 for 2 on all of their summer gins and 2 for £7 on selected bottles and ciders, wahey!  

The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton

Recently voted County Pub of the Year 2019 (well done!), The Charles Bradlaugh is a cool pub located in the Town Centre with a fantastic food and drink menu. It often hosts live entertainment from DJ’s and musicians and quiz nights and not only that, they have a large beer garden to enjoy the rays, with a covered section just in case it gets a little too warm. Seeing as it’s located in the Town Centre this makes a perfect spot for an early evening drink before hitting the town.  

The Red Lion, Cranford

We had to give this pub a mention as not only is it just lovely with a great beer garden to enjoy, it was voted best destination pub in our 2019 Muddy awards, well done guys! So, what’s all the fuss about? Head Chef & Proprietors have over 50 years combined experience between them, so you know you’re going to have a lovely time here enjoying their great food, and drink options are all served with passion and a smile. The pub is located in Cranford, a quaint village near Kettering which has been around since the 1700’s. The pub uses local produce, recycles and up-cycles when and where they can and prides itself on being an ECO-local pub. The outdoor seating is spacious and is in the middle of a revamp to be showcased in July. Watch this space.

The Narrow Boat, Weedon

This is a family run pub sat on the pretty bank-side of the Grand Union Canal in Weedon. It’s a pub/restaurant and has several rooms for you to stay over if you get a little too carried away on the drinks one summer evening (don’t worry, we won’t judge). Regular events from live music and entertainment are regularly held here and it’s dog friendly (even the rooms!) so you can bring them along to enjoy the sunshine. Oh, and the last time we visited the food was amazing!

The Coach & Horses, Wellingborough

This is a real local pub with a large beer garden and a HUGE drinks selection. It also hosts regular events such as live music and entertainment in their bespoke, outdoor covered area built for bands. It’s strictly over 18 to get in, so no kids, should you be looking for a bit more of a grown up feel (be sure to bring your I.D. if you’re graced with young looks)! The pub has a real community and local feel and is definitely one to try out if you’re in the Wellingborough area.

Tap & Kitchen, Oundle

This waterside gem is a bit of London cosmopolitan in a historic Northamptonshire market town. It’s a buzzing bar where you can catch up with your girlfriends over several Mojitos or a dimly lit restaurant you can go to on date three. The food is touted as unpretentious and honest, simply cooked with ingredients that are sourced locally. The menu is changed daily so there’s always a fresh dish to try and the manager loves his food, so you know you’re onto a winner. The outdoor area looking over the water is perfect for when the sun is shining, and the industrial, contemporary building compliments Oundle’s more historic landscapes. Walk around the canal for a post-meal stroll and we guarantee you’ll be back.

Brampton Halt, Chapel Brampton

Located on the Brampton Way historic railway line, this countryside beauty is great for sun-soaking and enjoying the summer fun. It has fab views over the lake and always has a good mix of people taking in the scenery. It’s the perfect setting for BBQs, fireworks and family events (dogs are allowed at the bar so the whole clan can enjoy their events). The extensive menu has decent pub food, but it’s the outdoor space that makes this a winner. So glorious is the al fresco option, the pub even has its own festivals.

The Britannia, Northampton

Nestled away on the banks of the River Nene, The Britannia not only has a decent food and drink menu to enjoy, but when the sun’s out, go waterside in their beer garden. The River Nene passes through with canal boats often making a pitstop for a libation. The menu has tasty, traditional options and a large wine and ale selection. The Britannia is close to Northampton and some attractions, including Abington Park and Northampton Museum & Art Gallery. There is a special summer menu running from 4th June – 26th August, so be sure to check that out, plus they also have their very own doggy ice-cream by their friends at Marshfields Farm, who have made sure your four-legged friends can enjoy a treat in the shade.  

Old House, Northampton

If a quiet, village pub isn’t your thing, The Old House on the Wellingborough Road might just be for you. It’s a popular English Pub & Kitchen, sat on a corner of the road, and is only a short walk into town, perfect for a first stop on your weekend night out. The Old House delivers on coolness with their open fireplaces, seating booths, chequerboard tiles and vintage soft furnishings inside the Victorian building. And not only do they have a large indoor seating and dining area, when the sun’s out, you can sit outside in their beer garden, which has a great buzz and atmosphere on those summer evenings. They offer a good selection of food using high quality ingredients with daily specials and hot bar options if you’re just snacking; plus they have a vegan menu too. They also offer Sunday Roasts, afternoon tea and an array of wines, cocktails, beers and spirits.

The Fox & Hounds, Harlestone

In the middle of a total revamp, The Fox and Hounds is a hugely popular pub set to become even more busy when it unveils its new sophisticated décor (think brass finishes, wooden tones and a few more visual aesthetics). They’ve been teasing us on social media with new menu updates and the food looks VERY good. Their beer garden has always been popular with customers as it’s tucked away with large trees surrounding it; so if you fancy a visit, they’re open again Saturday 13th July! We reckon it will be worth the wait.

The Pomfret Arms, Cotton End

I don’t think we could ignore this one if we tried, everyone seems to love a bit of The Pomfret Arms. No wonder, as it’s always got an event on, from live music to garden parties and has a popular garden, perfect for the summer weather. The garden’s just bursting with beautiful plants and sets the scene for a real quirky urban courtyard mixed with a picturesque village garden. It’s also packed full of colour throughout the seasons and has a ray of woodland flowers and horse-chestnut trees that you can hide under to get into the shade. The great thing is, it’s only a short walk into the town centre so this is a great spot to enjoy some pre-drink tipples before a summer night out, (a real hidden gem).

Abington Pub, Abington

This is a sport friendly boozer really, so we’ve added in case sport’s your, or your partners thing. Sat right next to the beautiful Abington Park, which gets really popular over the summer months with their live music in the band tents, this pub is close by and has a garden too. There’s a pool table you can let your teens enjoy a game or two whilst you kick back the gins and catch up with friends or family before visiting the park. The pub also hosts regular events from live music to beer pong championships so check out their socials for what’s on.


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