Just because summer is starting to give way to autumn doesn’t mean that we don’t have plenty of pub beer garden time left. We Brits like to squeeze every moment we can out of our beautiful pub beer gardens, and a chill in the air won’t stop us. There are many young families in the gorgeous town of Cheltenham in the Cotswolds, some live here and others are visiting, but either way, a question that I always hear being banded about is where are the best, most family-friendly pubs. We want to keep the children entertained and perhaps even get to have a catch-up and a natter with friends.
We’ve sampled a lot of these pubs and are here to give you a rundown of our favourites.
1. The Plough, Prestbury
A gorgeous country pub just on the outskirts of Cheltenham in the village of Prestbury, The Plough is probably our favourite family-friendly spot to take the kids to if you are after a nice pint in a beer garden while the kids can play. This little gem is hidden away and doesn’t seem to attract the numbers that some of the other pubs do meaning it is often really quiet so your kids can have free rein of the park and you can have a drink in peace. There is an an enclosed play area with a climbing frame and a little Wendy house, and the beer garden itself is a decent size for children to play in and very pretty for a drink for the oldies.
2. The House In The Tree, Cheltenham
Another beer garden that has to top the list is The House In The Tree. The play area here is spot on and will definitely keep the kids entertained, and on the other side of the pub is an animal area where your little ones can say hello to various small animals, also a winner. The pub itself is fine, food is your normal pub offerings, but the space for the kids is really fantastic and makes it very family friendly.
3. The Royal Oak, Gretton
A beautiful pub in the village of Gretton, a 15-minute drive out of Cheltenham has fabulous food, and a gorgeous drinks menu and the views from the pub out across the surrounding countryside are just breathtaking. Although this pub misses a trick by not having an actual children’s playground (they did use to have a rickety old thing but this has recently been ripped down) they have a huge expanse of grass (basically a field) for the kids to run wild in which makes it really family-friendly, and it is far enough away from other pub goers that they really can scream, shout and run around to their heart’s content, perfect. You might even see a steam train puffing along the tracks that run not far from the pub, always a treat for little ones.
4. The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham
The Bath Road in Cheltenham is home to The Exmouth Arms, a lovely pub that is always busy and has a really good-sized, very well-enclosed beer garden. There are often events and fun things going on to get involved in and because this is a popular area for families there are always children at this pub. Although there is no specific playground, there is plenty of space for your children to play in and you’ll usually find them making friends with some of the other children hanging out there too.
5. The Apple Tree, Woodmancote
Tucked away in the sweet village of Woodmancote, not far from the large village of Bishops Cleeve you’ll find The Apple Tree. A lovely, family-friendly pub with a great beer garden out the back that has a children’s climbing area at the bottom. Because of its location in a village, there are always children here playing and the area is very well enclosed so you’ll have no worries about children wandering off.
6. The Royal, Charlton Kings
In the sort-after village of Charlton Kings on the edge of Cheltenham, you’ll find The Royal, a real local pub that is nicely done out, offers great food and has a really decent-sized beer garden that is always full of kids and feels super family-friendly. There isn’t a play area for them specifically but there is lots of outdoor space to play and always other children around to play with.
Hopefully, you’ve gained some inspiration for family trips to the pub, Having never been too worried about doing this I’ve visited quite a few and tend to find that as long as there is some nice open space to play then children will find fun wherever they go. Avoid places that are quiet and feel more adult, you’ll only feel uncomfortable because of all the glares you get from annoyed adults. Pack wisely too, colouring books and pens, small table toys, or even a ball if there is a lot of outdoor space. Don’t feel that just because you’ve become a parent you can no longer enjoy an afternoon at the pub, it’s just not true!