The Crown and Anchor
Situated in a pretty Wiltshire village , on the edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, local pubs don't get much better than Ham's Crown & Anchor. Newly reopened in 2019, it ticks all the boxes a proper 21st century pub should – welcoming dogs, walkers and cyclists and serving local ales and excellent food; it even has some cosy rooms upstairs to collapse into at the end of the evening.
The pub has been completely refurbished following a brief period as an Indian restaurant and is all the better for it – quite as cosy as a pub should be, with flagstone floors scattered with antique carpets, a curved wooden bar, a fireplace with a wood-burner and oak panelled walls. Artworks range from old photographs to contemporary pieces by local artists, and are surrounded by the sort of comfortable mismatched furniture that urges you to take the weight off, order a pint and pick up a newspaper, while on hot summer days the terrace at the back of the pub beckons.
The pub offers a good selection of local ales, including its own locally brewed bitter, and the short, moderately priced menu is a perfect blend of local, seasonal and above all British dishes but with a modern twist – bar snacks like spicy lamb scotch eggs, Brixham crab and shrimp ravioli, lovely local partridge and venison along with classics like fish and chips and pithivier pie. There are eight individually furnished, very comfortable en-suite bedrooms, each named after a nearby farm and equipped with a Hypnos mattresses and good quality linen, Freeview TVs, tea- and coffee-making facilities, fresh milk and water and good wifi. The newly refurbished bathrooms are simple and elegant, with reclaimed wooden doors and decent showers (only one has a bath), and are provided with 100 Acre toiletries in eco-friendly sizes. Dogs are allowed in all rooms and get treats, a blanket and a dog bowl.
Finally the location, which is the West Country, but only just, midway between Newbury and Marlborough and well placed for visiting Wiltshire's many highlights, from Avebury, Stonehenge and Salisbury to the gorgeous Vale of Pewsey and the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle. It's also a perfect location for enjoying country walks, with three three long-distance footpaths nearby and a great cycle route too. City folk take note – this is is the perfect Friday night escape: you can be here in around an hour and a half from London and once here you won't want to go back. We guarantee it!
RoomsEight very comfortable double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms – all upstairs.
Opening TimesOpen all year.
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