When it’s cold or rainy outside, there’s nothing better than finding a comfy corner in a traditional pub.

Here are a few of our favourite places to get snug in the colder months. 

The Cottage Inn

Come rain or shine, it's hard to beat the view across the harbour from The Cottage. On colder days, pull up a seat in the window, order some comforting pub grub and watch the boats go by. If you find yourself at the other end of the Floating Harbour, its sister pub The Ostrich is also a welcome retreat from the elements.

The Cottage Inn - credit A Pattenden
Image: The Cottage

Highbury Vaults

Nestled at the top of St Michaels Hill, charming wood-pannelled pub The Highbury Vaults has plenty of cosy corners to tuck yourself into, plus bar billiards, board games and a heated garden. Look out for the train set that winds its way around the pub too!

Lock Keeper

Betwee Bristol and Bath on the riverside, the Lock Keeper in Keynsham has a warm covered terrace for the winter months, and a Sunday roast.

Covered terrace at The Lock Keeper in Keynsham - credit Youngs, The Lock Keeper
Image - Lock Keeper

The Volunteer Tavern

This small pub near Cabot Circus manages to pack in a lot, including a great range of beers, a brilliant menu of pub classics, a heated garden and beer festivals throughout the year.

The Barley Mow

Small but perfectly formed, The Barley Mow just behind Temple Meads manages to offer an impressive 18 beers on keg and cask as well as an award-winning food menu. Run by Bristol Beer Factory, you can always guarantee a fine selection of craft beers, with local breweries being especially well represented.

Covered terrace at The Lock Keeper in Keynsham - credit Youngs, The Lock Keeper
Image: The Barley Mow

The Three Tuns

Just a short distance from Bristol Cathedral, The Three Tuns is a popular haunt for locals and visitors alike. They get particularly busy for their Pub Quiz and Irish Nights, so get there early.

The Bell 

This pub may look traditional in many ways, but the DJ decks in the corner of the room, graffiti murals and snazzy sign out front give an indication that there's more than initially meets the eye. The Bell is very popular among Stokes Croft locals, whether it be for its tasty roast dinners, comfy corners, dancing at the weekends or its sunny garden during summer. 

Interior of The Bell in Stokes Croft, Bristol - credit The Bell
Image: The Bell

The Royal Navy Volunteer

Situated on King Street, arguably Bristol's best street for beer lovers (also home to Small Bar and King Street Brew House among several others), The Royal Navy Volunteer oozes history throughout its maze of rooms, set across several floors leading up to a heated roof terrace.

The Cadbury

Boasting some of the best pub grub and beers in this corner of Bristol, The Cadbury is one of the must-visit spots in the bohemian neighbourhood of Montpelier - it also has an all-important fireplace! 

The Hatchet

One of the oldest pubs in the city, The Hatchet has a long and fascinating history (mentioned in this historic pub crawl guide) which is obvious from the moment you walk in. Take a seat with a pint and soak up the stories from the ages.

Interior of The Hatchet, Bristol - credit The Hatchet
Image: The Hatchet

The Port of Call

From the outside this cute pub looks like something from a Cornish fishing village, on a steep and windy street in Clifton. Take a seat in front of their log burner on colder nights and soak up the atmosphere.

Ring O' Bells

A warm and welcoming village pub dating from the 16th century, this pub has plenty of original features and a large fireplace for you to admire while tucking into Sunday lunch or one of their other pub classics from the menu.

Interior of Ring O' Bells pub in Compton Martin near Bristol - credit The Ring O'Bells
Image: Ring O' Bells

The Bowl Inn

An historic pub dating back to the 12th century, The Bowl in Almondsbury has plenty of original features for you to admire while you're enjoying some classic pub grub, from exposed beams to a roaring fireplace.

The Queens Chew Magna

This quaint country pub has a great range of drinks and traditional food on offer, and is the perfect place to stop off after a walk around Chew Valley Lake. The Queens also has several rooms above the pub if you want to stay the night.

Exterior of The Queens Chew Magna near Bristol - credit The Queens Chew Magna
Image - The Queens Chew Magna

The Albion

Tucked down a side street in scenic Clifton Village, The Albion is a great choice to enjoy an evening by their roaring fire, especially if you've spent the day sightseeing at the nearby Clifton Suspension Bridge or are heading to a show at The Redgrave Theatre.

The Bank Tavern

Tucked down a small street in the Old City, The Bank is famous for doing the best roast dinner in Bristol (they have a three-year waiting list!) as well as a menu of pub favourites throughout the week. Take a seat in one of their comfy booths and settle in for the evening with one of their well-kept cask ales - a pint can easily turn into a few here! 

The Golden Guinea

Located on the same street as the alleged birthplace of Edward Teach, AKA Blackbeard (which is why it's the starting point for the Blood, Blackbeard and Buccaneers walking tour), The Golden Guinea fuses old and new within its 18th Century walls. Inside you'll find an impressive range of local and international beers, street art-inspired prints and a range of music events throughout the week.

Interior of The Golden Guinea in Redcliffe, Bristol - credit The Golden Guinea
Image: The Golden Guinea

The Christmas Steps

Set across three floors yet somehow managing to take up less space than most pubs, The Christmas Steps is a quirky and loveable pub which manages to do many things well, from food and drink through to DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. 

The Inn on the Green

A huge old coaching inn at the top of Gloucester Road in Horfield, The Inn on the Green is well known for its food, fireplace and friendly country pub vibe. Dogs are welcome, so it's a great place to stop after a wintery walk with your four-legged friend.  

The Lion

This pub is the neighbourhood hub for colourful Cliftonwood, perfect for a restorative drink and bite to eat after admiring the rainbow houses nearby and views to the harbour below.

Colourful houses along Church Lane in Cliftonwood - credit Jess Siggers
Image - The Lion in Cliftonwood, credit Jess Siggers

Some bonus mentions for these not-quite pubs, but very cosy bars all the same!

  • The Strawberry Thief - modelling itself on the relaxed feel of European bars, with an extensive range of Belgian and UK craft beers.
  • Racks - a sprawling cellar bar which shows sports throughout the week and has a great range of deals on food and drink.
  • Hyde and Co - a hidden cocktail bar with a huge whisky selection.
  • Smoke and Mirrors - Bristol's very own magic bar, tucked into a side street behind Bristol Hippodrome.
  • The Old Bookshop - One of Bedminster's most popular hangouts, this bar is packed with character including in its heated back garden.
  • The Rummer - This historic bar has one of the city's best spirit collections (and a gin distillery downstairs!), as well as a huge fireplace.
  • Chance and Counters - A boardgame cafe with a difference, you can also tuck into tasty food and local beers and avoid the cold weather.

Stage and seating in bar - credit Smoke and Mirrors
Image - Smoke and Mirrors 

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