Top 10 - winter-warmer pubs in Suffolk and Essex

The inviting fire at the Sun Inn, Dedham

The inviting fire at the Sun Inn, Dedham - Credit: Archant

It may not be the coldest of winters but you can still find an excuse to pop down to one of our county's top winter-warmer pubs and enjoy a pint of Suffolk’s finest ales beside the roaring fire.

Here we reveal Suffolk’s top 10 winter-warmer pubs - but if you think we have missed a hidden gem, feel free to share your thoughts below.

The Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe Ferry

Look out the window of Ferry Boat Inn at this time of year and you will find it difficult not to shiver.

Sat right on the headland at Old Felixstowe, the pub looks across the River Deben to Bawdsey.

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Inside, the pub is warm and welcoming and has a woodburning fire in the centre of the pub to thaw you out on a cold winter’s day

And the food and drink is pretty good as well!

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King’s Head in Laxfield

Unlike most pubs, the King’s Head at Laxfield doesn’t have a bar – it has a tap room instead, which makes it rather quirky.

It also has a snug area, with a fire (which is left in the hands of the customers to tend to), and on a cold winter evening it is rare to see a vacant seat. You end up with all different groups, and their dogs, sitting around the fire together.

The Black Horse, Thorndon

This is the quintessential rural British pub, complete with a roaring fire place, oak beams and a selection of delicious ales – including Strummer and Skiffle brewed in the village by Shorts Farm Brewery.

Food is also a major attraction with the Sunday carvery pulling in visitors from far afield.

The Sun Inn, Dedham

After cycling around Dedham’s vales or boating on the River Stour, The Sun Inn is the perfect place to warm up after a long day out in the fresh air.

Independently owned and run since 2003, this Elizabethan style inn is settled in the heart of the village.

It’s a great place to visit during a day out with all the family, as children and dogs can play in the walled gardens while you sink in to squashy sofas, drinking coffee or wine and watching one of the three open fires flickering away merrily.

The Sweffling White Horse

Spot in the middle of nowehere, this quaint fireside pub is totally unique.

It feels so homely, it’s like being in your front room. Drinks are served through a tap room door rather than an actual bar, and they serve real ales locally brewed.

They also have a selection of boardgames and a piano to entertain the locals.

Plus the intimate nature means it is perfect for unplugged, intimate gigs, of which there are many.

The White Hart in Tuddenham

Located near Bury St Edmunds, this age-old pub has a crackling open fire that roars away in the witner months,

It offers a warm and friendly welcome, amazing home cooked food and constantly changing guest beers...what more could you ask for?

The Moon and Mushroom Inn, Swilland

Recognised for its outstanding quality of food and cask ales, the intriguingly named Moon and Mushroom Freehouse in Swilland has been awarded the Suffolk Pub of The Year Award on two separate occasions by the Ipswich Star, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Sit back and relax in front of the crackling open fire with a selection of locally sourced ales from brewers in East Anglia including the Nethergate Old Growler, Woodfords NogAle and Buffy’s Norfolk Terrier. The Inn dates back to the 16th Century and is a proper traditional English pub serving unpretentious, tasty, home cooked food.

The pretty gardens with twinkling fairy lights and patio heaters are very popular during the warmer months and the pub also welcomes well-behaved dogs.

The Swan at Stratford St Mary

This is a pub that you can truly fall in love with.

Not only does the The Swan at Stratford St Mary boast over 100 types of craft ale (and darn good cider - try the Hex) but there’s brilliant food and you can even play boardgames so it’s great for informal family gatherings too.

Beautiful, cosy and family-friendly.

The Buxhall Crown, Stowmarket

This homely inn has a rather idyllic setting, looking out over unspoilt fields on the edge of the village.

Inside, real ales fill the bar, including lesser-known varieties such as Adnams’ Fat Sprat. Stepping into the older part of the building you instantly feel relaxed and warmed by the cosy interior with its log burner and leather chairs. It has just the right amount of snugness you need at this time of year.

This pub is a real find with an inviting setting, friendly service, and outstanding food.

The Punch Bowl, in Battisford

The community stepped up and took the reins at this charming village pub.

The ale is good, the atmosphere is welcoming and there is a real sense of triumph over adversity,

This really is a pub that is at the heart of the community.

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