A record number of pubs from across Great Britain entered the 2022 Great British Pub Awards and were put through two rigorous rounds of judging from our industry professionals to determine the very best in the nation. Pubs entered across 18 different categories, here are all of our winners!
Overall Great British Pub of the Year & Marstons Pub of the Year
The Gun Inn, Findon, West SussexPart 16th Century, part Victorian, the Gun Inn is a village pub with a character that has been enhanced by lessee Sally Harris, a former art teacher who has added her own creative touches to the multi-roomed interior and a pretty garden under ivy-clad walls. The decidedly quirky feel extends to a busy events calendar with the team encouraged to come up with unusual ideas. Highlights are the pubs own music festival and a Hallowe’en fancy dress contest – for dogs. Add equally creative, freshly-cooked, food, Spanish and French themed evenings and Ringwood ales on the pumps and you have a pub that’s delightfully, distinctively, different.
Best Pub for Food (Sponsored by Booker Makro)
The Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax, West YorkshireNo stranger to awards, the Shibden Mill Inn is known locally as a hidden gem. Located on the outskirts of Halifax, the pub, which also has 1 individually styled bedrooms, was converted in 1890 from a corn and spinning mill. Guests can also enjoy stunning views across West Yorkshire and the Shibden Estate where Anne Lister – who the programme Alongside a plethora of wines, various gins and whiskies and a Cask Marque-accredited ales, the pub has a wide drinks offer for a raft of guests. The kitchen is headed up by Will Webster with the menu featuring ingredients from the pub’s own kitchen garden just across the road where many of the ingredients on the menu are grown. Across its seven menus (including breakfast), diners can taste pub classics such as steak and Estrella-battered haddock, alongside dishes featuring salt-aged beef loin, basil gnocchi and mushroom hotdog. Recently, the Shibden Mill took home the title of Foodie’s Favourite in the 2022 Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and holds an AA five star status.
Best Country/ Rural Pub (Sponsored by Everard Cole)
The Three Hills, Bartlow, CambridgeshireThe Three Hills is a 17th-century, Grade II-listed pub, close to Cambridge and is the only remaining pub and community facility in the village of just over 100 residents. Originally opened as an alehouse in the mid-1800s, the pub is named after the three hills aka Tumuli – ancient burial mounds originally part of a seven-mound group, considered to be the largest in Europe. It has six en-suite bedrooms, which are all dog friendly as well as a two-bedroom furnished flat for those wanted to stay longer. While the pub has a rich history, its award-winning kitchen holds two AA Rosettes and a Michelin Plate as well as being listed as one of the 100 Top 50 Gastropubs. The Three Hills welcomes customers with its strong food and drink offer as well as a plethora of events. This includes Christmas wreath-making workshops, children’s activities in the school holidays and fun days for all the family.
Best Pub Garden (Sponsored by Diageo)
The Tamworth Tap, Tamworth, StaffordshireOverlooked by Tamworth Castle, a visit to Tamworth Brewing Co (Tamworth Tap), is an unforgettable experience. With an onsite micro-brewery and outdoor smokehouse kitchen, there’s lots to try at this pub. Entering the garden through a Belgium-style bar, the outdoor space feels like a medieval fairy-tale with hops growing around and immaculately presented flowers placed around the garden. History lovers will enjoy this site, with historic brewing artefacts which have been gifted or loaned by local museums on display. Visitors to this pub can all expect a warm welcome and a guaranteed good experience.
Best Pub for Families
Ye Olde Bridge Inn, Oxton, NottinghamshireHannah Lloyd took over Ye Olde Bridge four years ago, since which she’s invested considerably to create an attractive modern gastropub with a growing local reputation that caters for families of whatever shape or size. The pub now has a playground, a soft play dome and a maze to keep the kids entertained, but it’s a venue that puts as much value on 70th birthday parties as celebrations for the youngest members of the family. Ye Olde Bridge makes sure it’s a community-focused hub, with weekday coffee mornings for new mums, or tai chi and yoga classes in the huge meadow to the rear, performing an important role in bringing people together in a rural location where high street coffee chains can’t be found. The pub’s standalone refurbished barn gives it an extra events revenue stream, while sustainability credentials are in evidence, including beehives on-site.
Best Pub for Dogs (Sponsored by Rover)
The Bellflower, Preston, LancashireHeather Brandwood and the team at this managed Marston’s pub have gone all out to make it a welcoming venue for dogs and their owners, whether those from the local community or holidaymakers staying close by. The Bellflower takes its commitment to the canine market seriously, undertaking risk assessments and special staff training to make dog visits comfortable for all its customers. But it’s also a fun destination for furry friends, with a wide selection of premium “doggy doo-dah” treats, bowls and blankets, a choice of water from “ale” and “lager barrels” in the garden, and toys and balls, the latter sold to raise money for a local animal charity. The Bellflower’s experience in the transition from dog-free to dog-crazy has provided an inspiration that many other pubs in the Marston’s group have followed.
Best Pub to Watch Sport (Sponsored by Sky)
Famous Three Kings, Fulham, West LondonA multiple winner of this category in previous Great British Pub Awards finals, the Famous Three Kings is a huge, detached site in central London that attracts residents and visiting foreign tourists in big numbers. Several bars sit in the centre of the venue with customers able to enjoy a circular walk around the pub that has 26 screens and six different sound zones allowing the same number of sports to be screened at any one time – which includes the use of foreign digital boxes that have native commentary for when Scandinavian ice hockey is shown for example. This Stonegate-managed pub has a mouth-watering menu and an array of drinks including a six-strong wall of craft beer from across the world, offering pints from breweries not seen in many, if any, UK pubs. Licensee Paul Eastwood is the brains behind the operation and is looking to increase the number of streaming devices it owns to further expand its sports offering in the future.
Community Hero (Sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners)
The Lion, Treorchy, Mid GlamorganSituated at the heart of this busy village in the Welsh valley’s is The Lion. Run by licensee Adrian Emmett, the pub is a chameleon, changing throughout the day from hosting ladies on their weekly coffee catch-up, to showing sport, being the meeting place for local groups to even being the centre point for successful high street initiatives such as the Christmas Parade. If you want to borrow a book or listen to a reading a red telephone box at the front of the pub hosts ‘Live at the box’ while the opening of its new sustainable fruit and veg shop ‘Green Valley’ has tapped into demands for local, sustainable produce.
Best Sustainable Pub (Sponsored by Heineken UK)
The Riverside at Aymestrey, HerefordshireSituated deep in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside, this 16th century destination pub, run by chef patron Andy Link and general manager George Parkes, is the perfect spot for a fabulous meal, drink experience or relaxing night away. Localism and sustainability is an ethos embraced across both the food and drink menus, with dishes created to showcase the region’ finest seasonal produce and also utilising many Slow Food Ark of Taste ingredients, designed to preserve at risk foods. The pub also has created nature walks for guests and has a two-acre smallholding including bees, pigs, chickens, a heritage orchard and two kitchen gardens, which help provide a bounty of ingredients for its talented chefs. There is also an excellent waste reduction strategy at this Coach House Inns’ pub, including whole animal butchery, composting for the kitchen gardens and analysing food waste to create ingredients such as carrot top pesto. Exciting products from the wonderful drinks offer include the pub’s own sloe gin, cobnut liqueur and vermouth, which is made with over 30 foraged and homegrown botanicals, with chefs regularly foraging for new drink ideas. The pub also launched a green community fund earlier this year to generate money through customer donations for local projects, such as tree and meadow planting, with around £15,000 a year being raised!
Best City/Urban Pub
The Strait and Narrow, Lincoln, LincolnshireWith an impressive drink offering made up of some 140 beers, hundreds of wines, and a wide selection of hand-crafted cocktails, this is a fantastic urban haunt for students, families, and tourists to wind down in the heart of Lincoln. Working closely with local small businesses to create bar snacks and garnishes for their drinks, as well as suppliers to ensure they are constantly stocked with beers from across the globe. A great deal of care has gone into creating this operation by owner Jez Nash, with witty marketing and a strong brand and passion to create a safe and inviting environment for all who step through the door.
Best Pub for Entertainment
The Saddle Inn, Chester, CheshireFound in the heart of picturesque Chester, this pub defies tradition with its rock n’ roll aesthetic. From guitar necks used to pull pints to symbol-lights and band posters that deck the walls, there’s a thousand things to grab your attention. The pub also boasts nine rock-themed rooms spread over two floors overlooking the city. Each feature a replica guitar the original artist was known for playing. On top of this, there’s a tattoo studio on site, as well as a studio room that acts as a performance and rehearsal venue. These spaces were renovated during the pandemic, yet grunge aesthetic is not forgotten, with chandeliers adorning the walls which are painted red and black However, the Saddle isn’t just for die-hard rock fans. As well as rock bands, the Saddle hosts jazz musicians, acoustic sessions and open mic nights. It’s a venue that stands out in the cathedral city.
Stonegate Group Pub Partners Pub of the Year
Old Windmill, Coventry, West MidlandsDating back to the 15th Century, the Old Windmill in Coventry’s city centre is a listed building packed with unspoilt character and charm just where jaded shoppers need it most. Full of nooks and crannies and tempting corners to drink and eat in, it just oozes history. And it’s busier than ever since lessee Michelle Gilmour cajoled the architect’s office next door to loan them is car park for a weekend beer garden, doubling capacity, and added high quality ploughman’s lunches and cold platters to the pub’s famous pork pies. The Windmill also hosts a busy events programme including live music and beer festivals.
Punch Pubs & Co. Pub of the Year
Red Lion, Guildford, SurreyWhen it comes to picture-postcard villages, you’d be hard pressed to find a better version than Shamley, and the Red Lion plays a major part in that. Recently taken on by experienced operator Sean Kelly, the pub is an absolute gem, offering a first rate food and drink offer to the local community. Bringing a wealth of experience from across the pub sector Sean has created a fantastic offer with real attention to detail in a picturesque little pub with a stunning beer garden at the rear. That attention to detail extends to the team and Sean’s focus on training and development is to be applauded, and it clearly pays dividends to the operation as well.
Greene King Pub of the Year
The Greene Oak, Windsor, BerkshireOperated by the talented guys behind the Brucan Pub Company, the Greene Oak is a real feather in both the businesses, and Greene King’s cap, having built an impressive reputation across a relatively short space of time. With a fantastic food offer and great selection of drinks, this is a site that stands out for its looks alone, with an immaculate and adaptable interior able to flex and cope to meet any demands, alongside a stunning beer garden which has recently see the addition of an attractive stretch tent to enable year round al-fresco trading for the business. A strong focus on working within the local community has made this site a destination-business for anyone in the Windsor area.
Admiral Taverns Pub of the Year
Dartford Sports Bar, Dartford, KentSitting on the high street in the centre of Dartford, this is an impressive sports bar operation, and one that goes beyond the traditional sports bar. Unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the Wetherspoons across the road, operators Chris Michaelmas and April Reeves have launched a series of initiatives, including a hugely successful brunch offer and an impressive courtyard garden which has really carved the site a place on the map for the local town. Taking on the business at the start of the pandemic, and with a £400,000 refurb, Chris and April have built a business to be proud of, with great attention to detail and a superb offer across the board.
Star Pubs & Bars Pub of the Year
The Red Lion, Shepperton, SurreyAn institution in the Surrey community of Shepperton, this is a business that does not stand still and trades every square inch of its premises, and even branches out onto the River Thames as well. A modern, well presented pub caters for the entire community, with an impressive covered courtyard area offering cosy seating with sheepskin blankets, which punters can even buy to take home, and a new addition of some private huts for visitors to book and enjoy. Over the road, the pub has reclaimed the riverbank to create a stunning riverside beer garden and has recently taken to hiring out boats to guests to allow them to cruise the Thames, before obviously popping back to the pub for some great food and drinks.
Best Pub Chef (Sponsored by Booker Makro)
Natalie Coleman, The Oyster Shed, City of London
Best Young Pub Chef (Sponsored by Booker Makro)
Tiffany Long, The White Hart Free House, Ashill in Norfolk
Words from the winners...
"We were extremely proud to be able to support our community during such a difficult time last year and receiving this recognition for our efforts was the icing on the cake. In the 4 weeks after opening, we finished 50% up on sales compared with the same period in 2019, demonstrating the impact this investment had on the business."
Winner: Feeding the Community 2020
"Winning the award has meant lots of local and national media coverage, the additional media exposure that you get is really important, because that is worth thousands and thousands of pounds"
Winner: John Smith's Great British Pub of the Year 2017
"Winning the Great British Pub heroes Award was a tremendous honour, not just for our pub The Fountain Bar, but for our whole Community. This award and the #FeldyRoo project as a whole really has helped put Aberfeldy on the map. This is sure to benefit the Fountain bar and all the businesses that were involved in the future."
Winner: Greene King Pub Hero of the Year 2020
"We were delighted to have been selected as a finalist for two awards at the 2020 Great British Pub Awards, and then to go on and win the Staff Welfare Award was absolutely fantastic. We will not let the lovely award just gather dust, we don’t feel that winning the award is the end."
Winner: Staff Welfare Pub Hero 2020
"It was an amazing day. Our team absolutely loved it. We're already thinking of new ideas to get us into the next one!"
"Winning the GBPA category for Keeping the Community Entertained has been a huge boost for The Swan. Whilst the prize money has allowed us to make some amazing progress with the refurbishment of our kitchen, most importantly, the award has helped us raise our profile in the community and made many more local people aware of what is going on at the pub, our aims and vision for its future."
Winner: Keeping the Community Entertained Pub Hero 2020
"We were incredibly proud to be recognised by such a prestigious award after the most challenging of periods in our industries history. Winning gave our team a much needed morale boost, our customers drew confidence in knowing that the venue had bounced back to be at the top of its game and agencies such as Arts Council England, The Mayor of London and our local Council were reminded of the vital contribution our venue makes to our diverse community."
Winner: Best Late Night Entertainment Pub 2021
"Winning the Hawthorn Pub of the Year was just amazing not only for us but for the wonderful village we live in. The response we have received since winning has been fantastic and overwhelming. Working in a tough environment running a pub, to get this recognition just made it all worthwhile."
Winner: Hawthorn Pub of the Year 2021
"The Great British Pub Awards made a real difference to our business. It was a huge honour to win the “Best Food” award and the consequential publicity was immense. The award undoubtedly helped us grow our reputation for being a destination venue."
Winner: Best Pub Food 2021