WITH blustery gales and large bouts of rain impacting the UK as we speak, we have decided to compile a list of the top pubs across Dorset for you to cosy up in, as decided by our readers.

In January we asked people for their favourite haunts and we received a wide range of responses.

The coveted top spot was bagged by The Owls Nest in Parley and The Old Beams in Ibsley, the joint winners recommended by many of our readers.

The Old Beams Inn, Ibsley

Bournemouth Echo:

Since reopening in July 2019, this family-run pub in Ibsley has bounced back with a bang, satisfying customers from all over Dorset, The New Forest and further afield.

Particularly popular is their Sunday lunch offerings as well as their variety of desserts, with one reader highlighting the “great food and staff.”

The Old Beams Inn is open from 12pm to 10:30pm and they allow dogs in the bar area.

The Owls Nest, Ferndown

Bournemouth Echo:

This 31-year-old family-run Free House tied with The Old Beams for the top spot.

Dubbed as the “home of great food and the finest ales”, many of our readers praised the pub and everything it offers.

Rachael Dean said: “The live music and ale festival is fantastic! Lovely atmosphere, be it for a quiet pint or music night!”

Sam Price added: “Friendly pub, great real ales, good food and sometimes have good live music.”

With speciality pies, delicious Sunday Roasts, vegetarian options and a plethora of ales, it’s no wonder The Owls Nest bagged joint top spot by our readers.

Second place was also tied, with Woolpack Inn in Sopley and the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers receiving the same number of votes.

Square and Compass, Worth Matravers 

Bournemouth Echo:

Considered a gem in the heart of Dorset, the Square and Compass offer award winning beers, ciders and homemade ciders as well as tasty pastry treats.

Gary Young said: “Great selection of real ales and ciders.”

Square and Compass also host a variety of live music, from bands and artists playing at the pub most evenings and weekends.

In the winter, the Square and Compass are open seven days a week from 12pm to 11pm.

The Woolpack Inn, Sopley 

Bournemouth Echo:

This Sopley pub was thoroughly praised by our readers, who illustrated the great atmosphere in this dog-friendly establishment.

The Woolpack Inn emphasises its inclusion of dogs by offering a ‘Dog Menu’.

This includes meals from Lily’s Kitchen and Natures Menu, which can be eaten in or had as a takeaway.

One reader described the Inn as “friendly, happy and welcoming with exceptional freshly cooked food.”

Another reader said: “The Woolpack in Sopley is fabulous! Great family, dog friendly pub with amazing Specials available and an extensive everyday menu!”

Third place resulted in yet another tie, with The Firkin Shed, The Fighting Cocks and The Forest Inn all being voted for by readers and regulars alike.

The Firkin Shed, Bournemouth 

Bournemouth Echo:

This small, upbeat Bournemouth pub offers quality real ales poured straight from the cask.

Not only that, this pub also boasts a wide range of still ciders as well as a small selection of quality wines, soft drinks and snacks.

With conversation being key to an enjoyable time at this pub, it’s no wonder that our readers praised this “micro-pub”.

Alan Young said: “Good beer and nice people.”

The Fighting Cocks, Fordingbridge 

Bournemouth Echo:

A ‘traditional Forest pub’ that specialises in homemade goods was a firm favourite of some of our readers.

Sophie Rush explained why she loves this particular pub: “It’s dog friendly, has a play area for kids and provides a brilliant food menu including loads of specials and homemade puddings. Always my go to for a meal.”

The Fighting Cocks is in a perfect location for walkers, cyclists and horse riders on a day out in the New Forest, or for those who want to enjoy a drink or meal whilst admiring the heathland.

John Pink added: “It’s the best ‘food pub’. Have the slow cooked lamb, you will want to go every week.”

The Forest Inn, Ferndown 

Bournemouth Echo:

This Ferndown pub is well-loved for its amazing range of food, from a variety of breakfast offerings to a Sunday Roast.

The great atmosphere of the pub is also touched upon, along with the great service provided by staff members.

It is ideal for group events too, with many customers on TripAdvisor stating their satisfaction at the food and service.

It is therefore no wonder that it was voted for by our readers.

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