Over winter there is nothing quite like a cosy pub to snuggle into, with a drink in hand, good atmosphere and a place beside the fire.
After a long walk or afternoon of shopping, a pub will be a welcome respite for any tired feet or weary shoppers this time of year.
Of course, Northern Ireland is swarming with decent pubs, but if for you’re looking for one with that cosy edge (or that might get you out of washing dishes over the festive season) then below are some of the best pubs to warm up in this winter.
Tucked away behind Belfast’s busy high street, along one of Belfast’s Entries, Whites Tavern is a welcome haven this time of year with its open fire and selection of beers, wines and spirits.
The historic pub also has a great food menu that includes some homely comforts such as Irish stew, soups and sandwiches.
The wooden furnishing and classic paintings add to the pub’s warm atmosphere and, should you bag yourself a seat by the fire, it would be rude not to settle in for the night.
For more information, visit www.whitesbelfast.com
Although not the most well-known pub along the north coast, The Atlantic bar and its open fires are a welcome retreat from the wild winds and icy temperatures.
The back bar, accessed along Atlantic Avenue, is the cosiest part of this local favourite and, once settled by the fire with a pint, you will not want to move a muscle (unless it’s to move upstairs for live music and to sit by another cosy fire).
For more information, visit www.atlanticbarportrush.com
One of the oldest thatched pubs in Ireland, The Crosskeys Inn in Antrim is a gem of a place.
Voted BBC Countryfile Pub of the Year in 2017 and with various other impressive accolades, the quaint pub is overflowing with charm with its stone walls and memorabilia gracing the walls.
The pub is also renowned for its traditional Irish music sessions and storytelling events that are run almost every night of the week.
For more information, visit www.crosskeys-inn.com
After a long walk along Portstewart’s beautiful strand, promenade or cliff walk, The Anchor is a solid place to warm up and while away a few hours.
As soon as you walk through the pub’s front doors you’ll be hit by a warm, open fire and, on most evenings, the sound of traditional music or an open mic session will be heard.
The pub also has some classic pub grub if you’re feeling peckish and a great hot toddy to keep you feeling toasty.
For more information, visit www.theanchorbar.co.uk
Come winter, The Dirty Onion’s back bar has a roaring open fire and a long list of hot drinks to warm you up, including its Dirty Onion Hot Toddy, Hot Apple Brandy or a Hot Buttered Rum.
The bar also hosts an eclectic mix of live music most nights and has regular bodhrán lessons for those keen on brushing up on their musical skills during the quieter winter months.
For more information, visit www.thedirtyonion.com
The Bushmills Inn has plenty of cosy snugs where the town’s famous whiskey can be sipped on whilst sitting in front of one of its cosy peat fire.
On most evenings there is also live music, with locals and tourists piling in for the atmosphere and craic.
If you’re really wanting to go all out, the Inn has an impressive menu to feast on, that includes oysters and “Irish tapas” – all washed down with a glass or two of champers, of course!
For more information, visit www.bushmillsinn.com/restaurant-and-bar