Restaurant reviews

Pubs in the Peak District: Two charming Wincle pubs well worth a visit

The Peak District is fast becoming one of our favourite locations for a long UK weekend away. When the weather is right, there is so much to see and do in the Peak District, and so many lovely little cottages to hide away in for a few days.

One of the best things about going away for a weekend in the UK is spending some time relaxing in cute little country pubs. When we stayed recently in the tiny village of Wincle, we had two such pubs almost on our doorstep.

The first, and nearest to us, was the Rose and Crown. This pub, on Buxton Road, dates back to the 18th century and you can really feel the history oozing from the walls when you step in. The landlady, or the lady we assumed was the landlady when we visited, is a real character – she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms where you should sit, for example, but she’ll also do her best to keep your little ones entertained should you be taking kids out to lunch with you!

The food at the Rose and Crown was really good pub fare. My brother ordered a roast dinner and made the grand statement that the gravy was the nicest he had ever eaten! I had a really tasty steak and ale pie, which was served with thick-cut chips. The sticky toffee pudding I made room for afterwards was indulgent, moist, and offset very nicely by the creamy custard and toffee sauce.

We went back on another occasion to the Rose and Crown for a quick drink in the sunlit beer garden. The views are incredible from its elevated position and it was a lovely way to spend an hour in the late afternoon spring sunshine.

The second pub we tried was slightly further away, a good 10 minute drive from our cottage although still technically in the village of Wincle. The Ship Inn is an award-winning pub that is better known in the local area than the Rose and Crown, with an arguably more pretentious (but still erring on the side of pub food) menu.

We had to wait a while for food to turn up after ordering but when it did arrive, it was well worth the wait. I had ordered pork belly, which came cooked to perfection (melt in the mouth, with just the right amount of fat). It was served with spiced pork cheek and the crispiest pork crackling you could dream of. The fish and chips also deserves a mention; a huge portion, it was very cleverly served and clearly cooked fresh.

The Ship Inn is certainly well worth the trip if you’re staying in or near the village of Wincle, but be sure to book ahead and, for those with little ones, make sure you ask for a high chair (they seemed to be in short supply) and also be aware that there are no changing facilities, or at least there weren’t on the weekend we visited.

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