The best country pubs to visit near Birmingham - an insiders' guide

Now that spring has sprung, we're looking in the direction of lighter nights, warmer days and peaceful afternoons in the pub! It can be argued that there's no better way to while a few hours than in the boozer with friends and a brilliant country pub that's worth travelling out to is something special.

Just ask our Marcus, who has been drinking in pubs around the region for more than 40 years. In this story, he shares nearly two dozen recommendations from his experience of finding good beer, peaceful spots and watering holes in gorgeous surroundings! We're making a bucket list of it to tick off over the next few months.

We've also asked around the office for recommendations from other reporters, of all ages, some with families and others young, free and single. Here, we're sharing their favourite country pubs, along with why they think they're worth visiting.

Read more: I've been travelling to great country pubs for 40 years and these are the ones you can't miss

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Barnt Green Inn

Recommended by: Harry Leach, reporter

"Easily one of the most beautiful and stylish countryside pubs I've ever had the pleasure of visiting - and only a short train ride away from Birmingham. Barnt Green Inn is a premium gastro pub set inside a Grade ll-listed Tudor building which hasn't lost an inch of its character.

"It boasts an incredible suntrap beer garden which will no doubt be perfect as we approach warmer days. Due to its fine dining offering, prices are unquestionably on the more expensive side. But its food and service are worth every penny."

22 Kendal End Rd, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8PZ

The Manor House of Whittington

Recommended by: Zoe Chamberlain, parenting editor and host of Brummie Mummies podcast

"This black and white timbered pub looks pretty spectacular as you drive up to it - and it's just as lovely inside. In the winter, there are roaring fires, nooks and crannies with cosy armchairs to enjoy a quiet pint. In the summer, there's a large terrace to make the most of the warm weather.

"Built by Sir William de Whittington in 1310, this Grade I listed building is full of history, and is even said to have welcomed royalty over the years. Today, it's a great place to go for chargrilled steaks, stonebaked pizzas and small plates of baked Camembert and crispy squid.

"Best of all, it's right opposite Bunker's Hill nature reserve, which bursts into colour throughout spring and summer, firstly with the bluebell woods and then hundreds of rhododendrons in a multitude of colours - well worth a walk with the kids. It's like stepping into a botanical garden without having to pay the entrance fee.

You can also pop into the Manor House for a coffee and a cake afterwards because, for all its grandeur, it's also very welcoming. Just two and a half miles from Stourbridge, there's a large car park."

Whittington, Kinver, Stourbridge, DY7 6NY

The Cat Inn at Enville

Recommended by: Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

"The Cat Inn is to be found in the quiet Staffordshire village of Enville nestled at the entrance to Hall Drive which takes visitors up to Enville Hall. The Cat host a wide range of real ales served in a traditional pub setting with cosy rooms, warm log fires in the winter and photos on the walls showing the history of the surrounding area.

"There is also a seating area for enjoying a drink in the spring and summer sunshine, the pub is a popular stopping point for walkers, horse riders and cyclists enjoying the beautiful countryside. The Cat also serves fantastic food from an extensive menu featuring traditional roasts and indulgent desserts."

Bridgnorth Road, Stourbridge, DY7 5HA

The Malt Shovel at Barston

Recommended by: Alison Brinkworth, senior reporter

This cosy pub in the well-heeled village of Barston always has a great atmosphere but the best thing about it is the food. It's a gastro pub with a difference in Solihull countryside, close to Birmingham Airport, that's even been praised by Rick Stein for its "good fish", of which it has daily specials.

Save room for the puddings that are a real treat with desserts from white chocolate and Bailey’s brioche bread & butter pudding to home-made shortcrust apple pie. I love it as it always feels like a real treat.

Barston Lane, Barston, Solihull, B92 0JP

The Fish at Wixford

Recommended by: Kirsty Bosley, features writer

"There's something so Hobbity about sitting on the banks of the river Arrow, overlooked by a bridge that looks just like the front of Bilbo's house! There are picnic benches dotted far enough apart to really get a feel for the wide open countryside around you.

"Inside is curious and eccentric with interesting decor choices contrasting the exposed wooden beams and old, open fireplaces. There always seems to be something going on, including live music, but you can wander off for a quiet pint if you don't want to be in the thick of it. They've got pub grub and Sunday roasts too."

Wixford, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 6DA

The Moat House

Recommended by: Richard Gutteridge, agenda editor

"This Grade II listed venue is one of the gems of the Midlands. Tucked away off a country lane between Penkridge and Stafford, there is nowhere better to while away a summer's day.

"Even if it's cold and raining, there's plenty of room inside the historic manor house, which is also a hotel and wedding venue, and it's perfect for a Sunday afternoon meal with the family. It really is a stunning setting - Instagrammable, as the kids would say these days.

"The beer garden, surely one of the best in our region but more just outside seating in a place as tranquil as this, overlooks a lake and it's not uncommon for swans and other wildlife to pay a visit. Grab a pint or share a bottle of wine, relax and take in the surroundings."

Lower Penkridge Rd, Acton Trussell, Stafford, ST17 0RJ

The Habour Inn

Recommended by: Emily Chaplin, reporter

"Location wise, the Harbour Inn at Arley has got to be one of the best pubs in the Midlands. It's surrounded by green Worcestershire countryside and slap bang in the middle of the River Severn and the Severn Valley Railway.

"The walk from Bewdley to Arley in the summer is beautiful, taking around an hour and a half, and the Harbour Inn provides the perfect rest stop before the trek back.

"There's a large grassy beer garden out the back, real ales on tap and proper pub grub on the menu, including a top-rated Sunday roast. There's plenty of parking available and dogs are welcome too."

Arley Ln, Arley, Bewdley, DY12 3NF

The Lyttelton Arms

Recommended by: Dayna Farrington, life, shopping and TV writer

"Stylish and rural pub/restaurant only around 30 minutes from Birmingham. The Lyttelton Arms has lovely pub grub, beers, wines and real ales.

"The beautiful interiors feel like they are bursting with character and the spacious outdoor area is lovely to enjoy a quiet drink or food with friends and family in the warmer months. The Lyttelton Arms is located near to the Clent Hills so is the perfect place to relax and unwind with a drink and food after a long walk.

"I'd highly recommend their roast dinners from the Sunday lunch menu! Chef's kiss."

The Lyttelton Arms, Bromsgrove Road, Hagley, near Stourbridge, DY9 9LJ

Nothing Bound Brewing Co Taproom

Recommended by: Jane Haynes, politics and people editor

"Not 'strictly' a country pub but you might like it! The regulars at this out-of-the-way taproom near Bewdley won't thank me for sharing its destination to the masses but if you've a penchant for locally brewed beers and brilliant street food in a beautiful rustic setting, add this to your wishlist.

"Impossible to find for the first time without your satnav and eagle eyes, it's only open on selected late afternoons and evenings which adds to the sense that you're part of a secret club.

"The taproom consists of a small bar in a barn, with a handful of indoor booths and trestle tables. More tables are arranged on the verge outside with views across the country fields. There's a quaint church next door and nice hikes nearby if you want to make it your end-of-yomp reward.

"Street food eateries set up in rotation under a canopy - whenever I've been the food has been sublime, washed down with beers brewed on the premises. Indy's Indian Kitchen is a regular, serving authentic Punjabi chapatis and chai, pakora and paneer, to Indy's family recipes, and chef Martin Lovell is always a hit. Friendly vibe, free wifi

"Parking is at a premium along the lane, I'd recommend taxiing it if you can. Kids, dogs welcome. Don't visit without first checking the opening hours and what beers are brewing via their Facebook page!"

The Brewery at Chapel Farm, Heightington, Bewdley, DY12 2XY

The Howard Arms Ilmington

Recommended by: Sarah Probert, executive editor

"This pub has won Warwickshire Dining pub of the year countless times and is just gorgeous to visit at any time of the year. In the winter expect roaring fires and hot bowls of soup followed by roast dinners that scream comfort food.

"The ale is very decent too. The pub faces a cute village green and is surrounded by lovely old houses. It's the other side of Stratford on the edge of the Cotswolds and a place where you can have plenty of decent walks.

"Take yourself from the pub up the hill and there are paths off into fields which will give you amazing views for miles around."

Lower Green, Ilmington, Shipston-on-Stour, Ilmington, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 4LT

The Bull's Head

Another recommendation from: Sarah Probert, executive editor

"Drive through Wootten Wawen and you can't miss this place - an imposing black and white tudor pub just off the main road. This pub dates back to 1317 and is really cosy inside with uneven floors and doors you may have to duck through if you are of a certain height.

"The owners specialise in Thai food and there's a decent sized beer garden where you can enjoy a pint and watch the world go by."

Stratford Rd, Wootton Wawen, Henley-in-Arden, B95 6BD