The Harp

The Harp, Little Neston, Cheshire CH64 0TB

A small white-painted pub in an isolated spot overlooking the Dee salt marshes at the end of a cul-de-sac. The interior comprises a lively public bar on the left and a cosy lounge on the right, both with quarry-tiled floors and real fires in winter. Maybe surprisingly, this area was once a centre of coal-mining and there’s a collection of miners’ lanterns in the bar. A range of cask beers is available including Holt’s Bitter, Taylor’s Landlord and one from the local Peerless Brewery. I have eaten here in the past, but no food seemed to be on offer on my most recent visit. Creditably for a pub in such an off-the-beaten-track location, it opens all day, every day.

The Brushmakers’ Arms

The Brushmakers’ Arms, Oulton, Staffordshire ST15 8UW

Redbrick corner pub with a slightly urban feel, although in a quiet, off-the-beaten-track village near Stone. The heart of the pub is the bar, with quarry-tiled floor, dartboard and extensive bench seating. There’s also a small, cosy lounge right in the corner. Serves a couple of Thwaites beers plus one guest, but no food. A true classic of old-school pubs. Note the scarecrow with plastic barrel propped up against the wall. The Wheatsheaf a couple of doors down the road is now closed.