The Three Tuns

Wiltshire

Olive - - EAT -

This pub wel­comes muddy boots, paws and chil­dren. With its scrubbed pine ta­bles, fresh flow­ers in old gin bot­tles, low beams, real fires, leather so­fas and win­dow sills lined with old whisky-branded wa­ter jugs, it fits com­fort­ably in the vil­lage pub bracket. Be­fore tak­ing over The Three Tuns six years ago, James Wilsey worked in a num­ber of high-pro­file Lon­don restau­rants in­clud­ing Scott’s of May­fair and The An­gle­sea Arms near Shep­herd’s Bush. His menu com­bines pub clas­sics and mod­ern Bri­tish restau­rant dishes, with home­made scotch egg with ap­ple purée and cele­riac re­moulade sit­ting hap­pily along­side a rump of lamb, braised lentils, pur­ple sprouting broccoli, Provençal to­mato and salsa verde.

There are a num­ber of ex­cel­lent walks start­ing from this pub in the peace­ful vil­lage of Great Bed­wyn near Marl­bor­ough. A few min­utes down the road from The Three Tuns you’ll find the Ken­net and Avon Canal, which makes for a lovely walk all year round. “On cold days, you can smell the wood­burn­ers on the barges, and it al­ways feels like a dif­fer­ent pace of life down by the wa­ter,” says James’s wife, Ashley.

“It’s a great walk for chil­dren as well, as it is quite flat and there’s tons of wildlife around the wa­ter. You also get to watch the locks be­ing opened and closed as the boats make their way through.” Walk­ers can also reach neigh­bour­ing vil­lages along the canal, as well as lo­cal des­ti­na­tions such as the Crofton Beam En­gines. From the base of the locks, you can also walk straight up a small hill to reach the paths of the Bed­wyn Brail, known for its wooded copses, hills and farm­land, as well as re­mains of Ro­man set­tle­ments.

Al­ter­na­tively, you can make your way straight to the woods be­hind the pub, which can ei­ther lead to the lit­tle 13th-cen­tury thatched chapel at Chis­bury, the ham­let and hid­den trea­sure of St Katharine’s Church, or straight into the an­cient Sav­er­nake For­est, where you’ll find some 3,000 acres of stun­ning woods with sev­eral no­table ‘vet­eran trees’.

And for those with tired feet and blis­ters af­ter all the walk­ing, it’s worth not­ing that there’s a main­line train sta­tion in Bed­wyn with a di­rect ser­vice to and from Padding­ton, Read­ing and New­bury. tunsfree­house.com

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