Winchester is well known for its pubs in and around the city, it’s even home to the alleged ‘oldest pub in England,’ The Royal Oak.

But which pubs are rated as the best in the area from visitors? We count down to find the best in the city. 

According to TripAdvisor, the five best rated pubs and bars in Winchester are:

5. The King Alfred, Saxon Road, Hyde

The King Alfred is one of Winchester's more classic pubs, this may not be the best place for a ‘quick pint’, but it’s a location for a more refined and relaxed evening. You will be welcomed with plush armchairs and a crackling fireplace, in a dimly-lit room that really gives a nonchalant atmosphere.

Behind the bar, there are options of real ales, cocktails, a large wine list as well as a variety of beers, spirits, and soft drinks. The food is cooked from scratch, and the menu is filled with options to suite anybody’s taste.

The King Alfred has the luxury of being slightly outside of the city centre, avoiding busy streets and constant foot traffic, but being only 10 minutes from the high street makes it accessible for all.

Hampshire Chronicle: The King Alfred

4. The County Arms, Romsey Road

The County Arms is the first ‘Greene King’ pub on our list, and it’s a pub with a much different vibe to The King Alfred. With the pub being so near to the university, hospital and prison, clientele varies but there are weekly events that would suit anyone. It offers quiz nights every Monday, poker nights every Tuesday and karaoke every Sunday, and inside there are many TVs showing lots of different sports.

Beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks are all available behind the bar, as well as a food menu full of pub classics.

The pub has lots of indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a pool table and a darts board to keep customers entertained.

Hampshire Chronicle: The County Arms

3. The Crown and Anchor, The Broadway

The Crown and Anchor is the only pub on our list located on the high street and it’s a pub that focuses on welcoming all types of people from various backgrounds. The Crown and Anchor caters for events, parties, and birthdays where it can provide buffets, BBQs, and of course the regular menu, which features gluten-free and vegan options, ensuring everyone can experience the food they offer.  

Like most pubs, the Crown and Anchor has a large bar filled up by different ales, lagers, ciders, and wines, to clench the thirst of any customer.

The pub also has a ‘secret garden’ for customers to enjoy a drink in the sun this summer.

Hampshire Chronicle: Crown & Anchor

2. The Black Boy, Wharf Hill

Self-described as a ‘back street boozer’, the Black Boy features as one of the more unique pubs on our list. The Black Boy focuses on classic pub traditions; therefore, you won’t find table reservation or a food menu here, but you will find an incredible interior design, with a vintage feel and eye-catching features everywhere you look.

The Black Boy has five locally brewed real ales and a selection of wines on offer. You can enjoy your drinks inside, where several armchairs, sofas and regular seating is available, or you can go to their pub garden, which includes benches, overhead covering and heaters.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Black Boy

1. The Golden Lion, Alresford Road, St Giles Hill

Top of the list is the Golden Lion, in Alresford Road, and this is TripAdvisor’s recommendation for the best pub in Winchester.

The Golden Lion has a beautiful outside feature and a cosy indoor feel. It is slightly outside of the city centre, so it’s perfect for a relaxed experience.

The Golden Lion offers delicious food and great service according to TripAdvisor, and who could forget the large drinks menu, full of alcoholic, and soft drinks.

You can find this pub on Alresford Road, a short walk from the city, and TripAdvisor recommends it as the best pub in the area. 

Hampshire Chronicle: The Golden Lion

All rankings correct as of May 9, 2024. 

  • This article was written by Osian Davis, from the University of Winchester.