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The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

Muddy Says: Oozing character and with great food and drink, this friendly village pub also has smart bedrooms for a weekend break

Cosy and characterful, this friendly 16th century Muddy Award-winning pub is situated in the village of West Hoathly near the Ashdown Forest. It’s perfectly placed for walks, visits to major gardens and the Bluebell Railway.

Pull up a chair near the inglenook fireplace where, despite the pub’s name, you’re likely to be surrounded by dogs lounging under the oak beams.

The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

Comforting dishes using good local produce are to the fore on the menu (think steak, mushroom and ale pie; haunch of venison; roast butternut squash; crumble and spiced ginger cake… ) Sussex real ales and sparkling wine keep drinkers happy and there’s a wide range of further wines available by the glass.

Smart, generously-sized rooms in a Victorian extension come with luxury touches like fluffy bathrobes and Nespresso machines. One room has a lounge area, another overlooks the 900-year-old church.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Sussex