Two South Wiltshire pubs have been named among the cosiest pubs in the UK by South Western Railways.

Each pub was ranked in five different categories: ambience rating, quietness rating, comfort rating, Sunday dinner reviews, and the number of Google reviews. 

The Haunch of Venison on Minster Street was named the second cosiest pub in the South West - and the fourth in the whole of the UK -  with a "cosiness score" of 78. 

It had an ambience rating of 27 per cent, quietness rating of four per cent, comfort rating 13 per cent, Sunday dinner reviews five per cent and 500 Google reviews, 

The Compasses Inn in Lower Chicksgrove was named the fourth cosiest pub in the South West and the 10th cosiest pub in the UK.

In its ranking of the Haunch of Venison, South Western Railways said: “With a heritage spanning nearly 700 years, it’s a must-visit for pub lovers and history buffs alike.”

It’s a quality of the Haunch of Venison that manager Anastasia Samoilova has spoken about before, commenting during an interview with the Journal in February 2023 on the historical vibe she immediately experienced upon walking in for the first time.

She said: “It felt like a time machine. You know, we walked in, it was like wow, we stepped back in time.”

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Out in the countryside of the Cranborne Chase, fellow winner The Compasses Inn in Lower Chicksgrove is also a 14th-century pub with a historical feel.

Lisa Salmi-Wright, manager at The Compasses Inn, said: "We all absolutely love The Compasses here and it’s just really lovely to be recognised like that. We do think we’re a really cosy pub.”

Ben Maschler, who has owned The Compasses Inn for seven years, said a large part of what makes the pub special is that what you see today is very much what one would have seen when walking through the doors in the 14th century.

He said: “It’s a 14th-century building, with beautiful old flagstone fires, a flagstone floor, old wooden beams and it just hasn’t been messed around with very much at all in the last six centuries.”