Pubs with Accommodation in Solihull
Solihull is ideally placed for the NEC and Birmingham International Airport, and is a less congested base for visiting Birmingham. But where to stay? Spending the evening in a chain hotel, drinking fizzy beer to a background of tinkly piped music, can be a soul-destroying experience.
Here is the alternative: a selection of Real Ale pubs in a variety of settings with a range of accommodation to suit most pockets.
To explore a more general selection of the best pubs in and around Solihull, visit our Online Pub Guide. Also, many local pubs have also been featured in the Solihull Beerhunter's Spotlight Inns.
About 8 miles drive from the NEC, between J4 and J5 of M42. Its three pubs are a considerable walk apart. Also served by trains on the Chiltern line from Birmingham Moor St through Solihull and Leamington Spa to London.
The Forest 25 Station Approach Tel: 01564 772120
This Victorian built railway hotel, believed to date from 1870, has polished wood floors with arm chairs and sofas giving a contemporary but relaxed atmosphere. Alongside the 2 regular ales is a frequently changing guest beer, usually locally brewed; ask about their loyalty card. There is a large outdoor terrace with heated smoking area. The kitchen produces homemade dishes for the casual dining and bar menu (and proudly holds 2 AA rosettes since 2001, Good Food Guide and Michelin listings). There is an annual beer festival and more recently a cider festival (see website). Monkspath Rotary meet here every Tuesday.
Getting there: Post code B93 8JA. OS Grid Ref: SP 16925 75005.
4 miles from Birmingham International Airport and the NEC. East of Solihull on B4102 towards Meriden. Hamton in Arden station is served by trains from the NEC - on the Birmingham to Coventry to London line.
The White Lion Inn 10 High Street (B4102) Tel: 01675 442833
A charming Grade II listed 17th century timber framed building, the White Lion has been licensed since 1838. It is as popular as ever having been re-furbished in late 2010 under new management bringing improvement to the lounge/dining room area. There are real fires in the lounge and bar, which is tiled. Solihull CAMRA most improved pub of 2007 and winner of the Perfect Pint Puller award in 2008.
Getting there: Post code B92 0AA. OS Grid Ref: SP 20350 80820.
About 15 miles from the NEC. Its main street is the A3400, south of M42 J4, towards Stratford. It is on the Stratford to Birmingham Moor Street train line. There is a daytime bus route from Birmingham to Stratford that passes through Shirley, Hockley Heath and Henley in Arden.
White Swan 100 High Street Tel: 01564 792623
This coaching inn on the Birmingham to London run dates back to 1590, the frontage being much altered in 1690. Most of the building, however, dates from the 1770's. Watch out for the ghost of a housemaid who was hung for murder! The beer range has been unpredictable of late. Camping is available in the garden by negotiation.
Getting there: Post code B95 5BY. OS Grid Ref: SP 15096 66037.
More an area that a village, it is an 8 mile drive from the Airport and NEC. Just south of Knowle, on the A4141 Warwick Road toward Chadwick End. Its two pubs are a third of a mile apart on the canal towpath.
Heron's Nest Warwick Road Tel: 01564 771177
Originally built in 1816 as a pub and then changed to a restaurant and a hotel - this establishment has had a varied career. Now belonging to the Innkeeper's Lodge group, it is a family food oriented pub with a smart but comfortable and traditional interior. The beers vary from time to time, but usually the better big names. The accommodation is next door. It has a large canal-side garden and there is an animal sanctuary across the canal.
Getting there: Post code B93 0EE. OS Grid Ref: SP 19045 75155.
M42 J4, 2 miles south on A3400, about 10 miles from the NEC. There is a daytime bus route from Birmingham to Stratford that passes through Shirley, Hockley Heath and Henley in Arden. Nearest canal bridge 25
The Barn Stratford Road Tel: 01564 782144
Partly rebuilt and totally refurbished following a fire in 1998, part of the building is listed and miraculously escaped major damage. The pub is part of a large complex featuring Travel Inn and restaurant in addition. The bar features a large gas "log fire" and is divided into various seating areas. There is an abundance of bare brickwork and wooden beams which give the impression of a much older building. It has a children's play area.
Getting there: Post code B94 6NX. OS Grid Ref: SP 15075 73380.
8 miles from Birmingham International Airport and the NEC, and 3 miles from Solihull. Just south of M42 J5 on the A4141 Warwick Road. All of its pubs are on, or just off, its main street. A bus service operates from Solihull daytime and evening (S2, S3). Nearest station is Dorridge (a good mile) on the London - Solihull - Birmingham Moor St line.
Greswolde Arms High Street Tel: 01564 772711
Georgian in origin, but the central part may be 16th/17th Century, it was called the Mermaid until 1838 when it was renamed after a local landowning family. It is said that John Constable was employed, by the Geswoldes, to paint the inn sign. It was an important coaching inn on the Turnpike road between Birmingham and Warwick, but is now essentially a hotel with a bar for public use. Quiz nights on Wednesdays and Sundays. The outside drinking area is not very pleasant, overlooking the access road to a large car park. Refurbished Nov 2007
Getting there: Post code B93 0LL.
South west of Solihull town centre, towards A34 Stratford Road
The Plough Stratford Road Tel: 0121 744 2942
A restaurant/pub with a Premier Inn attached. It was once a small country pub, but long ago lost its character. The outdoor drinking area overlooks the Stratford Road and is not particularly pleasant to be in. Best described as an eatery which happens to serve real ale.
Getting there: Post code B90 4EP. OS Grid Ref: SP 13740 76460.
Some 13 miles from the NEC by road. South of M42 J3. Between Wood End and Danzey Green rail stations (1 mile from either) on the Stratford upon Avon line.
The Bell The Green Tel: 01564 742212
This large, comfortable pub in an idyllic setting opposite the church has had an interesting history. Between 1939 and 1972 the landlord was Jack Hood, British and European Boxing Champion from 1926 to 1935 when he retired after 200 consecutive undefeated fights. The pub was featured extensively in the TV soap opera Crossroads and two episodes of the BBC drama Dangerfield. It has a separate, basic bar, which is used by the locals. The lounge cum restaurant has been reburbished and is a mixture of old and modern. The patio area overlooks the car park.
Getting there: Post code B94 5AL. OS Grid Ref: SP 11290 70555.
Photos: Gordon Clarke, Robert Cawte, Chris Lloyd