Perfect pub for food – and a pint of Harveys


It is no wonder that The Cock Inn is popular. This mid-16th-century pub, which lies back from the A26 between Lewes and Uckfield, is a lovely-looking building in an attractive rural setting with gardens and views to the beautiful South Downs. ‘The bar is the original oldest part with lots of character,’ explains owner Val Ridley. ‘Other eating areas have been added over the years, with our restaurant area being added in the eighties,’ she continues.

The Cock offers a range of great home-cooked food. ‘It’s to suit all tastes, budgets . . . and appetites,’ jokes Val. There are always five vegetarian choices on offer, including two vegan, and the pub is happy to cater for all dietary requirements.

‘Our visitors include lots of regulars as well as walkers, people visiting and staying locally, real-ale drinkers and families meeting from the surrounding towns. People mainly come to eat, but some locals just pop in for a drink in the lovely cosy bar with its inglenook fireplace.’ Locally brewed Harveys is served at The Cock – another attraction.

The pub is dog friendly. ‘Dogs are welcome in the garden and bar area,’ says Val, while dog chews and water bowls are designed to keep four-legged guests as happy as the two-legged ones. Children are catered for too, with a dedicated menu for youngsters as well as high chairs.

With Glyndebourne close by, Val says they see lots of folk from there, including orchestra members, some of whom have visited The Cock for years. There are also public footpaths a stone’s throw from the pub door, such as the Wellingham Walk, so it’s an ideal lunch stop or watering hole for walkers. ‘And the local hotels and bed and breakfasts often send their clients to us,’ she adds. Short Stay Lewes, of course, does!

Furthermore, this ancient tavern is on the bus route between Brighton and Tunbridge Wells and is easily accessible from Lewes, Brighton and the South Downs Way for those wanting a meal, snack or a drink.

The Highlands in Uckfield is under the same ownership.

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