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Ship & Pilot

Beer used to be the cornerstone of most pubs, until many of them transformed into restaurants, but it's still very much all about the ale at the Ship & Pilot. Centrally located in the midst of Ilfracombe, its frontage – covered in cartoon illustrations of some of the breweries whose ales it stocks – doesn't give it the immediate impression of being a particularly traditional pub. Once inside, however, you will know you have arrived in a true temple of beer, at the altar – sorry, bar – of which there is a huge selection to pick from, including ales from great local brewers such as Wizard.

Besides taking an enormous amount of pride in presenting pint-swilling punters with a choice of real ales, the Ship & Pilot also has an open-door policy to discerning dog owners who are supping with their better halves – after all, no one should try a new brew without their best mate. The history of the pub and the faces of some of its regulars are plastered all over the wall, and this has something of the feel of a real local, even if you have just wandered in off the street for the first time.