Known for being a market town with a bustling student population and the feel of a small city, Loughborough is always a fun weekend away. There’s plenty to do here, from walking Queens Park and Beacon Hill, to taking a tour of the nearby Burleighs Gin distillery.

However there’s another reason we love this place so much – the great selection of pubs in Loughborough! 

As we know this place so well, we’ve decided to put together a list of what we believe are the best pubs in Loughborough. 

As you’ll see there’s some great places to watch sport, enjoy live music and tuck into a hearty meal with a refreshing local ale. 

So sit back and relax as we guide you through the best pubs in Loughborough.

The Nine Best Pubs in Loughborough for Beer, Food & Fun!

1. The Swan in the Rushes

Perhaps you’re looking for a quiet pint in a lounge area boasting a fireplace. Or want a bit more of an atmosphere in a bar complete with jukebox. Or maybe a games room filled with pool, darts, table football and even an arcade game? Well if you’re looking for any of these, you can find them all at The Swan in the Rushes!

Separated into three areas, four if you include the great beer garden, this bright and spacious pub has loads on offer but has still kept its traditional look thanks to the wooden flooring and classic looking bar.  

For those partial to real cider, there’s over 30 different types available here – that’s an impressive number that you rarely find in any pub. Unsurprisingly, that’s resulted in multiple awards for this pub in recent years.  

As this is a Castle Rock Brewery pub, you will mostly find their ale on offer. Elsie Mo, Harvest Pale and Preservation are usually on tap, but there are an additional seven taps with rotating ales from some other brewers too. So there’s a fine ale selection as well.

As for entertainment there’s often multiple events held each week here including poetry, stand-up comedy and live bands. Be sure to take a look at their events page to see if there’s a show when you’re visiting. As a tip, it’s best to get tickets in advance as they tend to cost more on the door.

Dogs are welcome too and there’s disabled access as well. With so much going on it’s easy to see why we think The Swan in the Rushes is one of the best pubs in Loughborough.

Address: 21 The Rushes, Loughborough, LE11 5BE

2. Needle & Pin

Cosy, intimate and friendly – you can’t beat a visit to a micropub.  

The Needle & Pin in Loughborough is a small pub with a big personality and a little eccentricity mixed in for good measure. They have four changing cask ales available, however we recommend making craft beer the focus of your visit. With more than 80 available it’s time to try something new and find a new favourite.

As with all micropubs, the staff are very knowledgeable so if you’re unsure where to start just ask and they’ll recommend.

With seating downstairs and upstairs, there should still be room for you and your dog if you wish as this is one of the most dog friendly pubs in Loughborough too.

This is a fairly quiet pub with a fun atmosphere where the focus is on conversation and good beer. Children are also welcome up till 7pm. 

Address: 15 The Rushes, Loughborough, LE11 5BE

3. The Griffin

While exploring the town it can be easy to build up a bit of an appetite. Luckily we know one of the best pubs in Loughborough centre to grab some fantastic pub grub – The Griffin.

This is the perfect place to relax and recharge those batteries, so take advantage of the comfortable seating while watching live sports on the TVs or soaking up the sun in the beer garden.

Nachos, Burgers, Dirty Fries or Steak and Ale Pie – all of the best gastropub classics are served here. For those who can’t resist an offer you’re in luck too, as on weekdays add a starter to your meal for £2. On Wednesdays there’s an offer on curries, whilst Thursday us steak day, and Friday is for a bit of fizz.

You can double up your spirits for £1.75 too, or if you’ve been watching live sports and celebrating a win then take advantage of their many offers! With all those deals, you won’t be surprised to hear that this place is popular with the student crowd.

If we’re honest, spirits aren’t really for us. But luckily there’s a fine selection of ale available too. There are four rotating ales here and on our visit we enjoyed Brakspear Gravity & Wychwood Hobgoblin Gold.   

They do a good coffee too, so whatever you want to eat or drink, there will be something that fits you perfectly here.

Address: Ashby Square, Loughborough, LE11 5AA

4. The Bell Foundry

Although a traditional looking pub both inside and out, The Bell Foundry is lots and lots of fun!

You can watch sports here, take part in a quiz, see live bands and even grab the mic and enjoy karaoke! As this pub covers so much day to day, it’s best to visit their Facebook page to see what’s happening when you’re in town.

There may not be much ale when you visit but the bar is fully stocked with lots of options and we have every faith there will be something for you.

With offers often available on bottles the atmosphere can get lively so may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for somewhere to let your hair down for an evening, this is a great place.

Address: Swan Street, Loughborough, LE11 5BL

people doing cheers inside building

5. Cask Bah

Rock the Cask Bah!

If you don’t get that, don’t worry (but you’ve good music taste if you did!), but this upbeat, modern, micropub in Loughborough has regular live music which makes it one of the best places to party on in town.

This small, intimate place has a friendly atmosphere where it’s easy to strike up a conversation with those around you. When it comes to live entertainment there’s a focus on rock music (check their Facebook page to see who’s playing when you visit) and some of the beers have been renamed to go along with that general theme.

Nottingham Extra Pale Ale, Legend and Rock Ale Mild will usually be on offer if you fancy a pint, but they also do some delicious cocktails.

Not only is there regular live music here but there’s also a jam session between 3pm and 8pm on Sundays, so why not take your instrument and join in. There’s also open mic nights on Wednesdays.

It doesn’t end there either. As if the weather’s nice there’s some seating outside so you can bathe in the sunlight.

This rockin’ place is easily one of our favourite pubs in Loughborough, and is also one of those rare places where it genuinely doesn’t matter which day you end up visiting, you are always going to end up having a good time.

Address: 39B Market Street, Loughborough, LE11 3ER

6. Champs

Welcome to Champs, located in the heart of Loughborough, which may just be one of the best sports bars around.

This bright and spacious, disabled access, family friendly pub has a state of the art set up so it’s easy to catch your favourite team on the big screen while enjoying a pint and some top quality food.

There will be no craning your neck like a giraffe to try and see the TV here, so you can sit back and enjoy your food knowing you’ll get a full view of the big match.

Why not opt for a pre-game light snack, with sandwiches and toasties available as well as a good starters and wings menu. For thrill seekers why not order the Wing Roulette, fate will decide if you’re getting Sticky Sweet Chilli or Hot Reaper!

For a half-time main, there’s a good range of pub classics such as Hunters Chicken, Mac & Cheese and Burgers. And for those who enjoy a challenge there’s an option of 5 belly bursting plates! The massive mixed grill, for example, contains a whopping 20oz of meat! Great for sharing with friends. 

It’s not all sport though, as there’s karaoke every Friday and Saturday evening for those looking to let their hair down. And with the well stocked bar here, it’s easy to let your hair down after a few.

If it’s ale you’re after there tends to be Draught Bass, Marston’s Pedigree and Sharp’s Atlantic on tap along with plenty of bottled beer. Wine, cider, spirits and cocktails are all available too.

An amazing selection of food, a friendly atmosphere, a good range of drinks, sports on offer and some karaoke – that’s why we rate this place as one of the best sports bars and pubs in Loughborough.

Address: 2 Biggin Street, Loughborough, LE11 1UA

7. The Generous Briton

One thing that’s generous about this place is how the space at this pub has been used. One of the oldest pubs in Loughborough, after some clever renovation The Generous Briton has become one of the most attractive around.

Aside from the traditional main bar there’s two lounges and a garden to enjoy. The Ashby Lounge is light, bright and retains many original features and is a rather relaxing place to sit and enjoy some sport on the TVs.

If you’re looking for somewhere cosy to enjoy a drink during the winter then head through to the Regency Lounge which where the original fireplace will be fired up and on the go.

But on those sunny days be sure to enjoy the covered beer garden complete with TVs and background music. Fear not if the temperature dips a little as there’s touch activated heaters to keep you warm. There really is a space for everyone here, no matter the season.

While there’s no food available, that’s no problem when there’s such a great selection of filling ale to get through. Some regulars on tap are Charnwood Salvation, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Sharp’s Doom Bar with guest appearances from the likes of Castle Rock Screech Owl and Elsie Mo.

All the drink regulars you’d expect from a great pub are here too, alongside a large selection of gin and an extensive selection of whisky.

Address: 85 Ashby Road, Loughborough, LE11 3AB

clear wine glass with liquid in focus photography

8. White Hart

Whether you’re looking to sample as many pubs in Loughborough as possible or just looking for somewhere to settle in for the evening, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the traditional White Hart.

This is a popular pub with locals and for good reason: things are comfortable inside and they’ve got a very nice secluded beer garden for sunny days outside.

Not only do they have some great ale on tap but there’s delicious pub grub available too. Burgers, Sandwiches, Loaded Fries, Chicken Wings and Salt & Pepper Squid are just a few of the menu items to expect. And to wash it all down there’s ale available from six taps, three of which are used to support local breweries such as Charnwood, Sarah Hughes and Timothy Taylor.  

There’s some classic pub games to keep you entertained alongside live music most weekends as well as the occasional open mic night. Feel free to bring your dog along too as this is one of the most dog friendly pubs in Loughborough. And if it’s cold they can settle by the roaring fire during winter.  

Address: 27 Churchgate, Loughborough, LE11 1UD 

9. The Windmill

There’s always one question we have: can we find the oldest pub? We tend to succeed and have done it again – welcome to The Windmill, the oldest pub in Loughborough.

Naturally with being the oldest in town, once inside you’ll spot some period features such as the wooden beams that dominate the ceiling, as well as the cosy fireplace. The main bar is large and spacious too, but there’s a couple of smaller rooms off it that are perfect for a quieter more relaxing experience.  

There’s usually three ales on offer, with Draught Bass often on tap. So grab a pint in Loughborough’s oldest pub then take it outside to enjoy in the sun as there’s ample benches outside.

As we know ale isn’t for everyone, there’s also a fine selection of wine, cider and spirits to enjoy too.

And if you’re looking to eat then they have some filling and very affordable home-cooked meals available such as the Slow Cooked Beef, Roast Pork and Pan Fried Chicken, all of which are served with plenty of sides. 

There’s some pub games to play here too. All in all this is a classic, honest pub with plenty to offer guests.

Address: 62 Sparrow Hill, Loughborough, LE11 1BU