Perched on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, surrounded by rural villages, The Green Man in Offley is a 16th century, Grade II* listed inn, popular with walkers and cyclists alike.
The Green Man is a 16th century Grade II listed building, with a pretty red tiled roof and rough-cast exterior, perched on the most north easterly ridge of The Chiltern Hills, offering spectacular views across the Hertfordshire countryside.
Sandwiched between the rolling meadows of Little Offley, and the ancient hedgerows and fields of Great Offley, The Green Man has a rural charm all of its own. A short amble from the Chiltern Way and Chiltern Cycleway, this charming old inn is both an ideal and idyllic stop-off for walkers exploring the babbling chalk streams, windswept commons, and undulating landscapes of The Chilterns, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
On warm summer days and hazy evenings, the open beer garden is abuzz with walkers resting their legs and taking in the sweeping views downhill to neighbouring Hitchin. Even in winter, The Green Man is a perfect spot to enjoy delicious, traditional pub food, or sit in one of the high-backed leather armchairs by the open log fires and enjoy a pint of cask ale.Read more...
Though it’s hard to date precisely, The Green Man is thought to have been established in the 16th century, and may have originally been an L-shaped house. Now a Grade II listed inn with its timber-frame and rough-cast it was bought as part of the Manor of Ickleworth in 1777, but whether it was a residence or a public house at this time is unclear.
The Green Man is located in Great Offley, where the Saxon king, Offa of Mercia, is said to have built his palace in the 8th century. The village is noted in The Domesday Book as Offelei or Offelgi (after the king), where it is recorded as supporting 30 families. It is also known that the Manor of Offley was held by the St Leger family in 1221, and it was around this time that the local church, St Mary Magdelene was also built. The pretty church is just a minute’s stroll from The Green Man, and though much of the building has been changed over time, the original medieval porch and nave are still standing, while the interior, which was built by Sir Thomas Salisbury in the 18th century, is worth a visit.
As its landscape of arable fields, rural tracks and ancient hedgerows suggest, Offley’s history was always based around agriculture. While many of the old farms have been transformed into beautiful barn conversions, there’s still a lovely rustic essence to the area, especially if you follow one of the many footpaths that take you around the Chilterns.
Just beyond St Mary Magdalene Church and Offley Place (a 17th century former manor house) you can join the Chiltern Way, a 152-mile circular footpath that passes through Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire. It’s a walk that takes in everything from tiny coppiced woodlands and ancient hedgerows, to open meadows and gently undulating valleys. It is not uncommon to startle a pheasant from the undergrowth, spot red kites soaring through the sky, or a fallow deer grazing amongst the bluebells.
Swap two feet for two wheels and you can also join the Chiltern Cycleway, just minutes from The Green Man. This 170-mile route takes you south towards Kings Walden and Whitwell, where watercress has been grown for over 200 years, or north towards Pirton, where there stands a large motte, once part of a Norman castle.
With its picturesque hilltop location and stunning views across Hertfordshire, The Green Man is a great place to stop for lunch, whether you’re out walking, cycling, or driving in from Luton or Hitchin. The pub serves a menu of traditional pub classics as well as regular seasonal menus and Sunday Roasts with all the trimmings. And whether you’re eating outside in the sunshine, or inside in the warm, you can be sure you’ll go home well-fed and happy.Show less...