A well-heeled pub in a large, leafy Bedfordshire village: this 16th-century building is encircled by ancient Maulden Wood and you’re perfectly placed for yomping part (or all 40 miles!) of the Greensand Ridge Walk. Julian and Emma have always lived locally, they spotted that The George needed rescuing, snapped it up and lovingly transformed it into a smart, funky pub at the heart of its community. Lewis and his young, energetic team run the place with good humour. The kitchen turns out hearty, wholesome lunches and evening meals, Sunday roasts, and pizza night is always busy. There’s a gin bar, ales on tap, wines by the glass and you can choose to cosy up by a roaring wood-burner or dine in the conservatory; and tucked away in a separate annex, overlooked by charming St Mary’s church, are seven boutique bedrooms. Jazzy feature wallpapers, fluffy throws and deep mattresses on solid oak beds make for a restful night and the gleaming en suite bathrooms have spoiling smellies. Best of all: there’s no need to get dressed for breakfast because continental-style goodies are delivered to your door each morning.