Imagine how good that first pint or sip of wine will taste from a pub this weekend.

Whether you’re tired of the same old supermarket gin and tonic or missing the refreshing crispness of a real draught pint it’s certain to say that we’ve missed our pubs.

If you want to head away from the crowds and go somewhere with a little more ambience and history than your local ‘Spoons look no further than our top five oldest and quirkiest pubs in Sussex.

The Shepherd and Dog, Fulking

This classic British pub nestled in the stunning Sussex countryside reopens on Saturday, July 4.

The Shepherd and Dog has been listed as a public house since the early 1800’s and was listed as ‘Shepherd and Dog’ in the 1841 census.

The name is thought to have derived from the annual sheep washing that would take place in the stream immediately outside.

Opening during a global pandemic and on a Saturday is a tall order for the pub trade as the Bar Manager, Josh Harris, explained: “I’m not able to open with the same beer line-up that I’ve had before.

“I’ve got 18 lines for craft beer and it’s now become quite tricky to offer the same thing.”

Following covid-19 procedures The Shepherd and Dog has implemented social distancing measures and all customers must pre-book and there is a maximum group size of six.

Mr Harris said: “One of the key things in the 43-page government dossier was the need for us to take and store the booking details of all of our customers which I think will come as quite a surprise.

“We are doing everything we can to make this pub safe and welcoming and utilise our great outdoor space to make it even better.”

Weekend opening hours are: Saturday 12-8pm and Sunday 12-8pm.

The Black Lion, Brighton

While this pub was built in 1974, the ghost of Deryck Carver, the first ever Protestant martyr who was burned at the stake in Lewes in 1555, is said to haunt the cellars of the pub.

Carver was also Brighton's first brewer and built up the Black Lion brewery in Black Lion Street from scratch.

The heady beer he made, Black Lion ale, was hugely popular but Carver's views did not go down so well with religious leaders of the time.

Despite Carver's downfall the brewery survived until 1974 and his ghost is said to haunt the cellars of The Black Lion pub, just up the road from where the brewery once stood.

There are lots of special arrangements in place for the reopening this weekend.

The Bull, Ditchling

Awarded the Best Freehouse and Best Garden in the Great British Pub Awards 2019, The Bull at Ditchling is ready to open up it’s doors once again this weekend.

Easily found within the picturesque South Downs National Park, 15 minutes from Brighton, this 16th century pub offers a rich warmness and charm that can rarely be found.

Following government guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of customers and staff, owners Dominic and Vanessa Worrall have installed a variety of PPE measures including sanitizing stations and have trained their staff to carry out high standards of additional cleaning.

Weekend opening hours are: Saturday 8am - 11pm and Sunday 8am - 10.30pm. 

The Griffin Inn, Fletchling

Located in East Sussex, The Griffin Inn is a lot more than just a village pub.

Offering scrumptious, award winning food and daring yet delectable wines this is a true treat for any food and drink lover.

Owned by the Pullan family since 1979, this historic pub which dates back four centuries, boasts a gorgeous garden that overlooks the idyllic Ouse Valley.

As well as following government advice on reopening The Griffin Inn has introduced a delightful post-lockdown menu.

Weekend opening hours are: Saturday 12pm -3pm and 6pm - 9.30pm. Sunday 12pm - 3pm and 6.30pm - 9pm.

The Cricketers, Brighton

Officially the oldest pub in Brighton, The Cricketers in the Brighton Lanes, dates back to 1547.

They, like most establishments have had to make changes, so booking is absolutely needed.

Hint, there's tables still available for a Sunday roast.