Once a smugglers’ haven, Pin Mill is a real ‘honeypot’ and can get extremely busy on nice days. This is fuelled by the wonderful 17th century Butt and Oyster pub, which sits right on the water’s edge, offering spectacular views, wonderful food (the pub is famous for seafood) and even serving pints to sailors in their yachts through the window at high tides!
Pin Mill is made especially famous for two reasons. Fans of the BBC Lovejoy series may recognise the pub from the TV series. Pin Mill was also the setting for Arthur Ransome’s book ‘We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea’. Arthur Ransome himself held a thank you dinner for all the staff of King’s boat yard, after they had built his new boat which was called the Selina King.
The village is also the setting for E. Arnot Robinson’s book ‘Ordinary Families’, written in the early 20th century and based on her own life in the village. Aside from the pub, there is a lovely walk, following the Stour and Orwell Path from Pin Mill eastwards, which passes through some beautiful National Trust woodland. You also get a splendid view of the slightly eccentric houseboats, another feature which, love them or loathe them, give Pin Mill its unique character. Most of them are converted Thames barges.
The village is accessible from a small road leading off the B1456 at the Forester’s Arms, but this narrow road often gets congested during the holiday season, so great care needs to be taken. Parking is available in the pay and display car park – 30p per hour. One hour should be sufficient for the cache and a quick drink in the Butt and Oyster.