Go with Ted

Travel, trains, drinking and cooking with Ted

Good UK Pubs 2019

Steve and Ted’s Good UK Pubs List 2019

cofThe Seven Stars, Falmouth, Cornwall

These are the pubs throughout the UK (and the Isle of Man) that Ted and I have visited and enjoyed since 2014. We have also visited some very ordinary pubs and a few terrible ones, and they are most definitely not included. Some of the pubs listed have been visited only once, though we enjoyed them and will go back if we are in the area again. Others we have visited often and seek them out whenever we are in the vicinity. The very best are in blue text. The focus is on the beer and the atmosphere rather than food. Our favourites tend to be traditional pubs with a good local trade, unchanged over many years, though every pub on this list we have enjoyed. It can be sometimes be difficult to tell at very quiet times of day, what a pub will be like on a busy evening, but many years of practice can help to spot a good pub.

sfifeanstrutherThe Ship Tavern, Anstruther, Fife

A few caveats: 

  • Full details of our favourite pubs in the parts of the country we visit most regularly are in the separate guides for Northumbria and Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • There are many places where we used to have favourite pubs that miss out on this Pubs, towns and that we haven’t visited since before 2014 have been dropped from this years list (for example Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Manchester, Oxford, Northern Ireland and South Wales). Liverpool, Devon and Cornwall are in this years list once more following recent visits and others will be added if planned visits in 2019 go ahead.
  • There is only so much time for travelling (and for drinking – I still have a liver to protect), so there are many places we have never visited. There are others where we have been unlucky in our choice of pubs.

All of the pubs except for a small number in Scotland serve cask ale. Those that are in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2019 are marked GBG. New additions to the list are marked NEW and those that we visited in 2017 and 2018 are marked. For places not listed the best guides are CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and www.whatpub.com website. Enjoy.

Steve Gillon  January2019



The Red Lion, Avebury, Wiltshire


Buckingham: Woolpack

Chesham: Queens Head


Peterborough: Brewery Tap

Wisbech: Red Lion, GBG, pictured


sdrNEW Albaston: Queens Head, 2018

NEW Calstock: Tamar Inn, 2018

NEW Crowlas: Star Inn, GBG, 2018

NEW Falmouth: Oddfellows Arms, GBG, 2018

NEW Falmouth: Seven Stars, GBG, 2018

NEW Falmouth: The ‘front, GBG, 2018

NEW Helston: Blue Anchor, GBG, 2018, pictured

cofNEW Lizard: Top House, 2018

NEW Mousehole: Ship Inn, 2018

NEW Penzance: Crown, GBG, 2018

NEW Penzance: Dock Inn, GBG, 2018, pictured

NEW Polperro: Blue Peter Inn, GBG, 2018

NEW Polruan: The Lugger, 2018

NEW St Austell: Seven Stars, 2018

NEW St Ives: Castle Inn, 2018

NEW St Mawes: Victory Inn, 2018

ecumbria1NEW Truro: Old Ale House, GBG, 2018


Broughton in Furness: Manor Arms, GBG, pictured

Foxfield: Prince of Wales, GBG

Kendal: Castle Inn

Kirkby Lonsdale: Orange Tree, GBG

St Bees: Manor


NEW Kingswear, Steam Packet Inn, 2018, pictured

NEW Paignton, Henry’s Bar, GBG, 2018

NEW Salcombe: Victoria, 2018

NEW Totnes: Bay Horse, GBG, 2018

NEW Totnes: Royal Seven Stars, GBG, 2018



Cerne Abbas: Royal Oak, GBG, pictured

Lyme Regis: Volunteer Inn

Sherborne: Digby Tap, GBG

Weymouth: Globe Inn, GBG




See the separate Northumbria Pub Guide for details.


Hatfield: Eight Bells

Hatfield: Horse and Groom, GBG


ekent2Birchington on Sea: Wheel  Ale House

Canterbury: Dolphin, GBG

Canterbury: Foundry, GBG

Canterbury: Unicorn, GBG

Dover: Mash Tun, GBG

Dungeness: Pilot Inn

Maidstone: Flower Pot, GBG

Maidstone: Swan, GBG, pictured


Lancaster: Sun, GBG

Lancaster: Three Mariners, GBG


Leicester: Ale Wagon, GBG, 2017

Leicester: Blue Boar, GBG, 2017

Leicester: Kings Head, GBG, 2017


EC1 Hatton Garden: Olde Mitre, GBG

EC3 Bank: Swan Tavern, GBG

EC4 Blackfriars: Black Friar

EC4 Fleet St: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

N1 Kings Cross: Parcel Yard, GBG, 2017, 2018

elondon1NEW N1 Kings Cross: Scottish Stores, 2018

N1 St Pancras: Betjeman Arms

NW1 Euston: Bree Louise, GBG, CLOSED

SE1 Borough: Royal Oak, GBG

SE1 Southwark: Founders Arms

SE1 Waterloo: Kings Arms, GBG

SW1 Belgravia: Star Tavern, GBG

SW1 St James’s: Red Lion, GBG

SW1 Westminster, Morpeth Arms

SW1 Westminster, Red Lion

SW1 Westminster: Speaker, GBG

NEW W2 Paddington: Mad Bishop and Bear, GBG, 2018

WC1 Bloomsbury: Calthorpe Arms, GBG

WC1 Bloomsbury: Swan, GBG

WC1 Holborn: Cittie of Yorke, pictured

WC1 Holborn: Princess Louise

WC1 Kings Cross: Queens Head, GBG

WC2 Charing X: Harp, GBG

WC2 Covent Garden: Coach and Horses, GBG

WC2 Covent Garden: Lamb and Flag, 2017

WC2 Holborn: Seven Stars


LB Islington, Dalston, Railway Tavern

LB Tower Hamlets: Albion in Goldsmiths Row



Greenfield: Railway Inn


Stalybridge: Station Buffet Bar, GBG


NEW Wigan: Raven Hotel, GBG, 2018



NEW Liverpool: Belvedere, GBG, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Crown Hotel, GBG, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Dispensary, GBG, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Lion Tavern, GBG, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Philharmonic, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Roscoe Head, GBG, 2018

NEW Liverpool: Ship and Mitre, GBG, 2018, pictured


Cromer: Red Lion, GBG

Wells next the Sea: Edinburgh Bar



See the separate Northumbria Pub Guide for details.


Hook Norton: Pear Tree Inn, pictured


sdrBath: Bell

Bath: Couer de Lion, GBG

Bath: Old Green Tree, GBG

Bath: Raven, GBG

Bath: Star Inn. GBG

NEW Curry Rivel: Firehouse, GBG, 2018, pictured

NEW Glastonbury: Hawthorns, GBG, 2018

NEW Huish Episcopi: Rose and Crown (Eli’s), GBG, 2018, pictured

NEW Midsomer Norton: White Hart, 2018

NEW Pitney: Halfway House, GBG, 2018

NEW Wells: Full Moon, 2018

NEW Wells: Just Ales, GBG, 2018

NEW Wells: Rose and Crown, 2018

NEW Weston Super Mare: Off the Rails, GBG, 2018

NEW Yeovil: Pall Inn, 2018


Aldeburgh: White Hart, GBG

Southwold: Harbour Inn

Southwold: Lord Nelson, GBG

Sudbury: Brewery Tap, GBG

eeastsussexSUSSEX (EAST)

Rye: Ypres Castle, GBG, pictured

Uckfield: Alma Arms, GBG



See the separate Northumbria Pub Guide for details.


NEW Middlesbrough:Dr Phils Real Ale House, GBG, 2018

Middlesbrough: Sherlocks, GBG

Middlesbrough: Twisted Lip, 2018


Guisborough: Anchor


See the separate Northumbria Pub Guide for details.


See the separate Northumbria Pub Guide for details.


Avebury: Red Lion

NEW Avoncliff: Cross Guns, GBG, 2018, pictured

NEW Bradford on Avon: Bear Inn, 2018

NEW Bradford on Avon: Castle Inn, GBG, 2018

NEW Bradford on Avon: Stumble Inn, GBG, 2018

Swindon: Glue Pot, GBG

eeastyorksNEW Westbury Leigh: Hollies, GBG, 2018


Beverley: Chequers, GBG

Beverley: Tiger Inn, GBG

Beverley: White Horse (Nellies), pictured

Bridlington: Station Buffet, 2017


Flamborough: Dog & Duck, 2017


Beck Hole: Birch Hall Inn, GBG, pictured

Egton Bridge: Horseshoe Hotel, GBG, pictured

Harrogate: Hales Bar

Harrogate: Harrogate Tap, GBG

enorthyorks4Lealholm: Board Inn, GBG, pictured

Ribblehead: Station Inn, GBG

NEW Richmond: Castle Tavern, 2018

NEW Richmond: Ship, 2018

Robin Hoods Bay: Dolphin

Ruswarp: Bridge Inn

Scarborough: Stumble Inn, GBG, 2017

Skipton: Boat House, GBG, 2017

enorthyorks2Skipton: Woolly Sheep, 2017

Whitby: Jolly Sailor

Whitby: Station Inn, GBG

York, City Centre, Ackhorne, 2017

York, City Centre: Blue Bell, GBG, 2017

York, City Centre: Maltings, GBG, 2017

NEW York, City Centre: Phoenix, GBG, 2018

York, City Centre: Snickleway Inn

York, City Centre: Swan, GBG

York, City Centre: York Arms, 2018

York, City Centre: York Brewery Tap, 2017

York, City Centre: Yorkshire Terrier, 2017

York, York Station: York Tap, GBG, 2017



Doncaster: Corner Pin, GBG

Doncaster: Plough, GBG

Doncaster: White Swan


Sheffield Station: Sheffield Tap, GBG



Bradford: Jacob’s Beer House, GBG, 2017

Bradford: Record Café, GBG, 2017

Shipley: Fox, GBG, 2017


Holmfirth, Nook, GBG, 2017

Huddersfield: Grove, GBG

Huddersfield: Sportsman, GBG

Marsden: Riverhead Brewery Tap, GBG


City Centre: Adelphi, 2017

City Centre, Angel Inn, 2017

City Centre, Duck and Drake, GBG, 2017

City Centre, Whitelocks, GBG, 2017

Otley: Junction Inn, GBG

Otley: Old Cock, GBG


The Comm Bar, Lochgilphead, Argyll



City Centre: Aitchies Ale House, GBG

City Centre: Grill, GBG

City Centre: Prince of Wales, GBG


Aboyne: Boat Inn, GBG

Ballater: Glenaden Hotel, GBG


Montrose: Market Arms



Campbeltown: Black Sheep Bar, Royal Hotel, 2017

Iona: Martyrs Bay Bar

Lochgilphead, The Comm 2017

Mull, Craignure: Craignure Inn

Oban: Lorne Bar, 2017

NEW Rothesay: Black Bull, GBG, 2018

NEW Rothesay: Macs Bar, 2018, pictured


smoffatDumfries: Cavens Arms, GBG

Dumfries: New Bazaar, GBG, 2017

Dumfries: Tam O’Shanter, GBG

Isle of Whithorn: Steam Packet Inn, GBG

Kippford: Anchor Hotel

Moffat: Star Bar, Star Hotel, GBG, pictured

Newton Stewart: Black Horse


Perth Road, Phoenix, GBG

Perth Road, Speedwell (Mennie’s), GBG


Eaglesham, Swan Inn 2017


See the Edinburgh and Glasgow Favourite Pubs Guide


shebridesBarra, Castlebay: Castlebay Hotel Bar, 2017

Lewis, Ness: Old Barn Bar, Cross Inn

Lewis, Stornoway: Criterion Bar, 2017, pictured

Lewis, Stornoway, Edge O’ the World, 2017

Lewis, Stornoway, McNeills


Falkirk: Wheatsheaf Inn


Anstruther: Ship Tavern, GBG

Crail, Golf Hotel, GBG, pictured

Dunfermline: Commercial Inn, GBG

St Andrews: Central, GBG

St Andrews: Criterion, GBG

St Andrews: Whey Pat Tavern



See the Edinburgh and Glasgow Favourite Pubs Guide


Aviemore: Old Bridge Inn, GBG, 2017

Grantown on Spey: High St Merchants, GBG, 2017

Inverness, Castle Tavern, GBG, 2017

Inverness, Gellions, 2017

Inverness, Phoenix Bar, 2017

Mallaig, Steam Inn, 2017


NEW Millport: Frasers, GBG, 2018



Blair Atholl: Bothy Bar, Atholl Arms Hotel

Moulin: Moulin Inn, GBG, pictured

Perth: Greyfriars, GBG

Perth: Old Ship Inn

Pitlochry: Old Mill Inn, GBG


Melrose: Kings Arms


Linlithgow, Platform 3, GBG, 2017


imag1890The Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Gwynedd


wconwyConwy: Y Bont/Bridge Inn, 2017, pictured

Conwy: Albion, GBG, 2017

Llandudno: Kings Head

Llandudno: Snowdon, GBG


Llangollen: Corn Mill, GBG

Llangollen: Wynnstay Arms


wtycoch1Barmouth: Royal Hotel, GBG

Dolgellau: Cross Keys

Dolgellau: Torrent Walk, GBG

Porthdinllaen: Ty Coch, GBG, pictured

Porthmadog: Australia, GBG

Porthmadog: Ship Inn

Porthmadog: Station Inn

Tremadog: Union Inn, GBG


Machynlleth: Red Lion

Machynlleth: Dyfi Forester, GBG 


Beaumaris: Bull, 2017

Beaumaris: Castle Court, GBG, 2017

Beaumaris: George and Dragon, 2017

Beaumaris: Liverpool Arms, 2017

Beaumaris: Midland Tapas Bar, 2017

Cemaes: Stag, 2017, pictured

Menai Bridge: Liverpool Arms, GBG, 2017

Menai Bridge: Tafarn Y Bont/Bridge Inn, 2017

Moelfre: Kinmel Arms


iomportstmaryCastletown: Castle Arms, GBG

Castletown: Sidings, GBG

Douglas: Old Market Inn, GBG

Douglas: Prospect Hotel, GBG

Douglas: Rovers Return, GBG

Laxey: Mines Tavern

Peel: Creek Inn, GBG

Port Erin: Bay Hotel, GBG

Port St Mary: Albert Hotel, pictured

A note about Wetherspoon’s.

There are Wetherspoon’s pubs virtually everywhere – they share the same plusses (good choice of beer, cheap beer) and minuses (slow service, the atmosphere of a canteen rather than a pub) so, unless they are exceptional, they haven’t been mentioned in this list, or in the other guides. The quality of the beer can vary tremendously, depending on the skill and enthusiasm of the staff, and how much real ale they sell. Some of the pubs are in architecturally magnificent and well-restored old buildings. Do not assume that all Wetherspoon’s pubs are not worth a visit – there are plenty of small towns where they have the best selection of beer in town and are forcing the other pubs to up their game or close. In the past few years I can think of examples in Ayr, Crook, Kirkcaldy, Llandudno, Sheerness and Spennymoor. And despite the owners politics we still call for breakfast from time to time at half the price of a hotel breakfast.

A few of the breweries we’ve passed on our travels: Hook Norton in Hook Norton, Wadworth’s in Devizes and Elgood’s in Wisbech.


Finally, one that got away. The unspoilt Fiddichside Inn, Craigellachie, Moray, which closed in 2017 following the death of the long serving landlord.

Copyright: © Steve Gillon, 2019

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