PUB and BEER TRAILS... ...

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle is a market town found off of the A6. There is one long road running in, through and out. Almost all of the pubs are on this road.

Some kind person, whom my e-mail will not connect to to thank, has created a site to give an 'alternative guide' to the pubs of Barnard Castle. This gives some insights that would not be found at the Tourist Information. This ranges from chances of romance to type of music to cards and fighting.
While I tried to visit all of the pubs, the Tourist Information could not point out any that had been missed as they did not know of the Castle Walls. The alternative guide suggests that I did not enter them all. On the other hand they may have disappeared.

Click picture to enlarge...

The White Swan is at the bridge over the river as you come into town down Bowes Road. It has an attached restuarant. The bar is upstairs with pool and darts. Looks newly decorated. There is just something missing.

Have a pint.

real ale: nil
bitter: John Smiths, Magnet Cider: Strongbow
Lager: 1664, Fosters Guinness

A pub doing evening meals is difficult to find. Fortunately the food in The Old Well is terrific.

Across the bridge and follow the road round. The Blue Bell at Barnard Castle is a bit of a long name for a small pub. However, it is a pleasant local. Plenty of locals taking together. Pool and darts.

definately a pint.
real ale: advertised but not there??
bitter: John Smiths, Theakstons
Lager: Carling, Stella Guinness

“Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it

Walk up the hill, called The Bank, and The Old Well is on the left. Front bar, middle bar, dining area and outside tables at back. Very nice pub with great food and good choice of beers.
The Good Beer Guide 2013 (CAMRA) -2016
Visited by Bill Bryson in "The Road to Little Dribbling"
Few pints here.
real ale: Directos, Beechers, Landlord
bitter: John Smiths Cider: Strongbow
Lager: Carling, Fosters Guinness

To the right at the round about is The Black Horse. A pleasant local front bar with pool in back room. Yard to toilet used by smokers (must be desperate).

A pint (just)
real ale: none (now serving one according to CAMRA)
bitter: John Smiths, Magnet Cider: Strongbow, Woodpecker
Lager: 1664, Fosters Guinness

Back on the main road the Raby Arms Hotel is on the right. This is a weekend venue with disco

real ale: nil

Along the street is The Turks Head. This is a large old pub with lots of small drinking areas beyond the bar. No food in the evening 'cause we are too busy'. Good bar to stand at. Lots of locals. Always bustling.

Pint here.
real ale: Theakstons, Old speckled Hen
bitter: John Smiths Cider: Strongbow, Scrumpy Jack
Lager: Fosters Guinness

Drink and Music

The Kinks -

Across the road is the Golden Lion. This is up for offer. You go down a slope to enter front drinking area and bar also serves a rear drinking area as well. The rear bar is the tallest I have stood at - easy to lean against if six foot tall but the vertically challanged will have trouble being seen. Outside area at back.
The Good Beer Guide (CAMRA) -2016
A pint or two - for old and new rockers

real ale: Cumberland Ale
bitter: Marstons creamflow Cider: Woodpecker
Lager: Stella, Carling, Fosters Guinness

The main road turns to the right at the Castle into a very wide road and on the left is The Commercial Hotel. This looks like it has seen better days. Lounge through door at side, bar via front door. Very popular with locals. Camra mags but no real ale.
Worth a pint

real ale: nil (now serving one according to CAMRA)
bitter: John Smiths, Youngers Cider: Strongbow
Lager: Stella, Carling, Fosters Guinness

A little further up is the Coach and Horses. A very long lounge with seating area, bar, more seating and then pool, then more seating. Actually a pleasant little local. Though when real ale was off (only for one day) I was told that the Cumberland creamflow was just the same stuff.

Couple of pints here. (But not the Creamflow)

real ale: Cumberland Ale
bitter: Marstons creamflow, Cumberland creamflow Cider: Woodpecker, Scrumpy Jack
Lager: Stella, Carling Fosters Guinness

The Three Horseshoes was closed. However, it has now re-opened after massive refit. Has 11 rooms for staying.,

The Oscars

Further up the road is the Cricketers Arms. A nice pub with seating areas either side of a sqaure bar. Looks feshly decorated. Probably the best big screen viewing in town.

A pint here (if it has real ale now, then stay longer)

real ale: nil (now serving one according to CAMRA)
bitter: Cumberland creamflow, Banks Cider: Strongbow
Lager: Cobra, Carling, Stella Fosters Guinness

Up the road further still is the Beaconsfield. A large pub . Bar to left, lounge and conservatory to right. No food after 6pm. Bands on Saturday nights. Not open all day.

Have a pint, perhaps two

real ale: Black Sheep, Adnams Broadside, Wells Bombardier
bitter: Tetley smoothflow Cider: Strongbow, Woodpecker
Lager: Carling, Becks, Fosters Guinness

Closed down?

Walk on up and turn off to the left to find the Red Well Inn. Has a good sized bar some of which is obviously for meals. It is a hotel but does seem to have locals and standing at bar is comfortable.
Have a pint

real ale: Hampshire real ale
bitter: John Smiths Cider: Bulmers
Lager: Amstel, Stella, Fosters Guinness

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