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Top 10 Pubs to Visit Around Bath
1. The Bell Inn
Located along the working class's route into Bath, The Bell Inn is a traditional British pub that has been serving locals and visitors alike since the 18th century. With a rather traditional interior, and extensive, enclosed patio garden The Bell Inn is very much a favourite among locals. However, the pub itself is not the main draw - rather it is what it is known for. Since the 60's, The Bell has been one of the most revered live music venues in Bath with bands, DJs and all manner of other musical performances featuring on most nights. To many in the city, The Bell is an institution. Venture over one evening and allow yourself to be drawn into the often mad, yet always gregarious, crowd and entertainment.
The Raven is a small, independent pub situated in the heart of Bath. It is a lively, little place popular with locals and visitors alike. Very much a traditional boozer, the pub is lined with benches where patrons are encouraged to rub shoulders with each other over a traditional pint and maybe one of the famous pies the pub is renowned for. Located, along a historic street just off the main street in Bath, The Raven is ideal if you want a really authentic pub experience without having to wander too far from the centre of town.
The Garrick's Head is a historic pub that is situated just a stone's throw away from the Theatre Royal in Bath. Named after a famous Georgian actor who gave many a performance on the nearby stage, the pub boasts a stunning interior that features antique theatrical memorabilia, as well as a warm, lively atmosphere where many well-known faces, including those who walk the boards next door, can often be seen, especially after the curtain falls. The Garrick's Head serves a variety of local and international beers, and a pretty enticing modern pub food menu, making it's the perfect place to grab a drink before or after a show.
The Old Green Tree is a hidden gem that is situated just a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of Bath's city center. Another tiny boozer, this one serves a range of local beers and ciders, as well as a selection of classic pub food and often has an old-timer or two, seated at its bar. Seek it out if you want to be the only one from the 'outside' to go 'inside'.
The Salamander is a modern gastropub that has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors to Bath. The pub boasts a stunning interior with exposed brick walls, cozy booth seating, and a beautiful bar. The Salamander serves a range of artisanal beers and ciders, as well as a selection of modern British cuisine. It's the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
The Coeur de Lion is a historic pub that has been serving locals and visitors to Bath since the 18th century. Supposedly Bath's smallest pub, The Cour de Lion boasts a traditional interior that features wooden beams and a cozy fireplace, as well as several regulars that seem to have been propping up the bar since the days when TVs were black and white, and milk bottles were left on door steps. Located down an old, narrow, medieval alley, The Coeur de Lion may not have much room inside, but it does boast a few tables on the pavement for patrons to drink at whilst they watch the busy shoppers and curious tourists go by.
7. The Hop Pole
The Hop Pole is a lively pub located on the south-western edge of Victoria Park. Set a little away from the bustle of the town centre, the pub boasts a vibrant atmosphere, and this combined with its friendly staff make it a popular spot with locals and visitors alike. The Hop Pole serves a range of local and international beers and ciders, as well as a selection of classic pub food. The pub is also home to regular live music nights, making it an ideal night for an intimate evening out but with a little entertainment on hand.
8. The Star Inn
The Star Inn is a magnificent find that is situated just a short walk east from Bath's city center, and is as about as traditional as a pub gets. Eschewing the modern trend towards gourmet dining, The Star is boasts a historic, oak panelled interior unchanged since its installation in the late 1920s. Offering a pub experience that wouldn't have felt much different 50 years ago, The Star Inn offers both traditional drinks, such as cask ales, and bar snacks. Braver punters can still request a pickled egg to accompany their brew, as well as the regular pub fare of pork scratchings and crisps, before finding a place amongst the low, wooden table for a chat over a pint.
Situated on the northern edge of Bath perched on the crest of Lansdown (one of Bath's seven hills) this fabulous pub provides extensive, breathtaking views across the surrounding southern Cotswolds and the River Avon across to Solsbury Hill of Peter Gabriel fame. Aside from the vista, the ambience, food and beverages make this smartly restyled gem unmissable. Save your feet by catching the northern (Lansdown) Park and Ride bus from the city centre, or simply drive up and park in the car park.
10. The Chequers
The Chequers is a modern gastropub that has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors to Bath. The pub boasts a stunning interior that features wooden floors and exposed brick walls. The Chequers serves a range of artisanal beers and ciders, as well as a selection of modern British cuisine. It's the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
In summary, Bath, not only captivates visitors with its Roman Baths, Georgian architecture, and scenic vistas but also boasts a thriving pub scene for those wanting to seek it out. From historic music venues like The Bell Inn or thespian bolt holes like The Garrick's Head, to hidden gems like The Old Green Tree and The Star Inn, Bath offers a range of establishments that exude character and traditional charm. For those seeking a modern twist, The Salamander and The Chequers, among many notable others, provide a contemporary gastropub experience. Whether you're a local or a tourist, visiting Bath's top 10 pubs promises delightful moments, memorable drinks, and a taste of the city's vibrant pub scene.
Jules Mittra and the team.