West Berkshire's Better Pubs

These pubs are recommended by members of West Berkshire CAMRA. Those listed in dark red have appeared in the Good Beer Guide within the past five years.

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The Butt Inn, Station Road
Tel: 0118 971 2129 (Free)

Named after the former archery butts which once stood opposite, this large pub stands close to the Kennet and Avon Canal and is popular with boaters and ramblers.


The Hind's Head
Tel: 0118 971 2194 (Fullers)

Comfortable village inn which has preserved some of its former brewery.

The Bell Inn
Tel: 01635 578272
(Free house)
One of Britain's finest rural pubs; an unspoilt gem that has been in the same family for 200 years, and which is listed in CAMRA's National Inventory. Has won many awards, including CAMRA Pub of the Year in 1990 and CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year in 1998 and 2005.

The Four Points, Haw Lane
Tel: 01635 578367 (Free)

Changed hands in 2005.


The Sun in the Wood
Tel: 01635 42377 (Wadworth)
A smart country pub off the beaten track.

The Blackbird
Tel: 01635 40638 (Free)
A country pub close to the famous Watermill Theatre. Now completely non-smoking.

The Coach and Horses, Oxford Road
Tel: 01635 248743 (Greene King)
Traditional two-bar village local.

The Langley Hall Inn Oxford Road
Tel: 01635 248332 (Free)
Named after a long-vanished nearby manor house, this large pub with modern decor has reverted to its original name after many unsuitable changes. Has a good reputation for its food.

The Six Bells
Tel: 0118 971 3368 (Free)
A smart two-bar pub at one end of a very long village.

The Winning Hand, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 2472 (Free)
A former licenced restaurant that became a pub a few years ago.

The Bell Inn
Tel: 01635 40638 (Free)
A large single-bar pub on the Lambourn Road, with an attractive patio area.

The Three Horseshoes
Tel: 0118 971 2183 (Arkell)

The Ibex
Tel: 01488 638311 (Greene King)
A village pub with three separate bars and a restaurant. Named after a species of wild Alpine goat and apparently one of only two pubs in the UK so called.

The Bladebone
Tel: 0118 971 2326 (Free)
A village-centre pub with a conservatory for dining and a large garden. The name comes from the bone of a prehistoric animal found nearby.

Ye Olde Red Lion
Tel: 01635 248379 (Arkell)
The one remaining pub in a village which once boasted three, this pub is by no means as old as the name suggests!

The Castle Inn
Tel: 01635 863232 (Enterprise)
These two pubs, of differing character, adjoin each other at the top of Cold Ash Hill.

The Spotted Dog
Tel: 01635 862458 (Free)

The Bunk
Tel: 01635 200400. (Free)
A very food-orientated, pricey establishment in a secluded area north of Newbury.

The Castle, Oxford Road
Tel: 01635 40615 (Free)
A spacious foody pub close to historic Donnington Castle that (for a very brief period) was re-named 'The Pig in Hiding' until West Berkshire CAMRA forced the restoration of the original name.

The Fox and Hounds, Oxford Road
Tel: 01635 40540 (Arkell)
Close to Donnington Valley Golf Club and the A34.

The Three Horseshoes, Castle Lane
Tel: 0163 541366 (Free)
In the centre of Donnington village, with a patio and children's play area beside the River Lambourn.

The Crown and Horns
Tel: 01635 281205
(pub) 281545 (hotel) (Free)
A large hotel in the village centre with various bars and 10 en-suite bedrooms. Has a separate no-smoking restaurant.

The Swan, High Street
Tel: 01635 41366 (Greene King)
A hotel with an award-winning garden.

The Plough Inn
Tel: 01488 71312 (Free)
A popular village pub serving good food.

The Craven Arms
Tel: 01635 253336 (Wadworth)
A large family-orientated country pub serving good food. There is a children's play area in the garden.

The Pot Kiln
Tel: 01635 201366 (Free)
A former alehouse for brick kiln workers which was CAMRA's Regional Pub of the Year in 1997. Hard to find - take the road southwards from Yattendon church. Recently purchased by a TV chef who has made alterations that have destroyed some of it original unspoiled character. West Berkshire Brewery's original site is in outbuildings at the back.

The Swan, Newbury Road
Tel: 01488 648271 (Enterprise)
After many changes of ownership and licencee, this spacious village pub beside the River Lambourn looks set for a period of stability. Currently selling beer from both local breweries.

The Halfway Inn
Tel: 01488 658215
(Hall and Woodhouse)
An 18th century posting house on the Bath Road in a hamlet which is equidistant between London and Bath - hence the name.

The White Hart
Tel: 01635 202248 (Greene King)
A large village centre pub with a big fireplace. HQ of the local cricket club.

The White Hart
Tel: 01488 658201 (Free)
An oak-beamed country pub which is a rare local outlet for Young's beers.

The Fox Inn, Yattendon Road
Tel: 01635 201545 (Enterprise)
Large rambling pub.

The Lamb, Long Lane
Tel: 01635 200348 (Free)
A cottage-type pub which is one of the few local outlets for mild.

The White Horse, Newbury Road
Tel: 01635 200325 (Greene King)
Recently much renovated.

The Angel, 50 Church Street
Tel: 01488 681199 (Free)
E-mail: dave.jones@btconnect.com
A cosy little town pub with good beer and food.

The Borough Arms, 77 High Street
Tel: 01635 281215 (Wadworth)

The Downgate
Park Street
Tel: 01488 682708 (Arkell)
A small community local on the edge of Hungerford Common.

The Hungerford Club, The Croft
Tel: 01488 682358 (Free)
Welcomes CAMRA members on production of a membership card or a current Good Beer Guide.

The Railway, Station Road
Tel: 01488 683100 (Fullers)
Noted for live music.

The Tally-Ho
Tel: 01488 682312 (Wadworth)
Three miles north of Hungerford on a blind crossroads.

The Crown and Garter, Inkpen Common
Tel: 01488 668325 (Free)
Both Inkpen pubs were threatened with conversion into private houses, and both were rescued and given a new lease of life with good food, accommodation and (of course) real ale. The Crown and Garter is a small cottage-like pub with a splendid garden.

The Swan Inn
Lower Inkpen
Tel: 01635 248332 (Free)

E-mail: enquiries@theswaninn-organics.co.uk
Purchased by local organic beef farmers Mary and Bernard Harris, The Swan has been much extended, and now has an organic farm shop and a butchery making superb beef sausages. Regular quizzes every other Thursday.

The Blue Ball, High Street
Tel: 01488 608126 (Free)
Two bar pub offering pool and darts, and with a separate function room.

The Dundas Arms, Station Road
Tel: 01488 658263 (Free)
A smart canalside pub very convenient for the railway station (Kennet Valley line).

The Prince of Wales, Newbury Street
Tel: 01488 658263 (Free)
Old, tile-clad pub serving the local community

The George Hotel, High Street
Tel: 01488 71889 (Arkell)
Welcoming village centre pub.

The Lamb Inn, 46 Newbury Street
Tel: 01488 71552 (Free)
Town-style pub with two bars and a riverside garden.

The Wheelwright's Arms, 4 The Broadway
Tel: 01488 71643 (Greene King)
Three-room pub popular with local stable lads.

The Stag, Shop Lane
Tel: 01488 638436 (Free)
A one-room village local with a fine collection of old photos of village life.

The Red House
Tel: 01635 582017 (Free)
A beautiful thatched building largely set aside for high-quality restaurant dining.

The Berkshire Arms, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 4114 (Free)
A large multi-room pub with restaurant dining and children's play facilities.

The Coach and Horses, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 3384 (Free)
Pub with a small bar area and both smoking and non-smoking dining rooms.

The Blue Ball, Greenham Road
Tel: 01635 43564 (Free)
Pub near the racecourse with two bars and a conservatory.

The Coopers Arms, 39 Bartholomew Street
Tel: 01635 47469 (Arkell)
Small down-to-earth local with several drinking areas.

The Lamb, 5 Enborne Road
Tel: 01635 40912 (Enterprise)
True community pub with separate bars.

The Lion, West Street
Tel: 01635 528468 (Wadworth)
A popular street-corner pub just off the town centre. The previous Lion was the HQ of the local CAMRA branch in the 1970s, but was rebuilt in the same style by Wadworth.

The Lock, Stock and Barrel,
104 Northbrook Street
Tel: 01635 42730 (Fullers)
A large one bar pub beside Newbury Lock with a roof garden and pleasant outdoor drinking areas. Gets very crowded during the annual Crafty Craft Race along the canal from Hungerford to Newbury.

The Monument,
57 Northbrook Street
Tel: 01635 41964 (Enterprise)
Probably Newbury's oldest pub; a down-to-earth alehouse with partitioned drinking areas. Another pub that had its original name restored by popular demand. Specialises in good local food and is the only regular outlet in Newbury for Butts' beers.

The Fox and Hounds, Hill Green Road
Tel: 01635 248252 (Free)
A comfortable pub in a rural setting. Children are allowed in the games area.

The Pheasant
Baydon Road
Tel: 01488 648284 (Free)
Once known as 'The Boarden House', this tile-hung pub is only a quarter of a mile from M4 junction 14. It retains a rural feel, although recent renovations have removed the dividing wall between the bars, and the walls are covered with horseracing pictures.

The Hare and Hounds Hotel, Bath Road
Tel: 01635 521152 (Free)
An old coaching inn with a bar and restaurant open to non-residents.

The Starting Gate, 75 Brummel Road
Tel: 01635 43859 (Free)
Large one-bar estate pub.

The Bull
Tel: 0118 974 4409 (Free)
A 15th century village pub with an original wattle and daub wall displayed in the tap room. Ring the Bull played. Occasional live music.

The Old Boot
Tel: 0118 974 4292(Free)
Pub with a small bar, large conservatory and huge garden.

The Lord Lyon
Tel: 01488 608366 (Arkell)
Smart local named after a racehorse.

The Rising Sun
Tel: 01488 608131
(West Berkshire)
West Berkshire Brewery's first pub, opened in December 2005. Regular live music.

The King's Head, 59 The Broadway
Tel: 01635 862145 (Free)
Former coaching inn with two bars.

The Old Chequers, 36 The Broadway
Tel: 01635 863312 (Free)
Ancient town-centre pub with exposed beams and low ceilings.

The Plough, 81 Chapel Street
Tel: 01635 860340 (Enterprise)
Two bar local on the edge of the town.

The Cottage Inn, 26 Broad Lane
Tel: 01488 648284 (Greene King)
A comfortable village pub once known as 'The Three Crowns'.

The Gun
142 Andover Road
Tel: 01635 580032 (Trust Inns)
A large two-bar pub on the site of the First Battle of Newbury in 1643. Said to have a resident ghost.

The Woodpecker
Tel: 01635 43027 (Arkell)
A comfortable one-bar pub right on the boundary with Hampshire.

The Harrow
Tel: 01635 281260 (Greene King)
A food-orientated pub opposite the cricket ground in the village where Morland started brewing.

The Five Bells
Tel: 01488 657894 (Free)
A 16th century thatched village inn with a large garden.

The Winterbourne Arms
Tel: 01635 248200 (Free)
Formerly known as The New Inn, this large village pub is noted for its food.

The Five Bells
Tel: 01635 48763 (Greene King)
One-bar rural pub with a separate dining area. Landlord owns a stretch limo for hire!

The Angel, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 3307 (Free)
Smart modern inn with an ivy-clad exterior. The former coaching inn stood nearer to the road.

The Falmouth Arms, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 3202 (Eldridge Pope)
Roadside locals' pub with an outside patio.

The Rising Sun, Bath Road
Tel: 0118 971 2717 (Arkell)
Don't be put off by the virulent yellow exterior paintwork!

The Row Barge, Station Road
Tel: 0118 971 2213 (Free)
Well-appointed inn beside the Kennet and Avon canal with a large conservatory and lovely canalside gardens.

The Royal Oak, The Square
Tel: 01635 201325 (Free)
An attractive and up-market 16th century inn a stone's throw from the West Berkshire Brewery.


Gone, but not forgotten!

These are some of the good local pubs which have closed in recent years:


The Stocks
(Free)
A comfortable village pub of some character, with excellent simple food. Converted to a private house by the last landlord.

The Hare and Hounds
(Usher)
An ancient and picturesque pub on the edge of the village with two comfortable bars and a skittle alley. It was run by an ex-RSM who kept the most spotless cellar imaginable, but was demolished to make way for a new doctors' surgery.

The Wheatsheaf
(Morland)
A cosy two-bar pub in the middle of the village, much used by the locals. Sold by Morland and converted into a private house.

COMPTON

The Red Lion, Apple Pie Hill
(Free)
A secluded country pub well outside the village. Converted to a private house.

EAST ILSLEY

The Star, High Street
(Free)
An ancient and friendly village local just up the hill from the village centre. West Berkshire councillors and planning officers ignored their own pub protection policies and granted permission for The Star to be converted to two houses in December 2005, despite the fact that it was a perfectly viable operation.

The New Inn, Yattendon Road
(Free)
A superb two-bar village pub with a huge garden leading down to the river. The beers (which included Morland's excellent mild) were served by gravity from behind the bar. Closed by Morland when they bought The White Hart in the village, and converted to a private house. The conversion was fought by West Berkshire CAMRA, who introduced a boycott of Morland because of their actions.

The Rising Sun, Bear Lane
(Inntrepreneur)
A basic two-bar town pub that had been much neglected. West Berkshire branch and the local council fought the closure right up to a public enquiry, but the pub was demolished to make way for a wine merchants and a dry cleaners.

The Wheatsheaf, 15 Chapel Street
(Free)
A refurbished town pub with a small public bar/games room and large lounge which was a former Good Beer Guide entry. Converted into an Indian restaurant in early 2007.

The Travellers' Rest, Cock Lane
(Free)
A secluded country alehouse near Stanford Dingley that was purchased by a businessman, expensively renovated, then closed within six months, and converted to a private house.


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