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Best bars

scotland
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Best bars

Going for the day ( possibly night stay) so wondered about the best places for a good drink. We are in our late 30s and like traditional bars with juke box If possible that serves good food.

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Northumberland...
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1. Re: Best bars

I'd suggest the Head of Steam and the Market Tavern. Both do very good beer and food, can't comment on juke box though.

Frankly Durham is so small just have a wander round until you see somewhere you fancy.

Durham
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2. Re: Best bars

Hi,

There are a fair few pubs in Durham but three (or four at a push) distinct areas. So I’ll go through these for you.

I presume you will arrive on the train so we’ll start off with the train station/North Road area.

The Station House: Real ale/micropub. Will have 4 real ales and 4 real ciders on. Has bottles of lager, wine and such. No music or TV or anything that your own company. Gets busy quite often as the drink is the best in Durham.

The Bridge: Regular boozer. Does decent food if hungry (though there is better about). Bit transient in atmosphere due to being part hotel, getting rail and football traffic.

Colpitts: Wonderful pub (old man’s pub, again no TV I don’t think or music). ‘Tis Sam Smiths though, so if you don’t like that, don’t bother.

Moon over Water: Wetherspoons. Like every other Wetherspoons in the World.

<Note: On your right is The Golden Pearl, a Thai supermarket/Café. If you want cheap and quick food (and like Thai), a good stop off point for a bit of filler>

Union Rooms: Up the stairs. Student type. Wouldn’t bother.

Head of Steam: Through archway on left as going down. Can get a bit rock pub and very full. But does have lots of choice and many, many bottles. Watch the prices of things as they can be very expensive, depending on what you order. Decent grub in here (similar standard to Bridge IMO).

William Hedley: Formerly Yates’. And not a good one, if there is such a thing. Wide berth.

Fighting Cocks: Don’t give Yates’ too wide a berth as you may accidentally walk into this complete hole of an aged meat market. Don’t even contemplate it.

Elm Tree: If you find yourself near the Fighting Cocks, there is a great big hill next to it. Go up that hill and at the top is Ye Old Elm Tree. Good drink here. It has a juke box (but is a bit of an old man’s pub). Does food, and would say it is slightly better than the Bridge or HoS myself).

Angel: Over the road from the Elm Tree is this rock pub. Same bunch own both so the drink is of similarly decent standard. It is a rock bar. Good beer garden. It has loud music and I think a jukebox (can’t guarantee that). Often has bands on.

Bishop Langley: Alright for sitting out if a nice day, but downstairs is big and soulless. Drinks alright. Food is overpriced.

Market square/Gala area:

Market Tavern: Decent food again. Used to have a jukebox, not sure any more. Drink isn’t cheapest. Gets very full if there are many in at all.

John Duck. Same bunch as the Elm Tree/Angel. But, has a higher turnover so drink is even nicer. Louder music than most, and an ad hoc arrangement to showing sport (which no one watches anyway).

Big Jug: Slightly rough but has bands on occasionally. Often extremely quiet.

Into the Gala…

Champagne Bar (Ebony), Missoula, Lloyds, another cocktail bar, Loveshack night club: You get the picture. Personally think the Champagne Bar is alright, but not really what you are after I don’t think.

If eating on evening in this area Tias (Mexican) is nice and relatively cheap.

Elvet side of Market Square…

Shakespeare: Old pub that has lots of corridors through it. Can be a bit dead away from the main bit. Decent drink. No food.

Library: Big, clubby type pub. Decent food for cheap (at selected times I think). Decent drink there too.

(Then over the river – there are a few by the river, but I tend to ignore as they are similar to Gala or student types)

Swan and three Cygnets: Sam Smiths. And smells a bit. Good sitting out area.

Dun Cow: Nice old pub. Decent drink. Small. Pies rather than food. No music.

Court Inn: Bit of background music on I think. Best food in pubs in Durham I reckon. Decent drink selection. Pretty middle class pub.

Victoria: At the top of the hill. Lovely pub (worth going in to see the set up). Very good beer served. No food or music.

City: Decent drink (nothing great), decent if slightly overpriced food. It’s alright.

Half Moon: See City, but add on twenty years and take away the food.

For the centre, I think that’s about it. Obviously all about opinions…

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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3. Re: Best bars

Oh the Colpitts, my favourite pub in Durham. You walk in expecting Ena Sharples to be sat in the corner and Annie Walker serving behind the bar. No TV's or music in this pub.

Northumberland...
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4. Re: Best bars

My God, The Fighting Cocks, I went in there once and still have the occasional nightmare.

scotland
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5. Re: Best bars

Great information and much appreciated thanks

durham
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6. Re: Best bars

Oldham... great post. I'm a regular in the colpitts class pub... The fighting Cocks ha ha the ultimate desperate disco... and sad to say recently the bigg jugs going the same way

Edited: 17 November 2016, 22:27
New York City, New...
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7. Re: Best bars

I would suggest 3 best oldest pub in Durham are:

1) Dun Cow

2)Head of Steam

3) The Queens Head Pub

I went most of pubs. But above 3 are the best.

Durham
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8. Re: Best bars

As I said, all about opinions.

But if the best old pub in Durham isn't The Victoria I don't know what way up is.

aberdeen
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9. Re: Best bars

Great thread, the Angel with its beer garden sounds about right for me and my guitar.

Durham
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10. Re: Best bars

Just to update this:

The Bishop Langley is now closed, the City has changed hands and is a bit of an unknown, and there is a new tiny gin bar opened on Elvet Bridge, which gets good reviews if that is your cup of tea.

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