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This bunch of pubs are loosely connected and turned into a route by their proximity to everyone’s favourite Lancaster nightclub: Hustle. Going to these pubs should help you resist the temptation of popping into Hustle on a Tuesday night.
The Pendle Witch was perhaps the first pub I ever went into in Lancaster, so it holds a little flame in my heart for that reason. Apart from that, there’s not much sentimentality to be had with the Pendle Witch unfortunately.
It’s not a bad pub, far from it. To use the Potts Scale, the standard measurement of pub quality, the Pendle Witch ticks most boxes. Does it screen the football? Check. Does it have a pool table? Check. Cheap lager? Check. Ale selection? Check. Pub dog? Umm probably.
But the Pendle Witch doesn’t really have that urge that makes you go “Hey guys, does anyone wanna go to the Pendle Witch tonight?” The beer’s cheap and the food menu is fairly big, but I just don’t have that connection with the pub. Though extra points for the wallpaper of a bookshelf. Ingenious stuff.
Ring O’ Bells
“Ring Of Bells? Where the hell is that?” (Everyone, 2017).
The Ring O’ Bells never really struck me as anything more than your standard local boozer. It’s inconspicuous, barely standing out amongst the shops on King Street, and even when you do notice it, it’s hardly an impressive sight. But Ring O’ Bells is the perfect example of why you should always follow the classic idiom – never judge a pub by its cover.
Maybe it was the warm, stoking fire that embraced us as we walked in on a cold, wintery night. Or just the fact that it’s a great pub. The ale selection is hardly as plentiful as some of the larger pubs in Lancaster, but that’s to be expected from a smaller place. The smaller size also correlates to slightly lower price, so you can enjoy a pint for around £3 as you play a game of pool or darts in the backroom.
The main room is quaintly decorated, with armchairs and sofas, giving the pub a real warm atmosphere. And on a slightly more summery night, the ‘secret’ garden behind the pub offers plenty of space to sit with a cider and enjoy the rays.
But the best part? The wonderful collection of board games to entertain oneself if present company doesn’t suffice. Never has playing 1980s Trivial Pursuit been so much fun (spoiler alert, every answer was the Soviet Union), nor has watching two people slog out a game of chess using Connect 4 pieces to replace missing rooks and kings. What a grand pub.
The Sir Richard Owen
The Sir Richard Owen is one of the most popular pubs in Lancaster, but you’ll probably know it as Spoons. Ah Wetherspoons, the undisputed home of cheap beer and cheap food. Lancaster lost The Green Ayre when Storm Desmond ravished the city, and with no sign of that ever re-opening, we’ve had to make do with this smaller equivalent.
Am I actually reviewing a Spoons? They’re all the bloody same (apart from the carpet apparently). So instead, let me pose you a binary question. Would you rather all pubs were Wetherspoons, or there were no Wetherspoons at all? Think about it.