National Trust Pubs & Inns

British Summer Time is officially coming to an end this Sunday, meaning we have a whole extra hour of weekend to enjoy! And with the forecast looking bright and breezy it’s the perfect opportunity to wrap up warm and head out to take in the colourful scenes of Autumn before the frost sets in.

Of course, some of the most beautiful walks in the country are those in the care of the National Trust, but did you know that as well as stunning stretches of land the trust has also acquired a number of pubs and inns. From Penzance to Northumberland and everywhere in between – including the sole public house on an island off the West Coast – the NT boasts an impressive and varied collection of venues, both old and new.

So, since the only way to make a good walk better is with a stop off at the local, why not spend this Sunday’s 25th hour exploring some of the nation’s most treasured gems. You might even find yourself near one of the pub walks recommended by the National Trust themselves!

Find pubs near you.

Foosball Fun!

Fancy showing off your footy skills from the comfort of your local? These selected outlets have been provided with their very own Foosball tables courtesy of UEFA Champions League sponsor, Heineken.

Never played? Not to worry – here is a video of Pro Master and current UK number 1, Rob Atha, showing some clever tricks to help you sharpen up your skills. And if you want to take it really seriously, here are the essential rules you need to follow according to the British Foosball Association.

Grab your mates and get involved…

Win Champions League Tickets!

Fancy winning tickets for you and a mate to attend a Champions League game?

Heineken & Amber Taverns are offering 5 lucky fans the chance to attend a Liverpool or Manchester United group stage match – and all you have to do is buy a pint!

Participating outlets will be giving away scratch cards with Heineken purchases offering instant-win prizes and the opportunity to be entered into the draw for the grand prize.

Click here to see which pubs are taking part.

Competition entries can be submitted between 28/10/2017 and 14/11/2017. Terms & Conditions apply.

These Terms and Conditions prevail in the event of any conflict or inconsistency with any other communications, including advertising or promotional materials. Entry instructions are deemed to form part of the terms and conditions and by entering this promotion all participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the terms and conditions, to their details being communicated to the Promoter’s representatives so that the Promoter or its representatives can contact the participant in connection with the Promotion (as necessary).  Please retain a copy for your information.

  1. Only open to GB residents aged 18 or over excluding employees of any company in the Heineken group, employees of Amber Taverns Ltd or the outlet where the promotion is taking place and any person whom, in the Promoter’s reasonable opinion, should be excluded due to their involvement or connection with this promotion. 2. Purchase one pint or 330ml bottle of HEINEKEN in participating Amber Taverns outlets in England and Wales (subject to availability) and receive one game card per drink. Maximum of 1 game card per person per day. Service is at the discretion of bar staff. There are 200 game cards per outlet and 30 instant win prizes. Ask for availability before purchase. 3. Scratch off the panel to indicate whether you are a winner of an instant-win prize of a Heineken t-shirt (one size), winning cards should be redeemed at the bar. All cards whether carrying an instant win or a lose message can then be entered into the draw to win a pair of tickets to UEFA Champions League group stage match, there are 10 prizes of 2 tickets to be won. Complete the entry card and hand to bar staff for inclusion in the draw. Amended, defaced or photocopied entry cards are invalid. Promoter cannot accept responsibility for lost or stolen entry cards. 4. Closing date for receipt of entry cards by bar staff is 23:59 on 14th November 2017. 5. Purchases must be made personally. 6. The draw, from entries received from all participating Amber Taverns outlets, will be made on 22nd November 2017 by an independent third party. 7. The winners will be the first 10 entry cards chosen at random from all valid entries. The winners will be contacted by mobile phone on 22nd November 2017If any winner cannot be contacted within 7 working days, the Promoter reserves the right to re-draw and select a new winner (and so on until a winner can be contacted who will take up the prize).  Winner’s details will be available in each participating Amber Taverns outlet from 30 November 2017. 8. The 10 winners will each win 2 tickets to a UEFA Champions League Group Stage match, for either Manchester United v CSKA Moskva at Old Trafford, Manchester on 05/12/17 or Liverpool v Spartak Moskva at Anfield, Liverpool on 06/12/17. There are 5 pairs of tickets available for each match and the winners will be randomly allocated to one of the two fixtures. The prize does not include any travel, subsistence or expenses of any kind, any such expenses are the responsibility of the winner and their guest. Ticket collection arrangements will be forwarded to the winner by the promoter by 30th November 2017. Ticket terms and conditions apply – see the website of the host club for further details. Tickets are not for transfer or resale and the event organiser reserves the right to invalidate any tickets sold contrary to the ticket terms. 9. There is no cash or other alternative to this prize in whole or in part, but the promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize of an equivalent value should the prize become unavailable for any reason. Prizes are not transferable. The Promoter reserves the right to reclaim the prize if it is transferred. 10. The winner and their guest must be aged 18 or over, proof of identity will be required. The winner and guest will be required to undergo the relevant security checks ahead of entering the ground. If the winners are refused entrance to the ground, which is at the discretion of the club’s security, they forfeit their right to the prize.  11.  The Promoter and/or its agents accept no liability for any loss or damage to personal belonging of the winners or guest pre, during or post the match. All personal belongings are the sole responsibility of the owner. 12. The decision of the promoter in all matters is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. 13. The promoter is not responsible for any third party acts or omissions. 14. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend this promotion due to events or circumstances arising beyond its control. 15. We cannot guarantee that the event will be free from disruptions, failings or cancellations. We are not liable for such disruptions, failings or cancellations unless they are caused by our negligence. Any requests for refunds or compensation arising from them should be sent to the operator of the event. We can provide you with their details on request. 16 Each winner and his/her guest as applicable agree to comply with the terms and conditions applicable to the issue and use of tickets from time to time. 17. This promotion is run by the Promoter with the permission of the event organiser. Accordingly the Promoter is responsible for the operation of and all matters and concerns relating to the promotion, not the organiser or any other persons involved in the staging the event and shall not be responsible for or liable to entrants in any way whatsoever in connection with this promotion. 18. All taxes (including without limitation national & local taxes) in connection with any prize & the reporting consequence thereof, are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. 19. These rules and any dispute or difference arising out of or in connection with them shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. The Promoter and each entrant irrevocably agrees to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales over any claim or matter arising under or in connection with these rules or the legal relationships established by this agreement. Promoter: Heineken UK Limited, 3-4 Broadway Park, South Gyle Broadway, Edinburgh EH12 9JZ

The UK’s Most Haunted Pubs

Happy Halloween! What better time to explore some of the UK’s most haunted pubs! Spurned lovers, duelling brothers, highwayman spooks, and headless Dukes. Here are the horrible histories of some of our favourite ancient inns to get you in the spirit of the season.


 Golden Fleece, York

golden fleece

The existence of the Golden Fleece was first documented in city archives in 1503 when it’s cellar was allegedly used to store the unclaimed bodies of hanged convicts. The pub is reportedly home to 5 ghosts including; Lady Alice Peckett – wife of one-time Landlord and York’s Lord Mayor of 1702, and Geoff Monroe – a Canadian airman who fell to his death from Room 4 of the inn in 1945 – did he jump or was he pushed? Either way his spirit has been troubling staff and guests alike ever since. There have been complaints of bed covers being ripped from terrified residents throughout the night and the feeling of invisible hands tightening around the necks of staff members when behind the bar. The Fleece has since earned a reputation of being one of most haunted pubs in the UK – even receiving a visit from Derek Acorah and the ‘Most Haunted’ team in 2005.


The Spaniard’s Inn, NorthWest London

spaniards inn

Mentioned by name in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Spaniard’s Inn on the fringes of Hampstead Heath dates back to 1585. The story goes that the name is derived from a pair of early Landlords Francesco & Juan Perero who duelled after falling for the same woman, resulting in the death of the latter. His body was buried in the garden of the pub and customers have reported sightings of him throughout the establishment. In another spooky claim to fame, notorious highwayman, Dick Turpin was also said to have spent many a night here when it was under the management of his father. After his execution in York in 1739 his spirit is said to have returned to The Spaniard’s where he now stalks the roads outside along with his trusty horse Black Bess.


Ye Olde Man & Scythe, Bolton

man and scythe

Being one of the oldest pubs in Britain (4th to be exact) automatically ups your level of spooky-ness by a few points – not that this particular pub needs any help. Ye Olde Man & Scythe has been the scene of many bloody encounters including the Bolton Massacre in which hundreds of soldiers & civilians were killed in 1644. Not surprising then that it is reportedly haunted by no less than 25 spirits. One of those being that of the 7th Earl of Derby, James Stanley, who spent his last hours here before being beheaded in 1651 towards the end of the Civil War. If you’re not convinced check out this CCTV footage from 2015 and see what you think.


The Red Lion, Avebury, Wiltshire

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Surrounded by a prehistoric stone circle, The Red Lion of Avebury is the only pub of its kind in the world with the building dating back to the early 1600’s. Before becoming a coaching house in 1802, The Red Lion served as a farmhouse with a well, which over time and expansion has come to reside in one of the current day front rooms. In this well supposedly lies the body of the Lion’s resident phantom, Florrie whose husband returned from the Civil War to find her in the arms of another man. After killing them both he dragged her body to the well and threw it into the depths then sealing it with a boulder. Residents and customers have since claimed to have seen her ghost emerge from the well – alarming for anyone sitting at the table which it has since become.


The Mermaid Inn, Rye, East Sussex

mermaid inn

Another alumni of TV’s ‘Most Haunted’ The Mermaid Inn was established in the 12th century with the main building being traced back to 1420. The Inn was used by a group of smugglers known as the Hawkhurst Gang during the 18th century, taking advantage of the buildings many secret passages. The wife of one of those smugglers is thought to haunt the rooms upstairs. Known as ‘The Woman in White’, she has been seen walking through walls and appearing at the end of the bed of more than one petrified guest. And it’s not just visitors who are spooked, supposedly one of the rooms – The Kingsmill Suite –  is so haunted that the cleaners will only enter in pairs! You can watch The Mermaid Inn’s appearance on ‘Most Haunted’ here.


Jamaica Inn, Launceston, Cornwall


 This 900 year old former coaching inn, set in it’s isolated location on the edge of Bodmin Moor, served as the perfect hideout for rum smugglers, ship-wreckers and even murderers during the 18th century. Made famous by the works of Daphne Du Maurier, who visited the inn during her youth, it has been subject of many mysterious tales. One of the most famous is that the of a gentleman who, having left his unfinished pint on the bar, stepped outside and never returned. His body was found nearby the next day but no reason for or suspect in his death was ever found. Years later in the early 1900’s, there were many reports from customers and passers-by of a man sitting on the wall outside The Jamaica Inn. Never moving or responding to greetings, but who looked uncannily like the slain patron. Modern day ghost-hunters are invited to investigate the paranormal activity for themselves with guided tours happening throughout the year.


 The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street, London

viaduct tavern

The Viaduct Tavern stands as the last example of a traditional Victorian Gin Palace, with ornate decor and original toll booth still intact, this building dates back to 1869. It was once neighbour to Newgate Prison and Courthouse, overlooking the caged walkway known as ‘Dead Man’s Walk’ – for obvious reasons. Some of the condemned souls were reportedly buried under this walkway, which would explain how it has come to gain a reputation for hauntings. Staff have reported experiencing lights cutting out and doors locking themselves – particularly in the cellar where cell like structures can still be seen. Some dispute the validity of the claims that these were used house the overflow of prisoners due to be put to death, but the pub’s proximity to such terrible tales has continued to intrigue visitors throughout the years.


Ye Olde King’s Head, Chester

ye olde kings head

With Elizabethan fireplaces reportedly constructed from timber salvaged from the wreckage of one of Lord Admiral Nelson’s sunken ships Ye Olde Kings Head is certainly steeped in history. The Inn has existed since 1622, with foundations which can be traced all the way back to the early 1200’s. During a refurbishment in the 1930’s a sword – now proudly displayed in the bar – was discovered under the floorboards of Room 4, allegedly one of the most haunted rooms in the building. Guests claim to have heard phantom children running up and down the corridors and the figure of a woman standing at the windows. Legend has it that these are the ghosts of a former Landlords family who, upon discovering his wife’s affair, drowned their children in the river as revenge. The distraught wife supposedly took her own life in one of the rooms after learning what her husband had done.


The Grenadier, Belgravia, London


This Central London favourite has stood in Belgrave Square since 1720 originally serving as an officers mess before becoming a licensed public house known then as The Guardsman. The story goes that the current name comes from a soldier who was killed in a savage beating outside the pub  in 1818 after being caught cheating at a card game. Locals have affectionately named the spirit Cedric  – said to be a friendly occupant who is fond of breaking the odd glass and moving chairs in the bar. The walls and ceiling are covered in foreign currencies left by tourists from all over the world, apparently in an attempt to pay off the young soldier’s debt.


The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Abergavenney, Wales

skirrid inn

Glasses flying across the bar and footsteps coming from empty corridors are nothing but the norm for The Skirrid Inn, nestled between the Skirrid & Black Mountains. Claiming to be the oldest inn in Wales, it was apparently once the rallying point of rebel Owain Glyndwr as he led his uprising against King Henry IV in the early 15th century. For many years the first floor of the building was used as a Court of Law where sentences was passed for crimes warranting the death penalty – records suggest that around 180 men and women in total were condemned. Some of the hangings were actually carried out within the stairwell of the inn, where markings can still be seen on the wooden beams from the swinging rope. Unsurprisingly the inn has capitalised on it’s gruesome history and subsequent tales of paranormal activity by offering overnight ghost hunts.


Best Restaurant in the World!

Sitting proudly at the very top of a list of places that i can just about pronounce is The Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire, which has been awarded the title of Best Restaurant in the World by TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards.

Resting on the edge of the North York Moors, the family-owned, Michelin-starred restaurant is the first in the UK to receive the award, beating out competitors including the 2015/16 consecutive champion, Martín Berasategui, in Lasarte, Spain. The pub has been owned since 2006 by farmers Tom & Anne Banks with sons Tommy and James heading up the kitchen and front of house respectively.  The pub first made headlines in 2013 when Tommy was awarded the Michelin Star aged just 24, making him the youngest ever recipient in Britain. Using produce mostly sourced from their own land, The Black Swan offers a tasting menu that includes Turbot with Strawberries and Cream and Cake made from Chicory Root and Blackcurrant.

The algorithm used by TripAdvisor to determine the winners takes into account the quality and quantity of worldwide reviews from customers in the past 12 months. The Black Swan topped all 3 UK, Europe and Worldwide categories with second place going to another British establishment – Raymond Blancs’ Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire.

See, who said British food was rubbish?

Worldwide Top 10:

1. The Black Swan, Oldstead, North Yorkshire, UK

2. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, UK

3. Maison Lameloise, Chagny, France

4. L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France

5. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte, Spain

6. Daniel, New York City, United States

7. La Colombe, Constantia, South Africa

8. David’s Kitchen, Chiang Mai, Thailand

9. Maido, Lima, Peru

10. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain