off Market Place
by the pond
This 18th century pub is a traditional local in a quaint village with a now restored mill, but not much else to see unless you are a walker. The pub itself is a through pub with a single bar and an eating area at the top which doubles up as a drinking area too. The real open fire is at the opposite end and in winter it can be a godsend as it radiates heat to warm those aching bones. The walls are stone which gives it a cottage feel, as do the low beamed ceilings so mind your head. The atmosphere is very much friendly and relaxed, even when busy during the summer. Not a lot of tourists find it as it sits seamlessly alongside houses in a terrace. Only the name gives it away as it is attached to the village pond. On the opposite side is an engineering company which has a waterwheel at its gate. This has been trapped and meshed so that carp can be kept in the water flowing into the pond. Back to the pub, the food is inventive and sometimes not for the fainthearted (wild boar?), all at reasonable prices up to ?10. The beers on at the time were BASS, Speckled Hen, Townes Muffin Ale, their own Boat Ale, made by Townes, and Leatherbritches Bespoke. They also do occasional guest ales. There is no accommodation at the pub, but around abouts there is plenty as this is near Matlock and Matlock Bath - the day-out centres for people from Derbyshire. Matlock Bath seems to attract lots of motorcyclists of all sorts (there is rarely any trouble - if any). Well worth a visit if you are passing through to the Matlocks or Belper on the A6.
In 1999 (or possibly even 1998), the Boat Inn changed hands. The new landlord took out all the interesting beers and the interesting food. Custom seems to have gone away as a result. The pub is still quite pleasant but I do miss the Townes beers and the wild boar.
Taken over in 2000 again, it has returned to its former glory with Marston's Pedigree and Springhead Biter as regulars and 2 changing guest ales.
Townes Muffin Ale