86 Hallgarth Street
(0191) 386 5269.
Mon-Sat 12-3, 6-12, Sun 12-3, 7-10.30
Turn off A1 for Bowburn onto the A177 carry on for 2.5m the roundabout is at the top end of Hallgarth St. This is a really olde worlde pub with much of its original charm remaining after all these years. As testament to this CAMRA have put it in their 'regional inventory'. Thus pub has been in the hands of the same family for the past 30 years or more and the loving care and attention to detail shows. Note the exterior, while a bland redbrick, has a plaque to Queen Victoria.
The pub serves one fixed beer from Big Lamp and up to four guest ales from local breweries. All beers were well kept and served and not too expensive either.
Food is not served here except for cheese toasties during the day.
The inside is much better than the outside and is split into three rooms. The largest of which is the public bar - revealing the pub's roots as a watering hole for the workers. Here you will find the original counter and the room appears to be at an odd angle to the building. There are padded benches here and round tables and stools at the light wood bar. There is not a lot of space here, but it is worth standing to take in the décor - pictures and old spirit barrels above the door. The other two rooms are smaller but equally worth seeing. The snug has padded benches and round tables on a carpet floor with real fire for the winter. The wallpaper can be a bit heavy, but stay with it as this is a wonderful pub. The lounge is through an etched glass door and has a piano and small bar of its own.
The good news is that there is also accommodation here in six rooms. The B&B operation is quite separate, with its own entrance. Bedrooms are compact but bright, cheery and with modern en suites. They also have their own breakfast room adjacent. Guests can use the bar or not, as they prefer. Prices are around single £45, double £62-£65.
Disabled access is possible. No TV or jukebox to bother your drinking either.
Popular with both students and locals with a warm (sometimes from the real fire) welcome for all.
The Half Moon, The Dun Cow.
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Big Lamp Bitter
plus up to 4 guests.
Here. But also try:
Gilesgate Moor Hotel
Teasdale Terrace, Gillesgate, Durham
DH1 2RN, (0191) 386 6453
From: S:£28-£32, D:£47-£55 pr