A trip to Bristol would not be complete without a visit to the pub (check out the ultimate guide to Bristol). And with plenty across the city it can be difficult to choose between all that’s on offer. While many pubs in Bristol will do the job of a refreshing drink and a hearty meal, why not head to a pub offering a little more of Bristol’s history. In Bristol that means drinking like a pirate and finding some authentic Somerset cider!
What is Cider?
Somerset is well known for being the home of cider. And so what better place to sample some good cider than in Bristol? I was hoping to head out to a cider brewery but there actually aren’t any in Bristol city. Thatcher’s cider farm is located about an hour out of the city on the train or 45 mins in a car.
Cider is magical alcohol made from apples! Well, sort of. It is an alcoholic drink made from fermented apple juice. While traditionally the main flavour is apple, cider now comes in a range of flavours and fusions of fruits such as passionfruit and peach! Cider can be very sweet or dry. For a more detailed guide for cider in Britain you can check out this article from The Guardian.
Pubs in Bristol for the Cider
The Coronation Tap
This pub in Bristol is a well known establishment in Clifton. They are known for the cider here. Most noteworthy is a cider called Exhibition, which is 8% alcoholic, dark in colour and a little sweet. Thankfully they only serve it in half pints (anything larger would be dangerous!). For more on the Corri tap check out their page.
Why go there? : It may be a bit dark but it has bespoke cider and is a well known drinking institution in Bristol. If you fancy live music this is also the place to be.
Fancy drinking cider on a barge boat bar? Head over to the Apple on Welsh back and you’ll find just that. This pub in Bristol is a unique floating pub! The bar is below deck and serves a range of local ciders. They’ll happily let you taste them as well. A great atmosphere with music and a patio extension during warmer days.
Why go there? : Erm to drink on a barge boat bar?! Can’t get any closer to riverside seating and views than a barge boat bar!
Pubs in Bristol for the pirates and sailors
Walking past this pub in Bristol, you’d think the building had dropped out of a Tudor time machine. The pub was originally built in 1664 and still maintains its original timber frames. But aside from this pub being Bristol’s oldest pub, it also has a deep history with pirates. In addition to it being the preferred watering hole for famous Pirate Captain Blackbeard, but it is also rumoured to be the inspiration for the Admiral Benbow in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Why go there? : to experience Tudor architecture and drink like the pirates did. To see what inspired Treasure Island.
The Hole in the Wall
Another noteworthy pub, not far from the Llandoger trow, is The Hole in the Wall. Previously called the Coach and Horses during the 18th century, this pub in Bristol was popular amongst sailors coming in to the Bristol docks. The pub had a handy spy hole which was used to watch for unwanted visitors patrons such as custom officers or press gangs. Many men didn’t want to be sailors and a popular form of ‘enlistment’ was to round up drunk men in the pubs. The ones that couldn’t get away were taken on board. And so a spy hole to watch out for this was a popular feature in a pub (source ).
Why go there? : for a bit of Maritime history and a great beer garden with plenty of space!
White Lion bar
Finally a pub with a view (it wouldn’t be ispyprettyplaces if I didn’t include one with a view!). Unlike the other pubs listed here this is a regular pub/ bar and doesn’t specialise in cider. However, like all good pubs, cider is available. They mainly stocked old mout cider in bottles (which actually originate in New Zealand) not on tap when we visited.
Why go there? : for the view of the impressive Clifton Suspension Bridge.
For more on historical pubs in Bristol check this guide out.
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