Berwick-upon-Tweed – Pilot Inn

This is from the last day of the trip to walk St. Cuthbert’s Way, it’s just taking me a little time to catch up with everything. There was just Steve, Susanna, Gordon and I left at this stage, with the situation of course being that we couldn’t go to a pub unless it was in the Good Beer Guide. I walked us to the Pilot Inn, even though it wasn’t the nearest pub to get to, but fortunately the others didn’t complain.

CAMRA note that the interior is traditional and they’re not lying. This visit was from a couple of weeks ago when the football was on, I don’t think that the flags are normally there.

The interior hasn’t been knocked about and it’s quirky, old-fashioned and I really like it. When customers come in they see a corridor area ahead of them, a saloon bar to the left and the former public bar to the right. It took us a while to be noticed, but I think that the staff member was in the beer garden serving customers there.

There’s some old nautical stuff on display, all adding to the pub’s theme.

There were three real ales available, none of which were particularly innovative, but at least there was a choice.

I went for the Strongarm from Camerons Brewery which is apparently their “flagship beer”. I dread to think what their weaker beers are like. Anyway, it was OK and it was well-kept, but it was a little lacking in depth. Although if it’s a session beer, I suppose it’s all fine and it was well kept and at the appropriate temperature.

There’s a no swearing policy at the pub. There’s a large beer garden that we spent some time in waiting for our collective trains and we were never rushed by the staff. As an environment, this is really very inviting and there’s a community feel to the whole arrangement. For someone new to the area, I suspect they’d get a friendly welcome here from the staff and other customers. Getting to the beer garden is slightly complex and seems to involve walking through the pub’s kitchen, but that’s the way others were going, so it wasn’t just me.

The exterior of the pub is interesting as well, as the side wall looks like there was a property here that’s been demolished. I accept that the beers here weren’t riveting, but the building interior is interesting, the welcome is authentic, there’s a choice of real ale and I’m glad that it’s in the Good Beer Guide. Some pubs shouldn’t modernise their buildings and this is one of them, I liked the heritage feel of the interior and I’m glad it has survived in the way that it has.