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Reviewing milestone with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

The Bell, Bath

103 Walcot Street
Phone: 01225460426

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Bell

Fairly worn and traditional boozer heading north out of Bath town centre. You enter to find the bar in front of you, with the room stretching off to the left hand side up a few steps. In the middle is a slightly larger area, where there appeared to be a DJ in action.

At the bar, regular beers are Otter Ale, Butcombe Adam Henson's Rare Breed, Hop Back Summer Lightning & Bristol Beer Factory Independence. Guests were Bath Gem & Downton Chimera IPA. Thatcher's Cheddar Valley was also available. It was only as we were about to leave that I spotted another 2 boxes of cider to the side of the bar. I decided to stay and try both - Dick Willows Dry Cider & Bristol Cider Company Bristol Sixer.

A decent pub that should be included on any crawl of Bath and was probably my favourite of 12 visited on the day.

On 26th August 2023 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2560 recommendations about 2559 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Bell

As described by PSM, below, this town pub is a GBG regular, which is justified by the quality of its beers. Strangely though the staff know very little about this side of the business, and the barman who served us hadn’t even heard of CAMRA. Fortunately the landlady put him right, and although they no longer off CAMRA discount, he gave me a few bob off anyway out of kindness. Ales on were St Austell Cornish Bitter, Summer Lightning, Otter Ale, Rare Breed, Palmer’s Stoker and BBF Independence. Two craft beers, Moor Refinance and Brixton Pale Ale, plus a bank of megas were also available. Beer quality aside I wasn’t really struck on this pub, but it’s worth a visit and I wouldn’t be put off coming back if the situation arose.

On 13th January 2023 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3317 recommendations about 3282 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Bell

Seemed a little different to how I remembered. It’s opened-out, with yellow and black shades but still scruffy. Live music is a fixture here and the piped music was somewhat over-loud for a Saturday afternoon. Eight cask which seemed like a stretch and indeed my Otter Ale was just on the cusp of turn (NBSS 2), whilst my companion’s ales also died a bit. WhatPub says the bar billiards table is still in situ though I didn’t catch sight of it. It’s GBG’22 listed but I think it’s one that gets in for pump count as opposed to consistency.

May 2010
The tatty exterior doesn’t do justice to the pub inside. Though not particularly characterful compared to a number of other Bath pubs, it has a fairly bohemian feel to it. Nine ales usually available, mainly from local micros on my last visit (Pitchfork, QPA, Spinning Dog, Bellringer, Otter Ale, Summer Lightening, Butcombe Bitter, Stonehenge Sign, Bath Gem) alongside a couple of real ciders and a tidy foreign beer range. Ale quality is usually fairly good but not as top-notch as it should be – some come out a bit warm in the summer. Big on live music and old vinyl is sometimes spun on the turntable by the bar. Listings and arts mags are liberally scattered around the interior and there are loads of hops adorning the ceiling. Perhaps the only pub in in the world which houses a coin-op washing machine, quite a neat idea I have to say. There’s also a bar billiards table. To the rear is a sloped patio garden which catches the summer sun and makes for a lovely lazy afternoon. One downside are the staff, some of whom are pretty slow and sarcastic, which is a shame. In a city with so many good pubs, this is worth seeking out but is perhaps not as essential as it should be. Rated 7

On 12th November 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5239 recommendations about 5222 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Bell

Large backstreet pub to the North of the city centre, with an unusual floor plan, spanning a wide, open plan room across two distinct halves. The bar is in the right-hand half - a space given a bright colour scheme and a liberally hop-strewn ceiling. The latter helps to give this side of the room a ‘drinker’s’ feel, whilst the décor, which mainly comprises colourful artworks and various musical instruments, adds plenty of character. There’s a small stage to one side of the entrance, clearly used on a regular basis for live music, and beyond, in the left side of the room, there is a spacious seating area with loads more music-themed décor on display. In the middle of the room, the pub runs back a little, through a space with an old bar billiards table which now doubles as a DJ table. More entertainment themed items are on show here, including a TV studio ‘Applause’ sign and various old LP’s that have been nailed to the walls. Out the back is a beer garden with loads of benches, a good amount of shelter and some old gig posters lining the wall of an outbuilding. Old-school hip-hop tunes were playing quietly in the pub and a few people were eating from a decent looking pizza menu.
The pub is in the latest Good Beer Guide and had a good variety of cask ales on when we visited - Blindmans Gambit, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Butcombe Rare Breed, Otter Ale, Box Steam Tunnel Vision, Twisted Oak Ghost Town and Bristol Beer Factory Independence. I took a pint of the latter, which was in very good shape and we enjoyed sitting here, watching various characters come and go.
This place doesn’t have the cosy ambiance of the nearby Star, but is regardless a good all-rounder, compensating for a less interesting interior by adding in plenty of unusual décor, whilst still maintaining high quality ales and friendly, efficient service. Well worth checking out, especially in conjunction with the Star.

On 12th October 2022 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3150 recommendations about 3150 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Bell

Large pub and live music venue, the bar area to the right remains "pubby"in feel. Nine beers were available from fairly local west country brewers, I went for Butcombe Rare Breed which was good enough, the pub had a few punters in on a Tuesday afternoon and led to a decent real pub feel about it.

On 18th March 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1919 recommendations about 1892 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Bell

A large friendly pub with a good range of ales across eight pulls on our visit. The staff were friendly and welcoming and had a nice laidback approach. They were also downloading some good music, which was been played on our Friday afternoon visit. We went for the RCH Pitchfork, which was in decent condition. The right hand side of the pub was quite traditional in style, where as the larger area was less elaborate and served its purpose as a live music and DJ venue.

On 17th October 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3416 recommendations about 3416 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Bell

A bohemian atmosphere with an emphasis on music but with the widest selection of ale on my crawl.The stage area to the left of the entrance does look odd when occupied by tables and chairs and as this is the route back from the gents to the bar ,some caution needs to be exercised.The interior is basic,with a mixing desk in one alcove and table football in another while there is a good sized benched garden out the back.
Nine handpumps were offering,among others Bath Ales Gem,Stonehenge Danish Dynamite,RCH Pitchfork,Summer Lightening,and brews from Cotleigh and Otter Ale with a helpful chalkboard listing.
Beer quality very good ,a pub to include on a crawl but not a noteable interior.


Another very good real ale line up,with ever reliable Hop Back Summer Lightening seemingly a regular ,and an excellent BBF Independence leading to an upgrade from me,not to be missed on any real ale crawl around town.

On 11th July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2775 recommendations about 2775 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Bell

This is something of a Bath real ale Mecca, having no less than nine real ales on – five on handpump and four on stillage. All seemed to be on some sort of special deal (I didn’t quite figure out the details) but the Abbey Ales Bellringer was £2.40 a pint and I like that very much – both the ale and the price. This is a very interesting pub – quirky one might say – with the beams festooned with wreaths of hops, interesting décor such as maps and the like on the walls, and furnished with only normal tables and chairs. Music is clearly big business here, with a dedicated stage on the left. I saw adverts for forthcoming attractions, such as Mark Morris – Bluetones front man apparently.

As the weather was very hot during my visit we spent our visit in the garden at the back of the pub. This is a well cared for garden, with plenty of bench seating, and lots of very interesting foliage about which I won’t go into details. This is a cracking little pub that should definitely be on the itinerary of anyone wanting to visit Bath’s best pubs.

On 30th July 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Bell

Large bar with open plan, split level area. Traditional with hops on the ceiling. The emphasis is on live music and lively background music, its probably a little basic for it.

On 30th June 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1457 recommendations about 1435 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Bell Inn

Situated in Bath’s bohemian area, the Bell is a former 18th Century Coaching inn with an eclectic feel that attracts a wide range of potential punters of all ages and persuasions. Beer tourists, intellectuals, students, musicians and artists all seem to be happy in each others company.

The smallish bar area can be a bit cramped whislt the larger side bar is a bit more spacious. A recess at the rear contains 2 table football games and there is also a bar billiard table and range of traditional board games. The walls are cluttered with posters and live music adverts and at the rear is a decent size patio with plenty of cover and host to live music sessions, even in the February cold.

I didn’t get a chance to note the 7 ales that were available due to the pub being at the business end of a lengthy crawl and the bar area being fairly congested at the time suffice to say I had a pretty decent pint of Dorset Durdle Door.

Overall the pub left a strange impression on me in that I wasn’t too enamoured with it at the time (probably had too much by then anyway) but I feel a necessity to go back and give it another good shot and could probably end up sitting there all evening if there was a decent band playing.

On 9th March 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

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