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The Eight Bells, Canterbury West, Canterbury

34 London Road

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Eight Bells

Quiet but welcoming local on what was once the main road from London, with a compact and very traditional 'L'-shaped bar supplemented by a sheltered outdoor table to the rear. Indeed, so old-school is it, that both the ladies and gents toilets are out the back. With two of the four handpumps in use, I found a pair of Young's beers available: Ordinary (£3.70) and Special.

On 2nd January 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Eight Bells

There has apparently been a pub in this site since 1702, named after the 8 bells in nearby St Dunstan's Church tower. The first "Eight Bells" was an inn with livery stables and was demolished in 1898, the current building built on the original foundations of the former inn, and with many of its original timbers, the following year. Today the pub is relatively unspoilt and consists of a L-shaped bar with a superannuated carpet, a brick fireplace, gaming machines and tv screens showing sport, and various bric-a-brac – some of it with masonic connotations – around the walls. The bar was populated by a handful of locals, an irritatingly yappy doglet and a long-suffering cat. The bar staff were efficient but not particularly welcoming. There is a covered terrace and a small garden at the rear. They hold regular darts evenings, and there is a selection of trophies on display. Two ales on, both Young's. I had the Young's Bitter, which was in good condition. Worth including in a crawl or visiting for its historical significance.

On 1st July 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2530 recommendations about 2508 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Eight Bells

This is a small, compact traditional pub, dating back to 1708 but rebuilt into its current incarnation in 1902. A ten minute or so walk from Canterbury West station in the opposite direction to the city centre, the pub looks suitably attractive on approach, with some lovely etched glass windows screening the bar area from passers-by. You enter through a door signed 'Public Bar' into the small L shaped front room which has banquette seating running under the aforementioned windows. The servery is opposite and has an attractive dark wood counter. The left hand side of the room extends to the rear of the building and has enough space for a couple more tables and chairs and a dartboard surrounded by a handsome collection of trophies won by the pub's darts team. The place has been decorated with a lot of paintings and photos of local scenes, a collection of tools running above the servery, various coats of arms and a fair bit of brewerania. I spotted at least two TV screens, both switched off on my visit in favour of quiet background music, but live sports coverage is promoted. There is a pie cabinet on the bar counter and I believe hot food is available including Sunday roasts, whilst posters advertised regular meat raffles. An attractive rear garden could be glimpsed from the bar area but I didn't take a proper look myself.
Two ales were on at the bar - Wells Bombardier and Youngs Ordinary. Not a very exciting choice but the Ordinary (£3.10) was well kept and the pubs inclusion in recent editions of the Good Beer Guide, plus a collection of interesting pump clips behind the bar, suggest that I might have just been unlucky to find two rather bland ales available.
I thought this was a nice enough pub, certainly one for the traditionalist, and a peaceful spot away from the tourists and students in the city centre. Given its proximity to the train station, I think it's quite likely that I'd give this place another try the next time I'm in town.

On 16th November 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2427 recommendations about 2427 pubs]