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Beer of the Week (w/e 22nd May 2022) with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

The Red Lion, Milton Keynes

Simpson Road
Postal town: Milton Keynes
Phone: 01908372317

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Pub Type

Punch Taverns

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Red Lion


Much improved since my last visit ,there are now 4 handpumps with GK brewed Ruddles County a regular,a guest (Wadsworth Henry's IPA ) and a second guest at the weekend.The fourth handpump dispenses a traditional cider.Judging by the collection of pump clips,there has been some interesting ale on offer in here and my Henry's IPA was very well kept and quaffable.The main bar has Sky sports TV and a pool table , has been refurbished and is clean while to the side is a quieter area for drinking with another flat screen ,a dartboard and it's own bar with a small bell to attract attention.The Red Lion is popular with the local motor bike club , has a real community feel and a chatty barmaid.Best ale in Fenny by a considerable distance.


A sympathetic refurb has smartened up the interior and the small side snug is now more of a quiet dining area,with food now generally available.The pool table has gone but worryingly the large flatscreen ,which should only be used for sport ideally,was tuned to Emmerdale and was dominating the interior.It's a GBG regular and has 4 ales on my Wednesday evening visit with a very decent TT Landlord,Tring Bring me Sunshine ,6X(why?) and something else I failed to note.There is now a very decent beer garden with views over the canal.This is a reliable,friendly boozer in an interesting location.

On 16th March 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2309 recommendations about 2309 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Red Lion

A slightly down at heel boozer which when approached by car is in an uninspiring location down a dead end street in the middle of an industrial estate. Once you're there though, or if approaching by boat or along the towpath, you find an idyllic location alongside the canal, immediately adjacent to the lock, a small hand-operated swing bridge and opposite what was presumably at one time the lock-keepers cottage.

The main bar area is fairly non-descript with cream plasterwork on the walls, bench seating around the perimeter, old blue carpet on the floor, a small brick fire-place to one side with a plasma stuck on the wall above it, although this was not in use when I visited. Off to the right is a pool table and somewhat unusually a lighting rig and glitter ball on the ceiling, perhaps hinting at a slightly livelier atmosphere on occasions.

To the left is a smaller room with a darts board, another plasma and a fruit machine. A selection of 80's music was playing. Outside is a garden with several benches to make the most of the location, along with a small marquee for more inclement weather. It was fairly quiet on a recent early Tuesday evening visit, with just three or four locals sat at the bar using some rather colourful language.

Beers on tap were a little disappointing considering the Camra accolades that the pub has received, and were just Tribute and Wharf Bank Brewery's Best Bitter. A third pump clip advertised a Honey Blond beer that was apparently "coming Friday". Ciders were Strongbow and Weston's Old Rosie. The pub does not offer any food, which is somewhat unusual given it's location.

On 14th November 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1792 recommendations about 1716 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Red Lion

Set in a picturesque canalside spot close to Fenny Stratford train station, the Red Lion is a decent two bar pub. The main bar is quite spacious with the servery on the left as you enter and some curved banquette and low stool seating to the right and a fair sized gap between for vertical drinking, should it get particularly busy. The pub was quite lively on my visit and most of the customers were watching the Liverpool v Man Utd clash on the large screen, with a few others enjoying a game of pool on the table at the far end of the room. There's a nice stone fireplace to the left of the bar counter, but generally speaking there's not much of interest in the room, which is decorated with white walls and blue carpet. The second, smaller bar is styled in the same fashion with four tables, another TV screen showing the match and a dartboard. Some maps of the Grand Union Canal are framed on the walls of the corridor leading to the toilets and the accompanying text explained that the Fenny Stratford lock has the smallest drop of all the locks on the canal - just twelve inches. You can admire the lock from the benches out the front or indeed from the attractive grassy rear garden that runs right down to the canalside.
There were three ales on when I arrived - Courage Best, Purity Ubu (£2.80) and Wytchwood Hobgoblin. My pint of Ubu was in good nick and the staff and locals seemed like a friendly and welcoming bunch.
Good beer is seemingly quite hard to come by round these parts, but I left this place feeling that I could rely on it for a decent pint on future visits. It is also a good contender for those wanting a pre-match pint before heading off to the nearby MK Dons stadium.

On 2nd November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

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Thuck Phat left this review about The Red Lion

Nicely situated next to the Grand Union, the Red Lion is a traditional canalside boozer in the best sense.
Inside it's essentially a one roomed bar with a large screen, showing footie on our visit. There is a small room off this which was used by the Havoc motorbike club the evening we were in adding to the convivial atmosphere.
I didn't see a menu and don't know if food is offered but it certainly feels more of a drinking boozer, again in the best sense.
Thyree handpumps had on Mordue Autumn Tyne and Triple fff Moondance with the third displaying a pump clip for St Peters Red Ruby which was due on the coming weekend. We tried both and they were well kept and in decent condition.
There is a board outside where messages can be left for passing boaters.
A friendly canalside pub in a pleasant location which clearly looks after its well sourced beer.

On 25th September 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 670 recommendations about 669 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Red Lion

Occupying a canalside location close to Fenny Stratford station ( Bletchley – Bedford branch line ) , The Red Lion is a popular watering hole for football supporters either before or after a game at nearby Milton Keynes Dons F C.
It’s a smallish pub directly opposite a lock with some outside seating by the canal and a larger partly covered garden with a smokers tent. There’s two adjoining bars – a smaller bar at the front and a larger bar with a snooker table. Reflecting the canalside location, the outside corridor has several maps showing the route of the Grand Union Canal, from which we learn that the lock has a drop of only 12 inches and has a rare swingbridge. In truth, it’s not a desperately inspiring pub, looking rather ordinary, somewhat tired and a bit worn in places.
Calling in before the Sheffield Wednesday match, my initial impressions of this pub were not particularly positive because it was uncomfortably crowded, but, returning for a post match pint, when the pub was considerably quieter, I saw the pub in a more favourable light. With a lit coal fire and a friendly crowd of locals watching the International Rugby ( the smaller bar was showing Liverpool v West Ham ), I was able to appreciate to some extent why the 2011 CAMRA Good Beer Guide refers to this pub as “a gem of a local”.
Above the bar, the pub proudly displays a CAMRA certificate denoting it as Milton Keynes CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year 2010. The pub is part of the Punch Taverns portfolio and, based on my visit, the friendly and enthusiastic landlord makes good use of the range of guest beers made available to him. Beers on were Henrys IPA, Okells Red and Coach House Dick Turpin. Both the IPA and the Okells were splendid pints.
I don’t regard this as a pub ordinarily worth going out of your way to visit, but if you’re here for the football, it’s worth seeking out.

On 2nd December 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Ale Whale left this review about The Red Lion

3 real ales which change regularly and 1 traditional scrumpy must have contributed to The Red Lion Winning the CAMRA Milton Keynes and North Bucks Pub of the Year for 2010

On 26th May 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3 recommendations about 2 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

shaney ellingham left this review about The Red Lion

Yeah i agree, a good pub. freindly. 2and a half!

On 18th June 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2 recommendations about 2 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ale Whale left this review about The Red Lion

Friendly pub situated next to the smallest lock on the Grand Union Canal. 2 Real ales on offer. Expected to start serving food by easter 2008

On 28th December 2007 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3 recommendations about 2 pubs]