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King William IV, Dorking

Byttom Hill
Postal town: Dorking
Phone: 01372372590

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about King William IV

Set into the side of a steep hill on the edge of this charming village, this is a great walker's pub offering peerless views over the Mole Valley. To reach the pub, you have to climb a steep slope or long flight of stairs, making life rather tricky, if not downright impossible, for customers with access requirements. Once at the top, a choice of doors allow you to decide which bar to enter - we plumped for the second door which led us into the main bar area. This is a smart, traditional rural bar, carpeted throughout and filled with standard tables and chairs to the left, around a nice old brick fireplace with a portrait of the eponymous King above. The walls display some nice old brewery mirrors and local photos whilst there is a fine grandfather clock stood against the back wall. The servery is to the right, in the mid-section of the pub, and has a pleasant curved dark wood counter and matching tongue and groove gantry. A door to the right leads through to a smaller Private Bar, which appropriately enough was hosting a private function when we visited, making it tricky to get a proper look round. The room has its own, shorter and plainer section of servery and has more tables and chairs around the perimeter and its own access to the garden. The garden is arguably the pub's greatest asset, although this was an easy assessment to make on a glorious summer's afternoon. The tiered space gives you some fine views in the direction of Norbury Park and offers a wide range of seating options, including some chunky benches under a shelter to one side, lots of picnic benches, a few heavy iron tables and chairs and other traditional garden furniture. A hedge screens a lower grassy level, although this section has limited viewing potential due to its lack of elevation. There was a BBQ on the go in the far corner, with some quality looking meat being sent out, albeit at premium prices. A standard menu was available at the bar as well.
There are four handpulls on the bar and they were dispensing Fullers Summer Ale, Hogs Back TEA and rather appropriately, Surrey Hills Shere Drop, with the final pump left unclipped. A friendly barmaid served me a very nice pint of the Shere Drop which went down far too quickly in the relaxed surroundings.
This was a great place to visit after a day exploring Box Hill and the surrounding area. It's definitely a great bet for a visit on a summer's day thanks to the unbeatable scenery, but the cosy bars and warm welcome suggest time spent indoors would also be well rewarded.

On 21st July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about King William IV

An old pub originally built to serve the occupants and visitors of Lord Beaverbrook's estate nearby the number of which once included Winston Churchill who's portrait is in the smaller room overlooking Norbury Park and the Mole valley. The pub is reached up a steep slope with no room for turning, if driving you are best parking near Frascati restaurant off the main A24. Steps lead up to the entrance and further again to the gents toilets.
The main room has a small bar down one end, a carpeted space with tables along each side. There is a proper fireplace down the far end with a portrait of the king over as well as agricultural implements. A grandfather clock occupies an adjacent alcove.
The pub is rather food centric, our Sunday visit had all tables occupied with people mostly eating roasts. Portions are large and the food is high quality home made stuff. It is probably best to book. There is a terraced garden with good views from its elevated position which is a useful overflow area when weather permits.
The landlord is a bit of a character, a livewire who's batteries are clearly fully charged, but he is certainly on the ball and runs a good ship.
Four pumps in the main room plus one in the smaller area, Hogs Back TEA and Fresh Spring, Surrey Hills Shere Drop, one unclipped and Pride reversed in the other room. A decent pub, welcoming to walkers too, I may return in the summer to enjoy the garden.

On 30th March 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about King William IV

This pub has not changed since previous reviewers' visits. As you enter you have the distinctive feel of going into a traditional country pub - which it is of course. Food seems to be the main player here, as when I was in on Saturday evening just about everybody in there had come for a meal. And I thought the food was good, most of it being homemade. Main meals were around the standard £10 - £12, and portions were generous. Of the four handpumps only two were in use, one being unclipped and the other with an Adnam's Bitter clip reversed, and the two ales available were Surrey Hills Shere Drop and Fuller's Red Fox.

One thing worth stressing about this Grade II listed pub is that it is disability unfriendly. You get to the pub up a fairly steep, rough track, and then up some steep steps to the pub itself. To get to the gents outside toilet you have to exit the pub and then go up even more steep steps almost to the top of the hill. That's no problem if you're reasonably fit, but a lot of people would have problems.

This is a pub that I would like to visit again, hopefully in the Spring or Summer to enjoy the views that others say are worth visiting for. I thought it was a real winner.

On 25th November 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

. Wittenden left this review about King William IV

A long and narrow brick and flint pub up some steep steps in an attractive village just off the A24.A warm summer’s evening, we sat in the celebrated romantic garden, enjoying the view across the River Mole to the Surrey Hills.I’ve known this pub for around a dozen years, as we have family locally: anecdotally, it “isn’t the pub it was”. I can’t really comment- the beer (Surrey Hills ‘Shere Drop’) was good, but the lone barmaid was being kept busy taking food orders, serving drinkers and dealing with demanding customers (not us!)
Popular with walkers and diners, I get the impression that the William is resting on its laurels and could be so much better.

On 28th August 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 244 recommendations about 243 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about King William IV

Hidden away from the main road, a short distance up the little lane behind the prominent Frascati restaurant. Having negotiated the steps, you enter the bright, modernised (but not large) main bar area but there is some more seating in the small front bar (which is in an elevated position offering good views across the Mole valley). It is also worth noting that the gents is even further up the steep ramp. Three local ales available on handpump - Hogs Back TEA, Triple fff Alton's Pride and Surrey Hills Shere Drop (£3.30, and in top form). Listed in the GBG 2011 and various restaurant guides. Nice, relaxed atmosphere and well worth seeking out.

On 13th February 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6199 recommendations about 6199 pubs]

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Nick Davies left this review about King William IV

All regular travellers down the A24 will be aware of the Italian restaurant that appears as you emerge from the notorious Mickleham bends, but I wonder how many spot the sign for the King Billy pointing up the unmade road behind. Those that do, and decide to pull in will discover one of Surrey's hidden gems. This pub, which dates from the late eighteenth century, is a most unusual long narrow structure perched on the hillside up some very steep steps. Entering on one side you enter the larger rear room, then there is a smaller snug to the front. It has, of course been gastrofied, they couldn't help themselves, though not by and large unsympathetically. Much has been stripped bare, but the log fires remain to make it feel cosy enough in winter. Possibly the best feature is the terraced garden with stunning views across the Mole gap, making a very pleasant spot to while away an hour on a sunny day if you can ignore the roar of traffic from down below.

It's a GBG regular, currently Alton's Pride, Shere Drop and Hogsback TEA all in good form, but do note that it's also in various food guides, including the Michelin. That's where their priorities lie. It's very well worth a trip out, but if you want to enjoy it as a pub its best to avoid the more popular mealtimes.

A couple of points: it is by no means disabled friendly, the stairs up to it are long and steep; and it's best to park in front of the Italian restaurant rather try to navigate the steep rough lane - though despite what many people think you don't have to try to reverse back down again when you can't find a spot, you can get out the other end. Oh and the Kingston- Dorking bus stops outside the Italian place too.

On 4th July 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 524 recommendations about 516 pubs]