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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th Decenber 2019) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Kings Head, Guildford Central, Guildford

Quarry Street
Guildford
GU1 3XQ
Phone: 01483575004

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


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about The Kings Head

A pint’s revisit after a long day’s walking. Not much change inside. Five ales on; Doom Bar, Spitfire, Whitstable Bay, No 19 Steam and Long Man Bitter, the latter of which was in good nick. Imbibed in the rear flagstone garden with roof terrace which had life-sized two suits of armour overlooking proceedings. Quite a pleasant stop and the beer choice has improved (though maybe I got lucky – Alan visited not long before me and his sounded less exciting). According to WhatPub the pub was acquired by Sheps last year, so perhaps it depends if the manager has sneaked a good one into the cellar. Worth a visit when in town. 7.5

October 2013
What appears to be a Greene King-branded pub that seemingly isn’t GK at all. The building is apparently quite aged (GII listed) although you’d be forgiven for not noting that from its functional-looking exterior. However the split-level interior has a few heritage tick boxes – nook-and-cranny layout, low ceilings, hefty beams, stone flagged floors, exposed brickwork, castle location etc. Indeed some press cuttings framed on the walls record an incident a few years back where one of the beams gave way and the pub suffered a partial collapse as a result. A few ales were available though it was a fairly mainstream choice, the only one of the five of note was an Andwell brew. Quality was fair across the board. A beer festival was advertised on a blackboard outside so let’s hope they did a better job of sourcing stuff of interest! Pub seems to be a hangout for minor lawbreakers as I spotted Vicki Pryce (she of the Chris Huhne speeding points court case) in here. There is apparently an outside courtyard and terrace area but we missed that. Overall it wasn’t a thrilling experience but would probably warrant a revisit if I’m in town again. Rated 7

On 2nd October 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3921 recommendations about 3909 pubs]


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Alan Winfield left this review about The Kings Head

The Kings Head is a decent looking pub that is close to Guildford Castle.
Once inside there is a T shaped room with the front area being bare boarded,the seating here is pew seats and chairs and one tall table with stools,the bar is midway down the room on the left side,there is a pool table on the left side,the rear area is up two steps and is carpeted,there is normal tables and chairs and some tall tables and chairs here.
The pub had a good choice of Shepherd Neame real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay,which was a very nice drink,the other real ales were Shepherd Neame Red IPA,Spitfire,GK St Edmunds and Doom Bar.
I thought this was a decent pub to have a drink in while on my Guildford pub crawl.

Pub visited 13/5/2017

On 21st July 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Kings Head

Just around the corner from Guildford Castle, this is a Grade II listed pub that dates back to the late 16th Century. The pub has a single room interior, but the use of split level and the positioning of the bar midway down the left hand wall, means that there are three distinctly different areas within. You enter to a bare boarded front room with lots of lovely old dark wood beams and a rather cosy feel. Standard tables and chairs mix with comfy lounge furniture, with most of the tables laid for diners. There is a large inglenook fireplace to the right and some excellent local photos have been blown up and displayed along the end wall. A step takes you up to the quarry stone floored bar area with a dark wood servery to the left and limited high stool seating opposite, plus some framed medals (military?) hung along one of the ceiling beams. More seating can be found in a raised space to the rear right, where more of the tables had been formally laid, whilst to the left, a screen helps obscure a rather quaint snug which had a lot of old paintings, photos, cigarette cards and the like on the walls. A door to the rear leads out to a fine paved garden with lots of benches on the large lower level, flanked by enamel beer adverts and overseen by a life sized knight who stands on the top of the rear wall. Steps to the front take you up to a small terrace with a mix of high stools, metal garden furniture and more benches, again with some old adverts lining the perimeter walls. Menus listed pizza, burger and pub classic options, although a board inside stated that these were on offer at different days of the week.
The pub appears in the 2016 Good Beer Guide and accordingly there were five ales available at the bar - Robinsons Trooper and Dizzy Blonde, Hog's Back TEA, Wychwood Hobgoblin and Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay. A friendly barmaid poured me a lively, but ultimately rather good pint of the Dizzy Blonde which I enjoyed in the garden, soaking up the last of the sun's rays.
I felt this pub had tried to simultaneously pitch itself to traditionalists and a younger crowd, with compromises made at either end of the spectrum. The pub has been opened out a lot but it retains a traditional charm thanks to the dark wood beams, fireplace and snug, whilst the garden and late opening (2:30am on weekends) will draw a younger crowd looking for something different to the usual drinking barns. I thought that this worked quite well overall and was very content enjoying a good pint in comfortable surrounds.

On 31st May 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2374 recommendations about 2374 pubs]


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Moby Duck left this review about The Kings Head

An early Sunday evening visit found the pub fairly quiet but there were a few people spread around the various areas throughout the interior. The Customers in general were on the younger hipper side (than me anyway), but led to a great juxtaposition between the old ( the genuinely old interior) and the new (current punters) , and it works perfectly.There was some good music being played at a decent level in the background. Of five available pumps three were in operation, Hogsback TEA, Wychwood Hobgoblin, and Robinsons Voodoo Dawn, which was in decent shape. I liked the place and will return.

On 19th January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1297 recommendations about 1284 pubs]


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dave stray left this review about The Kings Head

Service is occasionally sloppy lately but forgiven for the staff being generous about it. Overall in my top 3 pubs of Guildford.

On 16th March 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 265 recommendations about 183 pubs]


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Steve of N21 left this review about The Kings Head

The Kings Head is a nice looking pub located close to the castle on the corner of Quarry Street and Castle Hill.
Although it doesn’t look it from the outside the building is a timber framed construction dating from the late 16th century/early 17th century which was originally two houses that were knocked into one to create a pub. According to the pub web site, the foundations of a square corner of the castle's former outer wall which once ran down Castle Street and along Quarry Street still remain in the pub cellar.
You get more of a sense of the age and construction when inside. Low wood beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls with embedded beams, several divided areas and a mixture of wooden and stone flagged floors throughout give some character and provide several comfortable areas for eating and drinking.
But a really good feature of this pub as others have mentioned is the outside courtyard and terrace space with large umbrellas and heaters that provides a great spot for an alfresco pint.
We utilised it mid-afternoon for a pint and Hogs Back T.E.A., GK IPA, Doombar, St Austels Tribute and Hobgoblin were available on the real ale handpumps. So not the most adventurous range but good enough and the couple we tried were well kept, especially the Hobgobblin, which was on fine form.
It now has a late licence on Friday and Saturday nights as mentioned below and when we walked past again past midnight on the Friday of the Easter weekend, on our way to the Quarry Street car park, the outside area was heaving with young trendy things on this not particularly warm evening. So the Kings Head seems to be providing a good acceptable pub catering to the real ale types and shoppers during the day and then the younger generation who like to stay up late, but are too old to go to the Wetherspoons offering on the other side of the Town centre.

On 12th April 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1635 pubs]


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dave stray left this review about The Kings Head

Kinda feels like its trying to become a late night place now opens until 3am on Friday @ Saturday. Service was not exactly friendly, but what can you do? At least the real ales are served in a jug which is cool.

On 13th June 2012 - rating: 10
[User has posted 265 recommendations about 183 pubs]


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dave stray left this review about The Kings Head

Decent Timothy Taylor, not a bad pub to visit on a quiet day when not too packed at the bar.

On 13th June 2012 - rating: 10
[User has posted 265 recommendations about 183 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


dave stray left this review about The Kings Head

Once again I have to say this is a terrific pub. A fine Wychwood Hobgoblin here.

On 13th June 2012 - rating: 10
[User has posted 265 recommendations about 183 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


John Bonser left this review about The Kings Head

Next door to the castle, in the conservation area of Guildford, is The Kings Head, reputedly Guildford’s oldest pub.

Although you wouldn’t readily guess it from the outside with its rather ordinary looking cream painted exterior, it’s a timber framed building constructed in the late 16th century. It’s now a Grade 2 listed building.

Inside features low beams and exposed brickwork, but something of a chainy pub feel. The walls are decorated with old photographs of the area including one of the pub showing it as a Hodgsons Kingston Brewery House advertising “Good stabling” and showing a horse and cart outside. A framed newspaper article relates how a beam collapsed in February 1995, necessitating some rebuilding.

Outside at the back is an attractive split level garden.

The pub features live music on Sunday and Wednesday and, on my recent visit, was advertising a Halloween Party on 31 October. Monday night is quiz and curry night, where the entry fee of £ 2.50p per person includes a free curry, which seems a good deal on the face of it.

There’s 5 handpumps and beers on included Hogs Back TEA, Hobgoblin, Brains SA and, from a local North Hampshire micro, Andwell Gold Muddler, which was a nice lightish citrusy pint.

This is another reasonable pub, close to the town centre, but it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd in any way

On 7th November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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