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Cumberland Arms, Newcastle Upon Tyne

James Place Street
Ouseburn
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE6 1LD

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Aqualung . left this review about Cumberland Arms

I first came to this pub over 35 years ago, probably closer to 40. At the time its rise to being one of the most famous UK ale houses had already begun. It was one of three Newcastle pubs in the original 1974 GBG. Two of these were in the Byker area and one in Gosforth. In those days it was noted for Bass Worthington Bitter straight from the cask but had upgraded to Bass by the time I darkened its door. Today it concentrates on local micros and some of the more crafty options from others.
It really isn't very far from the Cluny and Ship but it does involve climbing a steep stepped path. The two rooms have been well described below.
There were around ten beers available plus a cider and I don't remember seeing anything mainstream. I went for the crafty options of Northern Alchemy Lemon & Vanilla Oatmeal Stout (£4.10), Tiny Rebel Strawberry Milkshake (£4.90) and Salopian Insomnia (£6.00!). These made quite a varied choice and were in good condition.
I'd forgotten about this place but for me it's worth a 10. It's in most editions of the GBG.

On 24th August 2018 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2126 recommendations about 2121 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about Cumberland Arms

A wonderful hidden-away traditional two-room pub high up on the Ouseburn valley, with a commanding view over the city. A well-worn feel inside, the left room was the quieter of the two bars with a mad two counter arrangement, floor to ceiling tongue and groove varnished wood alongside fantastic stained and frosted glass. Hard to tell exactly what was on over the two bars but I think it was nine ales and a few ciders. I ended-up with Yorkshire Heart Dark Heart Mild (very good) and Northern Alchemy Lemongrass (fine). A convivial atmosphere pervades here. Heard music from the next bar so popped in to see what was going on – the room was packed solid whilst a group of Gaelic folk musicians played. I had a smashing time here and felt a twang of pain at having to leave. With its tricky-to-find location and its unusual opening times, you really need to plan to make sure you work this one in as part of your Newcastle experience – possibly the best ‘pub pub’ in the city. Almost a 10 – 9.5

On 26th May 2017 - rating: 9
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Pub SignMan left this review about Cumberland Arms

Perched high up on the Eastern side of the Ouseburn Valley, this is a fine, traditional two bar pub with its own microbrewery. A series of picnic benches have been arranged outside the front of the pub, which give great views into and across the aforementioned valley and are no doubt a prized spot in the summer months. You enter into a porch from where you can turn left or right depending on which bar you wish to access. The main bar is through the left hand door and this seemed to be the more popular and comfier of the two rooms. Here you will find scuffed old floorboards and fixed bench seating under windows with stained and frosted panes where the pub's name has been picked out. Standard tables and chairs fill out the rest of the room, with a respectful amount of standing room provided around the bar and through the middle of the room. On the end wall there was a lit stove in a brick fireplace with various magazines and local listings pages on the mantle and a stack of books and board games reaching almost to the rafters to one side. A large pump clip collection snakes its way around the walls and I noticed some unusual gold discs on the walls which seem to have been awarded to a dance group who practise at the pub. They perform a local sword dance known as the Rapper and the local Wylam brewery have brewed a house beer of the same name. The bar to the right was far plainer, with only the pleasant front windows of any real interest. The room is bare boarded with tongue and groove panelled walls with very little of note on them An upright piano can be found on the back wall and there was another fireplace with a lit stove. There is no bar as such in here - just a small serving hatch with a bit of a counter, so it appeared that you needed to walk through to the main bar to order. There appeared to be access to a third room or garden to the rear here, but I didn't explore. Live music was promoted quite heavily and there was a decent soundtrack playing throughout my visit.
On the bar there was a good deal to choose from - Wylam Rapper, Allendale Simon, Northern Alchemy Vanilla and Lemon Oatmeal Stout and the stonking 11% Cullercoats Royal Sovereign. Great Heck Christopher went off whilst I was waiting at the bar and the remaining hand pumps were serving three real ciders. I tried a pint of the underwhelmingly named Simon and was blown away by an outstanding pint. The Northern Alchemy brewery are based in a shipping container to the rear of the pub and since my visit, plans have been released to expend the brewery and open a first floor restaurant, so it will be interesting to see, assuming the plans get the green light, whether they can retain the warm, traditional community feel of the pub during a period of great change.
This is a fine old pub which seems to have been left relatively unchanged for over 100 years and benefits greatly from the sense of history this imparts. I was very happy settling down here with an excellent pint and would be very interested to come back if and when their expansion plans have been realised. Another excellent pub in this part of town.

On 13th May 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2290 recommendations about 2290 pubs]


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John Bonser left this review about The Cumberland Arms

Occupying a slightly isolated position at the end of a short cul de sac off a steepish hill in the Ouseburn district of Newcastle is The Cumberland Arms. It’s close to The Free Trade Inn and blue sign posts strategically placed on street corners helpfully point the way to the pub and other local places of interest.

Approaching the pub, we see the trademark black round Guinness sign and, reassuringly, another one advertising the presence of real ale. It’s branded as a Free House.

There’s 2 basic, but characterful rooms, either side of a central door with half height stained glass windows denoting the two rooms as “Bar” and, notably, “Sitting Room”.

The main bar, on the left hand side, has a bare floor, original boarded wood panelling and bar counter, padded fixed seats around one edge and that characterful, well worn, lived in, proper ale house pub feel.

A plethora of posters advertise forthcoming music attractions and it is clear that the pub caters for a wide range of diverse and eclectic music tastes ( eg – Funky Butt Club – Caribbean Music ). Games such as Monopoly and dominoes are also available. A number of framed certificates bear testimony to the pub’s prowess in staging Northumbrian Rapper Sword Dancing displays.

The Sitting Room on the right is a similarly styled basic room and contains a piano. Service in this room is via a small hatch to the bar in the other room. Upstairs is a further room which I gather is used for live comedy shows and poetry readings. There’s an outside seating area at the front of the pub on the cobbled street and also at one side. A plaque outside tells us that the current building dates back to 1898 and was built to commemorate a local sportsman – John Wood. The pub is listed in CAMRA’s National Inventory of Heritage Pubs.

Unusually for a pub of this ilk, bed and breakfast accommodation is offered in 4 double or twin en suite rooms. The advertising flyer tells us that “because we like good old fashioned conversation at The Cumberland Arms, please e mail your request to ……or phone ……and someone wil get back to you.

Like the nearby Free Trade Inn, the pub is a keen supporter of local microbreweries and is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular. On my visit, beers available included Cumberland Corby Ale, Hadrian and Border Auld Cumberland, Out There Brewing Co Laika and Wylam Gold Tankard, the latter being on good form at £ 2.95p.

Well worth seeking out – I’d be more than happy to call in again if the opportunity arises.

On 1st November 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]


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Malden man left this review about The Cumberland Arms

This is a lovely old pub situated high above the Ouseburn valley, a good walk from the city centre. Retaining a two room format, the Bar and Sitting Room as they are called being depicted in the leaded window glass. The interior is a time warp, old wood panelling, some exposed brick, probably the original bar, white boarded ceiling, flooring is bare boarded and the seating firmly traditional. This is a pub for the beer drinker, music and comedy fan, many events being advertised almost nightly in the sitting room. Beers are served from both handpumps and direct from the cask, my visit found Gundog Golden Corker, Blue Monkey Ape Ale, Consett Men of Steel, Hadrian and Border Old Cumberland, Cullercoats Watch House Winter Warmer, Jarrow Isis and Tyne Bank Hop Sock. Additionally there were ciders from Butford, Newtons, Broadoak, Pure North and Gwatkins. The handpumps are all situated in the bar where you can also view the beers on stillage through a glass screen. Service from the sitting room is via a hatch but the beers and ciders are listed on a board by ABV and type. Stacks of pump clips over the windows are testimony to the changing range here, mainly from micros and local breweries.
Decor included a few gold discs, flyers for forthcoming gigs and events, shelves of books and board games.
Food is served and I spotted a basic bar snacks menu on a chalkboard. There is also accommodation available with four B&B rooms.
Outdoor seating to the front gives good views when the weather permits.
This to me is a must visit pub, good also to combine with The Free Trade, Cluny and The Tyne Bar all being nearby in the Ouseburn Valley.

On 4th December 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1680 recommendations about 1657 pubs]


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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Cumberland Arms

This pub is a bit tricky to find, but that's the challenge. I'll just say, it was worth looking for. Great place for real ale and the owner offers a good choice of beers and very well kept. I went for the Jarrow Brewery Jarrow, Hart Brewery Ice Maiden, Mordue Millennium Bridge, Consett Red Dust and Hadrian and Border Fly Half Bitter. Know my way for next visit.

On 20th March 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2844 recommendations about 2844 pubs]


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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Cumberland Arms

You need some decent instructions to find this place, hidden up a dead-end road (presumably left behind from some previous scheme to clear derelict housing and/or industrial buildings). It is also quite close to the Cluny, if you can find your way up some rather crazy, unsignposted stepped footpaths. However, once there, you find a classic little two room pub (with original 'bar' and 'sitting room' glazing) where time appears to stand still. With a sunny terrace out front, overlooking the Ouseburn valley with the Tyne beyond, you almost get the impression (if you ignore the road and rail traffic noise from the nearby Byker viaducts) of being in one of those 'hidden gem' country pubs that you sometimes come across after taking a wrong turn. Four real ales on handpump, including the local Jarrow Bitter, with plenty of other interesting offerings coming soon (and there may have been a couple more on tap, direct from the barrel, which I missed). Great place, and it should be on a 'must visit' list for any beer-lovers trip to Newcastle.

On 12th September 2009 - rating: 9
[User has posted 5623 recommendations about 5623 pubs]