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Beer of the Week (w/e 17th November 2019) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Kings Arms, Heath, Wakefield

Pub added by James Joines
Phone: 01924377527

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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.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Kings Arms

This pub features in the Camra National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. A busy pub even on a Monday lunchtime visit. There was an even mix here of diners and drinkers. The food looked good and has a good reputation, the portions are also on the large size. On arrival we went into the small snug bar to order our drinks, this small area soon became packed, so as Will mentions, we went around to the larger lounge and bar.
This is a good destination pub and well worth a visit. There were six Ossett ales on handpump and one cider on our visit. We went for the Kings Arms Bitter 4%, brewed by Ossett and Ossett Silver King. The weather was good on our visit, so we took our drinks out to the front, where we found some bench seating and some other chatty drinkers. There is also a conservatory at the rear of the pub and a beer garden.

On 25th June 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2903 recommendations about 2903 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about The Kings Arms

A lovely old traditional country inn, with a confusing warren of rooms awaiting the unsuspecting visitor. There's a tiny tap room just to the right of the entrance, but the main bar is further round to the right after passing a hatch that gives access to the bar from the corridor - if you can attract the server's attention. A battery of hand pumps awaits, but the beers are all listed on a blackboard in the small tap room. To the left are a couple of nice old rooms with wood panelling and gas lighting, and there's a further corridor through to the restaurant in the adjoining building. At the back is a modern conservatory. The eight beers, mostly from Ossett Brewery, are supplemented by a cider. The pub is well worth a visit, even for the casual drinker by public transport, as the pub is easily accessed by frequent buses (but please note that most involve a short walk from the nearby main road), though a lot of people clearly drive here for the food.

Date of visit: 27th March 2014

On 16th April 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2432 recommendations about 2296 pubs]

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James Joines left this review about The Kings Arms

Changed since my last visit. Clarks distibute Ossett Beers and of the 8 Real Ales on offer priced from £2.50 -£2.70 none were from Clarks and the House Beer Kings Arms Bitter is from Ossett.
Didnt check out the food but what I did see the portions looked a good size.
Further to some comments from other reviwers staff all appeared on the young side and in the bar servise was erratic as bar staff deep in converstaion with friends.

On 5th July 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 841 recommendations about 835 pubs]

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aleand hearty left this review about The Kings Arms

A traditional stone built pub, owned by Clark’s brewery, in the impressively grand village of Heath. (Once known as the ‘village of mansions’, many of the large properties are Grade II listed buildings).
The pub features a corridor entrance with two small side rooms, to the left and a tiny snug and a larger main bar, to the right. There is also a modern conservatory to the rear. Dark wooden panelling is used extensively in the original rooms with lighting being famously provided by old fashioned gas lamps. There are four real fires, one of which is incorporated into a lovely old range. The fire surrounds are thought to have been salvaged from the long demolished Heath Old Hall. It’s hardly surprising therefore, that the ‘King’s Arms’ appears in CAMRA’s National Inventory Part II of heritage pubs.

Seven real ales were on offer during this visit. Tetley Bitter, Taylor’s ‘Landlord’ and Clark’s ‘Classic Blonde as the regular beers and four guest ales: The Brewery Company’s ‘Abyss’ & ‘Frontier IPA’, Ramsbury ‘Winter Knobber’ and Beartown ‘Bearskinful’ (Be aware that the hand pumps for the regular beers are in the snug, whilst those for the ‘guests’ are in the main bar).
I tried the ‘Frontier’ and the ‘Bearskinful’. Both were well pulled and nicely cool, not cold, however the IPA was very tired compared to the daisy fresh Beartown.
Although the landlord has gained ‘Cask Marque’ accreditation and the pub has been a Good Beer Guide entry for many years I’ve always found the beer quality a little erratic. However, I was still a little surprised to see it omitted from the 2010 edition, as it always appeared to be a permanent fixture.

Bar food is based largely on traditional pub staples. From when I last ate (sausage and mash, beef filled Yorkshire pudding) the quality is solid and honest rather than inspirational. For serious diners there is an adjacent restaurant.

The bar maid was friendly and polite despite being kept very busy. She had to shuttle between the main bar and the snug section. The bar has a tendency to feel understaffed and a wait of several minutes to get served is too often the norm.

A relaxed, chatty atmosphere when I called and surprisingly busy for a Thursday lunchtime. The King’s Arms is one of those pubs you just want to snuggle down in, particularly when the fires are lit. For fair weather drinking there is a grassed drinking area to the side and an enclosed raised beer garden to the rear. There are also several benches in front of the pub. Unfortunately, one dampener on drinking outside has been the introduction of a mandatory plastic glass policy.

Overall, it’s still a ‘must visit’ pub if you’re in the Wakefield area. Highly recommended.


JUNE 2011 UPDATE: The King’s Arms has been managed by Ossett Brewery since 4.4.11 and it’s fair to say they have certainly put their stamp on it. However, I must echo concerns being reported elsewhere and state that the changes they have made are right on the edge as regards altering the character of the place.

There is now a large Ossett Brewery logo on the front wall and the exterior lamps also bear the company design. More tellingly, the shades on the internal, traditional gas lamps have been replaced, affecting the famous cosy glow. Several pub mirrors also feature the brewery badge and a large blackboard behind the bar now lists the available beers. At the bar, the hand pumps have now been re-positioned to the front facing section, but, to be fair, are much more user friendly. Beers in the snug are now duplicated in the main bar. There are now eight ales on offer, including Kings Arms Bitter, which is re-badged ‘Big Red’. Quality of those we tried was surprisingly variable, given Ossett’s reputation, on our most recent visit. Possibly a couple of pumps too many? Staffing ratios are now much better, but some of the younger staff seem a little inexperienced- can’t remember the last time I had to remind a barman three times the contents of a three drink round. Possibly he was distracted by the music, the volume of which was definitely intrusive. Finally, bar meals are no longer eaten in the main room and the ridiculous plastic glass policy for outdoor drinking has been abandoned, for which we are all eternally grateful.

On balance, I think the good just about outweighs the bad. Normally, I’m quite a fan when Ossett acquire venues, but this is the first time I’ve felt slightly uneasy. One to keep an eye on, methinks.

On 28th June 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 334 recommendations about 321 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Kings Arms

Situated in the conservation area of Heath, an 800 year old village a mile or so east of Wakefield consisting of a number of fine stone built properties around much grassland and commons, The Kings Arms is a splendid traditional pub that features in Part 2 of CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

Itself an attractive stone built building entirely in keeping with the rest of the village, the pub features a number of small interconnecting old rooms with wood panelling, flagstoned floors and dark beams.

As you approach the front door, you immediately notice the Cask Marque symbol plus, unfortunately, a notice telling you that "anyone suspected using illegal drugs on the green will have their car registration reported to the police …..". What a shame that such an attractive looking country pub in an idyllic location feels fit to have such a notice displayed - three times in total, in various parts of the pub.

The small bar at the front is a typical snug bar with realistically room for no more than half a dozen customers comfortably. My immediate initial reaction was that it's not a lot bigger than the small front bar of The Dove, in Hammersmith, West London, which of course holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest bar room.

On the other side of the central corridor are two other traditionally furnished old rooms. Carrying on through the corridor leads round to a larger more comfortable bar with a couple of fine fireplaces. Modern additions include a well appointed restaurant on the far left of the building and a conservatory behind the larger bar where the World Cup and Wimbledon were advertised as being shown. There's a large rambling garden at the back and several seats outside at the front overlooking the green.

On the real ale front, the beers in the front snug bar were Tetley Bitter, TT Landlord and Clarks Classic Blonde. In the larger bar - which was deserted on my visit - 4 additional beers were available - Ringwood Old Thumper, Caledonian Flying Dutchman plus beers from Purple Moose and Conwy Breweries. Both beers sampled by me - Clarks Classic Blonde and Tetley Bitter - £ 2.04p and £ 2.34p respectively - were in good form. It seems churlish to be critical, but I'm surprised that a pub that is apparently owned by Clarks Brewery should only be offering one of their own beers. Interestingly, also, there's no external branding/ badging to show that Clarks own this pub, although bar staff were wearing appropriately branded black corporate shirts.

This is an attractive pub in an attractive village and you should make the effort to seek this one out if you get the opportunity.

On 15th October 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Chris Heath left this review about The Kings Arms

Fascinating country pub which is completely gaslit. The bar area always has a warm cosy feel about it, unfortunately, the new conservatory at the back of the pub does nothing to add to the ambience. The evening we were there in Jan.08, the conservatory was very untidy, and freezing (since, been informed that this is usually set aside for families with young children).
This does not detract from the fact that this Cask Marque pub is one of the best in the region.

On 12th January 2008 - rating: 8
[User has posted 47 recommendations about 47 pubs]

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James Joines left this review about The Kings Arms

H B Clarks only pub with Clarks and guest beers always avalable. Real fires in a cosy many roomed pub with bar snacks. Restaurant for those requiring more formal eating.
Car parking at front of pub.

On 4th December 2007 - rating: 8
[User has posted 841 recommendations about 835 pubs]