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Sun Inn, Craven Arms

Pub added by Oggwyn Great
Rosemary Lane
Postal town: Craven Arms

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Sun Inn

The date in the new extension is that of 1710 for this pub, which features on CAMRA’s inventory of pubs with historic interiors, being of National Importance and grade II-listed.
I’ve been to Leintwardine before but probably not for a good 40 years as my grandparents lived about three villages away; they still do, six foot under, so it was a bit of a labour of love to make the 350-mile return journey, taking in the neighbouring Lion for sustenance. The pub is essentially two workers’ cottages knocked together, well described below and comprehensively covered on CAMRA’s sites, with even a Wikipedia entry. The interior (see photos) is a beautiful example of a perfectly preserved museum and now almost unique surviving example of a traditional parlour pub, with a substantial ‘barn conversion’ extension to the rear, suitably rustic with pale paint, traditional mixed furniture and eclectic framed prints. Customers were locals, speaking a Herefordshire dialect which I found hard to understand, copious expletives aside. However, the place wasn’t that busy at the time of our short stay the other Friday, with quite a few customers leaving at around 7.40pm, knocking the stuffing out of the atmosphere a little; does the place really close at 9.00pm as claimed by CAMRA?
The ale front is clearly predictable, with Butty Bach, Ludlow Stairway and Hobson’s Best and Champion mild at £1.70 a half, on excellent form, served by a charming and polite barmaid.
Reminding me a little of Steep’s Harrow, this is clearly a must-visit pub at a national level; a more adventurous ale range would probably – finally – have dragged the elusive ‘10’ out of me.

On 12th March 2023 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1982 recommendations about 1949 pubs]

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Blue Scrumpy left this review about Sun Inn

The Sun is a pub I've long had on my list of pubs to visit. It opens at 11am and as such, it made a good place to start a Sunday visit to some of Herefordshire's village pubs.

You enter straight into the traditional front rooms, where I noticed a blackboard advertising Stout Sunday. Continuing to the more modern rear space, the pub revealed itself to be quite busy with locals, despite it still being Sunday morning.

The barmaid was friendly and in addition to the regular beers (Hobson's Best Bitter & Champion Mild & Ludlow Stairway), they also had Wye Valley Butty Bach as a guest beer and a cider, which was Weston's Family Vintage.

We took our drinks and returned to sit in the front room, which is starting to look very dated, but still retains all of its atmosphere. I did take a peak into the parlour, where a barrel of beer was sat on a table. Taking a closer look at the blackboard, it revealed that the beer for Stout Sunday was actually Ledbury Phoenix, a porter and that it was to be served at 4pm. I guess people gather here during the evening to consume the cask. But I wasn't about to sit around for 5 hours to find out. In actual fact, I was later to be drinking the Phoenix in another pub by 3pm!

The quietness of the front rooms slightly spoiled my enjoyment of this historic pub, with locals preferring the modern section at the rear. But hopefully that changes later in the day. Still well worth a visit though.

On 3rd February 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2452 recommendations about 2451 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Sun Inn

Features on Camra's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. The pub was run for 74 years by Florence (Flossie) who died at the age of 94 years 11 months in 2009. The pub had restricted opening times due to Flossie's grand age and now is open on a regular basis. It was interesting to see the two front parlours, preserved from Flossie's time with the original furniture and wallpapered walls.
The rear of the pub now opens out into a large extension and bar area, which was once the ground floor cellar area. There is also a good size garden with a collection of various wildfowl roaming around.
We found this to be a warm and welcoming pub, four hand pumps, including one cider. We went for the Big Nevs Nelson Mandela and Hobson's Best, both were in good shape.

On 11th October 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3382 recommendations about 3381 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

. Wittenden left this review about Sun Inn

I must confess to being somewhat agnostic about this house.I really wanted to enjoy it-quiet rustic pubs are my idea of heaven, and the front rooms, parlour and kitchen are just that.equally, the new conservatory style servery cum bar to the rear is a fine village pub. Unfortunately, they don't really gel for me.
We sat in the parlour with the wonderful tiled floor, and enjoyed our stew and beer-very well kept Hobsons Best and Ludlow Boiling Well. A few drinkers in the airy bar out back on an October Tuesday lunchtime. A warm welcome from the gent behind the bar, who's beer memory went back further than mine.
A gem, perhaps if busier it would have shone.

On 1st February 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 283 recommendations about 282 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Sun Inn

Well worth checking out. Its like going to a museum, where you can have a pint and a meal :-)

Front area is exactly as it was - a parlour pub in someones house. A nice extension on the back and outside seating area. Great pint of Three Tuns and a really nice lunch

On 26th April 2015 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1337 recommendations about 1323 pubs]

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lala forbes left this review about Sun Inn

This pub is a real find. I couldn't rate it highly enough. The owners have retained and maintained the simplicity and homeliness of this old fashioned parlour pub, previously owned by Flossie. We live in Surrey and were only visiting the area overnight, but were welcomed like friends as soon as we walked in. Some locals arrived and were every bit as charming. I can only add that Roger Burton's review below is absolutely spot on and we will definitely make the time to go up there again, if only to visit The Sun.

On 28th February 2011 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about Sun Inn

As pubs go, the Sun is one of the country’s genuine treasures, a rare throwback to simplicity and lost values. I may have arrived too late to have encountered the extraordinary Flossie Lane but from my evening with the regulars who now run the pub on a voluntary basis, it is clear that her legacy is in wonderful hands. Their love and respect for the late landlady is evident in the many wonderful tales of her that they will tell you ranging from the cantankerous and ascerbic to the genuinely warm hearted and welcoming. Aside from a few personal artifacts that have been returned to her family, the place is exactly as she left it and the intention is to keep it that way.

The entrance leads directly into Flossie’s living room with its spartan, simple furnishings and distinct lack of any mod cons. The bar (for want of a better word) is to the right, a simple room with dated wallpaper, fading pictures, 3 long tables and a few benches. A tiny open fire packs out what heat it can. A small table skittles game sits on one of the tables and the abundance of books on historic pubs and old pub games should be enough to convince that this is a place where traditions don’t fade away easily. On the wall are photos of the village “mayors” dressed in their distinctive ceremonial headgear. The incumbent of the title has the sole duty of officially opening the annual beer festival. The chances are that everyone you encounter in the Sun will have been a “mayor” at some time (including the local dog) or are at least Aldermen of The Red Brick Bar. Don’t feel that this is some kind of Wicker Man community, rarely have I have been afforded such a welcome into a pub as a complete stranger. I was taken on a guided tour (it doesn't take long!), including the kitchen that doubles upas the tap room, little more than a small table, a simple set of shelves, an old enamel sink and a couple of casks in the corner. The Hobsons Mild and Hobsons Best were as good as anything I tasted in my weekend touring the pubs of the area.

Finding the place is an achievement, finding it open is a lottery but the opening hours are fortunately now a bit more static since the longer term future of the pub has now been assured thanks to the efforts of the regulars. As pub experiences go, the Sun is right up there with the very best.

On 2nd April 2010 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Sun Inn

Many real ale lovers have an interest in the buildings where their favoured brew is sold on draught, and most of these aficionados have an appreciation of the history and heritage of the nation's public houses. The range is enormous, from the ornate Victorian drinking establishments in our larger cities, the friendly backstreet boozer hidden away from the busy main road, the old coaching inns of our market towns and the remote canal-side tavern right through to the traditional country pub that you see on the postcards. So where does the Sun Inn fit in with all of this?

A wide selection of real ale? No, just the regular Hobsons bitter and perhaps a barrel of something more seasonal from the same brewery.

A good selection of other drinks for those that don't appreciate cask beer? Almost nothing - no lager, no spirits, no coffee (although a glass of lemonade or wine might be found for the desperate).

Fine food? Reasonably-priced food? In fact, any food at all? No, no and no (although you can bring a pork pie from the village butchers or get something from the nearby chippy to eat with your fingers).

Plenty of comfortable seating arranged around the bar? No, just a few old armchairs in what looks like an elderly relative's front room (and several rustic benches and tables in another small room when there are more than a handful of people needing to be squeezed in).

That authentic pub look to beckon in the weary traveller? Not likely; just what looks like a couple of old stone cottages with a faded sign next to the side gate and an inconspicuous 'Open'/'Closed' notice hung on a piece of string inside the small front-door window.

Easy to get to by public transport? Hah! - it's hidden away in a small village near the Welsh border, served by a minimal bus service (or you can try a 3-4 mile hike from the nearest railway station which just has four trains per day).

Opening hours? Slightly erratic, depending on the availability of volunteers who are currently running the place.

Up to now, I have wondered how anybody could consider giving any pub a rating of '10' on BITE. Even if you thought that you had found the 'perfect pub', how would you know whether or not there was a better one down the road a bit, in the next town or somewhere you've never heard of half-way across the country?

However, in quiet Leintwardine, you may - like me - find that this miraculous survivor from a bygone age (sadly now missing Flossie Lane, it's legendary 94-year old landlady who deservedly got an obituary in The Times) changes your mind about that elusive '10'.

Hopefully now saved from threat of closure, it's truly unique and long may the Sun continue to shine.

On 27th September 2009 - rating: 10
[User has posted 8086 recommendations about 8086 pubs]