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Picture of The Red Lion
Image posted by Andy Ven
Submitted on Friday, 6th May 2011
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The Red Lion, Swanage

63 High Street
BH19 2LY
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Red Lion (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Old Boots left this review about The Red Lion

Two bar pub, definite public bar to the left and a bit more lounge like Saloon Bar through the right hand door. Beer choices tonight were Doombar, Taylors Landlord, Hattie Brown Moonlite and Otter bitter, with DBC Jurassic coming next. Even the Doombar was on form and the Landlord would easily passed muster in Yorkshire. Bench seating at wooden tables in the public which also has Strong’s of Romsey windows. It has a dart board and a few brewery mirrors and posters. There’s a cider menu with the ciders grouped by style on a sort of scatter graph display showing 17 ciders and five Perry’s. There was even a northerner spouting classic BS, magic. Although there are two hand pumps in each bar, other than Doombar the beers were drawn on gravity from a back room. The Saloon is divided in two by fireplace and timber beams, the part near the counter houses the pool table and vertical drinking while the remainder is a dining area decorated mainly with horse brasses. GBG 2021 listed, rightly so.

On 19th September 2021 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2576 recommendations about 2347 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Soup Dragon left this review about The Red Lion

A nice traditional looking white rendered stone and brick pub and eatery that also does accommodation. It is in the GBG 2010 and has a nice beer garden at the back, where we spent our time. The pub looks like a few former cottages that have been knocked through.

The interior has two rooms. The lounge is didn't really see, other than it had a pool table and i think this is where the food is served. The bar, to the left on entry is in white and wood panel, with cream ceiling (so it looked, a bit gloomy light-wise) along with a brick fireplace and some beams. There was a dartboard in this room. There were some jug glasses and old photos for interest, but it looked a little bare. I didn't see a TV and soft general music was playing in the background. The service was fine and there was a good mix of clientele, many clearly locals. I didn't eat, so i can't comment on that.

Beer; tap stuff with real ales being served direct from the barrels from the back - Palmers Copper, Otter Bitter, Sharpe's Doombar, Ringwood Bitter and Timothy Taylor Landlord were on offer. I had the Landlord, which was OK.

I didn't really spend much time inside the pub, other than to get the drinks, but it seemed fine to me - I would like to go back and simply try the beers, one after the other.

On 19th December 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3067 recommendations about 3062 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Red Lion

Occupying a central position on Swanage's High Street, The Red Lion is an attractive looking 17th century inn with a whitewashed exterior and hanging baskets. On approaching the pub, a sandwich board on the pavement outside entices us in with the words " up to 6 real ales and 57 ciders" and proudly advertises itself as local CAMRA Pub of the Season 2010.

Despite retaining its 2 bar format - note the etched glass denoting "saloon bar" and "public bar" - the interior has been modernised and there is little to indicate its 17th century origins. Disappointingly, I failed to notice even one picture / photo of the pub in early times anywhere on the walls.

The public bar is basic and has a dartboard and displays many darts trophies. The saloon bar has an area with a pool table and a separate restaurant area, where much exposed brickwork is still in evidence. The pub is a sponsor of Bournemouth AFC and a framed advert from the matchday programme and an autographed football shirt are displayed.

There's a large outside drinking area at the back with a smokers marquee. A few rooms are available for B & B in a converted coach house at the rear of the pub.

On the beer front, two etched windows denoting " Strong's Ales and Stout" tell us that Strong's of Romsey had this pub in days long gone. It's now a free house which, on my recent visit, was offering 6 real ales - Ringwood Best, Otter Bitter, Palmers Copper Ale, Yeovil Summerset, Sharps Doom Bar and TT Landlord - all served direct from the barrel. The Otter Bitter was a pleasant tasty pint. The pub is in the 2010 CAMRA Good Beer Guide and displays local branch awards.

Whilst visitors and holiday makers are welcomed and an extensive food menu is offered, The Red Lion would, pleasingly, appear to be first and foremost a pub and evidently has a loyal band of regulars.

Despite an unattractively modernised interior, I'd be happy to come here again

On 5th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Old Blue
Parkstone (Dorset), 9.65 miles, 3 hr 6 min walk (show)
Branksome, 9.96 miles, 3 hr 12 min walk (show)
Poole, 10.74 miles, 3 hr 27 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Red Lion, Swanage
19th Sep 2021, 17:30
Review submitted by Old Boots amended by Old Boots
19th Sep 2021, 17:29
Review submitted by Old Boots

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : Yes last updated 05 October 2010 by hondo .
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
  • Darts : Yes last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
  • Pool Table : Yes last updated 05 October 2010 by hondo .
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 02 June 2016 by Old Blue
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