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Picture of Holly Bush Inn
Image posted by Real Ale Ray
Submitted on Saturday, 12th August 2017
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Holly Bush Inn, Belper

Holly Bush Lane
Postal town: Belper
DE56 0RX
Phone: 01332841729
Correct details

Served areas

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Holly Bush Holly Bush Classic Manchester hop bomb from ⁦@marblebrewers⁩ now on the bar 8:46 PM Nov 26th from Twitter for iPhone
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Reviews of Holly Bush Inn (Average Rating: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about Holly Bush Inn

This is a lovely unspoiled 18th Century village pub in the pleasant surrounds of the Derwent Valley, between Derby and Belper. The pub has retained a multiple-room layout that I suspect is relatively unchanged with the exception of the newer left-hand seating area that occupies what was once a neighbouring cottage. The front door brings you into a passageway from which each of the rooms can be accessed. Almost directly in front of you is a highly unusual snug style room formed by two long, high backed benches, with a small access point to the bar, which the snug is positioned directly behind. It’s a strange space unlike anything I can recall seeing in any other pub on my travels, although it was sadly occupied when we arrived, so I could only admire it in passing. Turning right, you emerge into the main public bar which has a lovely tiled floor, half panelled walls with faded paint on the upper sections and a series of dark beams crossing the ceiling. The bar is to the left and has a compact dark wood counter and matching bar back that looked pretty old and was adorned with various enamel mugs, pewter tankards, Toby jugs and other such drinking vessels, with a large rifle hung from the beam above. A nice stone fireplace dominates the opposite wall and has a detailed beer board hung above it, whilst the rest of the room has been decorated with old brewery mirrors, framed pump clips, aerial photographs of the pub and village, CAMRA certificates, old photos, maps and paintings and a few ceramic pieces. Ancient looking hard backed settles run around the perimeter of the room, serving small tables with chunky metal bases and it felt like a great room to get settled into for a decent session. Heading back along the passageway, you pass the snug and the aforementioned left-hand room in the extension which looked to have plenty more seating in a slightly brighter room with similar décor to the main bar. Eventually the passageway winds round to a rear conservatory that is almost as big as the whole of the original pub building and offers rows of longer tables and benches under beams decorated with a great array of items ranging from drinking vessels to farming equipment to an old fire alarm and plenty more in between. A small hatch can be used to save the effort of walking around to the main bar and this is also of use to those who have chosen to sit out in the paved garden area which had a small marquee and loads of additional seating when we visited shortly after the restriction on indoor drinking had been lifted.
The pub has a reputation for providing a wide selection of cask ales and didn’t disappoint on this visit, with Taylor Landlord, Thornbridge Jaipur, Otters Tears and Makeney (a house beer), Oakham JHB, Whim Hartington IPA and North Riding Porter all available on handpull whilst Marstons Pedigree is poured directly from a jug that is regularly topped up from the cellar. I restrained from participating in such a great bit of pub theatre and opted for the Porter which was luscious and warming and served to me by one of the friendly and chatty bar team.
This is an incredible pub that I was very pleased to have been able to visit. There’s so much to explore here that it really demands repeat visits – something it’s location doesn’t exactly help to facilitate – but even if you only get the chance to come here the one time, you can still enjoy the unique snug, interesting décor and maybe even some beer from the jug. A great pub that is well worth making the effort to visit.

On 23rd June 2021 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2620 recommendations about 2620 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Holly Bush Inn

This pub is worth the effort of getting here - it's a bit of a pull up the hill from the bus stop in Milford. Once inside, the bar is to the right and features eight real ales and several real ciders. As well as hand pumps, there's Pedigree available from a jug filled directly from the cask, and this was a very nice drink. There are two real fires. The room behind the bar is a snug formed of curved wooden panels with glazing at the top. There's a covered patio to the rear, through which the outside toilets can be accessed, and there's a hatch for customers to order their beers without going back into the pub. I didn't stop long as I was going on to do all three pubs in Holbrook before catching a bus into Belper, but I would like to come back here for a longer session some time, as it's a delightful building and the beer needs further exploration too.

Date of visit: 29th November 2017

On 11th January 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2727 recommendations about 2567 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Holly Bush Inn

Features in Camra's National Inventory of Historical Pub Interiors. The main feature being the high backed settles, with a central door, which can be closed over to create a separate room with access to the corner of the bar and of course the original Quarry floor tiles. We went into the main bar area at the end of the pub and were lucky to get seating over in the far corner. The majority of the customers were outside in the beer garden, so the inside was less congested, which was great for having a nose around. Seven ales on handpump, so I went for the Hairy Brewers Hair Raiser 7.3%, a half of course. I also ordered a Cheese and Onion cob, which was ok, only gripe was that the cheese was grated and you were given the onion separately and it was red onion.
The pork pies looked massive and it took two blokes on our next table to polish one off.

On 12th August 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 3035 recommendations about 3035 pubs]

View more reviews of Holly Bush Inn (6)
External web links for Holly Bush Inn

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Andy Ven
Duffield, 1.58 miles, 30 min walk (show)
Belper, 2.2 miles, 42 min walk (show)
Ambergate, 4.96 miles, 1 hr 35 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Holly Bush Inn, Makeney
23rd Jun 2021, 23:41
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
11th Jan 2018, 15:15
Review submitted by Will Larter

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.

  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 05 April 2018 by Will Larter
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 05 April 2018 by Will Larter
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 05 April 2018 by Will Larter
  • Jukebox : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Micropub : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 05 April 2018 by Will Larter
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 23 June 2021 by Pub SignMan
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