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Submitted on Wednesday, 29th November 2017
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Holly Bush Inn

Holly Bush Lane
Postal town: Belper
DE56 0RX
Phone: 01332841729
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Reviews of Holly Bush Inn (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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 2279 recommendations about 2279 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Holly Bush Inn

In the small village of Makeney, a few miles north of Derby, is The Holly Bush, an attractive 17th century stone built pub that is now Grade 2 listed.

Unusually, the inn sign is painted on the front exterior wall from which we learn that the pub is a Free House.

The main bar, to the right, features dark low ceiling beams, a quarry tiled floor, some old fixed wooden bench seating and a fine, stone surround fireplace. Subdued lighting, a collection of jugs suspended from the beams and the absence of music, TV or fruit machines contribute towards a room that is charming and characterful. The walls are decorated with a number of old prints, photos and paintings, many showing the pub in days of old when it was owned by Offilers, Bass Charrington and, more recently, Marstons.

On the left of the entrance, a small corridor leads round to the superb snug, the walls of which are effectively formed by high backed curved settles on either side with small windows in the upper part. This room is much smaller than the main bar, but in similar style, with a quarry tiled floor and a fine range fireplace. The CAMRA Heritage Pubs website, which features this pub, describes this room as “one of Great Britain’s finest unspoilt pub rooms”. Service in this room is via a small hatch to the back of the server, which is situated in the main bar described earlier.

Carrying on down the corridor, we reach a further seating area, mainly for diners, which is an extension to the original building, being a former cottage next door purchased in 1981.

If you believe all the folklore, Dick Turpin was clearly a prolific pub goer of his era and several framed newspaper articles on the corridor walls recount how he once hid in a barn in Makeney and, surprise, surprise, visited the pub on several occasions. A reproduction old poster offers a reward of 200 pounds for this “wanted highwayman”. We also learn that he was hanged in 1739. Apparently, he had Derbyshire roots and there was a campaign ( unsuccessful ?) to bring his body home.

At the back of the pub is a conservatory extension with a flagstoned floor, some exposed brickwork, an old table football machine and an old red telephone box. One small corner of this conservatory is dedicated to the countryside, with a number of useful maps and guides of local walks in the immediate area. Hanging from the ceiling are pots, pans, horse riding equipment, gardening tools, copper bells etc. As with the snug, there’s a serving hatch – effectively an open window – to the main bar

On my recent visit, no hot food was available – it was apparently the chef’s week off – but there was a good selection of cheeses, pork pies etc, which were disappearing quite quickly. However, and notably for a country pub, The Holly Bush would appear to be what the big pubcos would classify as a “wet led pub” with a good collection of friendly regulars enjoying the warmth and hospitality and clearly settled in for a longish stay. It’s very much a community pub with events advertised including carol singing by candlelight on Dec 11th, a New Years Eve Party and an Annual New Years Day Fun Run being organised by the management.

Notably, whilst this pub appears to be thriving, a large not unattractive pub about ten minutes walk away and enjoying a prominent position on the A6, virtually opposite from where the bus from Derby had deposited me, was closed and boarded up and, looking at the state of the weeds growing in the pub’s former car park, had clearly been so for some considerable time.

The Holly Bush Inn offers a number of real ales which, on my visit, included London Pride, GK Abbot, T T Landlord, Oakham Ales – Green Hop Harvest and Shankar IPA from Great Heck. Also available from the barrel, via jugs brought up from the cellar at regular intervals, were Pedigree and Ruddles County. All beers were priced at between £ 3.00p and £ 3.30p, although I did note that the pub appears to be trying to cash in on the craft keg bandwagon with a beer called Buxton Yellow available for £ 3.80p. Beer quality was reasonable, but a few more micros instead of some of the usual mainstream suspects, would have been welcomed. The pub is in the 2014 CAMRA Good Beer Guide, but seems to have missed out in the previous few years.

This was a very enjoyable visit – probably one of my best first visits of this calendar year.

On 19th December 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Andy Ven left this review about The Holly Bush Inn

This was my second visit to this pub and its still a good place. It's multi roomed with real fires, a snug and a conservatory at the back. It's on the CAMRA Regional Inventory.

On handpull there was Pedigree, Abbot, Landlord, London Pride, Exmoor Gold, Courage Director's and Copper Dragon Golden Pippin. Despite the temptation of the pies on the bar we stayed for lunch and it was decent value.

Worth its place in the GBG 2010 (and CAMRA's book of Peak District Pub Walks) and I'd return if I was in the area again.

On 22nd August 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 244 recommendations about 240 pubs]

View more reviews of Holly Bush Inn (4)
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
Pub location
Latest updates View all updates for Holly Bush Inn, Makeney
29th Nov 2017, 20:19
Picture submitted by Will Larter approved
29th Nov 2017, 20:19
Picture submitted by Will Larter approved

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.

  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
Food Hygiene Rating

Last inspected: March 16th 2017
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