Set in rolling Cheshire countryside virtually opposite Cholmondeley Castle on the A49, and still part of the Viscount’s estate, is this red-brick former schoolhouse. Quirky and eclectic, it’s surely one of England’s more unusual pubs, the decor and artefacts, including family heirlooms, educational memorabilia, bell tower without and blackboards within add tremendously to the atmosphere of the cavernous interior. It’s no longer a draughty institute – owners Tim and Mary Bird have created a warm and inviting interior, with church candles on old school desks, fresh flowers, glowing log fires and a relaxing atmosphere. After exploring the local countryside, visiting the castle, or the fabulous ruins at Beeston, stapled to Cheshire’s hilly sandstone spine, it’s the perfect place to unwind, sup a pint of Cholmondeley Best or another local guest (only microbrewery beers from a 35-mile radius are stocked), or delve into the mindboggling list of 366 different gins, celebrated at the annual gin festival that takes place in July. Allow time to taste some of the best produce from Cheshire’s burgeoning larder, including seasonal game from the estate. Please note that children under ten are not allowed after 7pm in the bar, or 9pm in the garden.
Friendly inn with imaginative menus and 140 gins
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Main course from: £1
- Open all year
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About The area
Nestled between the Welsh hills and Derbyshire Peaks, the Cheshire plains make an ideal location to take things slow and mess around in boats. Cheshire has more than 200 miles (302 km) of man-made waterways, more than any other county in England. The Cheshire Ring is formed from the Rochdale, Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater canals. This route takes you through a lot of Cheshire, and bits of other counties as well.
While exploring the county’s waterways, covering ground on foot or admiring the typical white plaster and black timber-frame houses, make sure to have a taste of Cheshire’s most famous produce. Although Cheddar has become Britain’s most popular cheese (accounting for over half of the cheese sales in the UK), it was once Cheshire cheese that was in every workman’s pocket back in the 18th century. Its moist, crumbly texture and slightly salty taste mean it goes well with fruit, peppers or tomatoes. As well as the usual white, there are also red and blue veined varieties.
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