The Three-Legged Mare is one of the three York brewery pubs in York. With a good range of beers on ofer, friendly bar-staff, and a nice atmosphere this was my favourite pub in York (closely followed by the Yorkshire Terrier, one of the other York Brewery pubs). It's in a good, central location on High Petergate, very near the Minster.
Well worth trying is the York brewery taster, which gives you a sample of 4 York brewery beers for £3. Each sample is 1/3 of a pint so it works out to be quite good value. This is a good way to taste beers you might never otherwise get a chance to try and I really enjoyed my Guzzler, Harvest Pale, Yorkshire Terrier and .... sorry, can't remember the last one.
Plonkers is more than just a wine bar. In fact they pride themselves as being a wine & beer bar. If you are out on the lash (drinking) in York, go down towards the river for a drink, and maybe some food. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the décor is well done. They offer the following for the drinker and/or diner.
• Thai and English Food
• Large wine selection
• Huge beer selection
• Sunday Carvery
• Non-smoking area (upstairs – go figure)
• Massive TV screen
• Air conditioned and well heated
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York's oldest pub is the Black Swan, dating from the 16th century. The building itself is from the 14th century, and you can tell once you walk through the door that the place is steeped in history. The black and white tmbner frames create a lovely exterior, while inside the oak panelled walls and large fireplaces create a cosy atmosphere.
There are regular folk nights here, though unfortunately not during our visit. In fact I was a little disappointed in the place given its age and history. The beers on offer were standard British pints, nothing exceptional, and atmosphere was lacking. Though it was only 5pm....I'm sure it's more fun later in the evening.
Like the Black Swan, Ye Olde Starre Inn claims to be the oldest pub in York. I'm not sure which is the elder, though both must be doing something right if they're still going strong after over 300 hundred years.
We watched the England-Italy rugby game in Ye Olde Starre Inn, and the atmosphere was great. We were the only non England supporters there so we had to clap extra loud when Italy scored! It was all good fun though, and the locals here were a good laugh. Good selection of beers too. They have a beer garden at the front with views over to the nearby Minster.
Just one of the many great pubs on Stonegate, the Punch Bowl Inn is another York pub that dates back a few hundred years. We ate here both evenings of our trip. The food was standard pub fare - nothing special but good value and filling. There were many interesting beers advertised on the specials board, but, sadly, many were unavailable. I did get to try Yorkshire Terrier, a fantastic local ale.
With its fantastic location along the river it's not surprising that the King's Arms is one of the most popular pubs in York. The seats overlooking the river must be a great place to hang out in the warmer months. It wasn't so enticing in February. We stopped here only briefly to see if they were showing the rugby. No such luck, this was more of a football pub, so we had to make do with O'Neill's around the corner.
This is the oldest licensed premises in York. The building dates back to 1503 and was originally owned by the Merchant Adventurers.
It' also supposed to be the most haunted, with 5 resident ghosts. It's bigger than it looks, but as there are no foundations it's very 'wobbly' inside!
They also do bed and breakfast (2 rooms with 4-poster beds).
Like its sister pub, The Three-Legged Mare, the Yorkshire Pub specialises in York brewery beers. I really liked this place - it was very laid-back, almost studenty though not with prices to match unfortunately. There is also a shop/off-license out front selling many of the brewery beers not available inside.
I normally avoid places like O'Neill's but it was the only place we could find with a big screen for the Six Nations games. Hence we were here twice during our trip to York watching France vs Ireland and Wales vs Scotland.
The Black Swan is in one of York's historic old buildings, with creaky floors, a crooked stairway, open fireplaces and other tell tale aspects of a well used establishment. The night we stopped by there was an enthusiastic jazz band playing in an upstairs room. It would be worth checking into the entertainment calendar for more such evenings, or just to soak in the historic atmosphere.
Another pub you'd wish it was your local. Real ale, lovely decor, friendly but not 'in your face' staff. The pub is small and split into 3 rooms. For a cold, winter's night I would recommend the room at the back, and a seat by the fire place. Even though this room is a smoking room (well, even though I don't smoke, I think that pubs and smoking go hand in hand), it does not get very busy or smokey. You can enjoy a whole evening staring at the fire and enjoying some local ales and dinner, which is pretty much what we did.
We went there on both Friday and Saturday night and the place was not packed, but comfortably busy. Rumours have it that the previous pub manager (which has now been sacked) was a bit of a nightmare and most regulars left, but they are now coming back. In my opinion, I preferred this little place to be as it was, without the madness of a weekend crowd around. My favourite pub in York.
Dress Code: no dress code
One of the best known pubs in York, everytime the river floods this pub is filled with water. There's a waterline inside the pub which shows how how the water was.
Don't stay inside though, if the weather's nice grab a pint and head back outside and sit or stand by the river, which is what we did.
Dress Code: It's a pretty normal pub, no dressing up required.
Directly at the river there's this lovely pub - with outdoor seeting even (Something rather unusual in England). We had a little break and a pint in the sun here on our walk through York. I could have stayed for ages watching the boats on the river and enjoying the sunshine and the Lager Shandy. But as usual we were in a hurry ;-)
Inside there's a plaque detailing the water levels of the previous floods. Obviously this pub gets flooded all the time. I liked the sign on a litter box in the toilet best actually. It said "If used as instructed this unit presents no risk to health". Luckily it didn't say "May contain nuts" as well ;-)
Dress Code: When the river is flooded I'd wear Wellies ;-)
Clubbing fans be warned, there are only 4 nightclubs in York, and one's not even in the city centre! The nearest clubbing venue is really Leeds, only £5 return on the train! But if you really must sample York's clubbing scene (and an experience it is), week nights tend to be student nights, and weekends tend to be "townie" nights, attracting an older clientele (see my warnings and dangers tip). The 3 in the centre are The Gallery, Toffs, and Ziggy's, with Ikon and Diva, a chain club, in the outlying Clifton Moor and accessible from the centre by a specially-designtated bus or taxi.
They all have 2 floors, which tend to have similar musical themes - one floor for chart/ dance/ "cheese"/ 80s/ something similar, and the other for something heavier and more "alternative", such as rock/ 90s rock/ britpop/ something similar.
In 1744 this theatre was built on its present site, over and among the ruins of the medieval St. Leonard’s Hospital.
It has been of course modernised over the years and is now Yorks premier theatre. There is a wide variety of shows and plays on through the year and there will be something for everyone.
There is a cafe/bar within the theatre.