The Nags Head was another Oddfellows Arms. A brilliant pub with excellent beer just a short walk out of a small Dorset town thronged with tourists. The hill was even steeper in Lyme Regis. No wonder none of the visitors walk out this far.
They should do because the view from the beer garden is absolutely stunning. Panoramic vistas of Lyme Regis and out along the Jurassic coast towards Golden Cap and beyond. On a beautiful sunny day it doesn’t get better than this folks. And the beer garden is quite superb with hanging baskets everywhere and well equipped, comprising a terrace with a broader grassed area below.
James, the landlord told me it was definitely a locals pub and although it was very steady on a Thursday afternoon he said it would be rammed over the weekend from Friday night onwards. James and Rebecca have only had the pub for 8 months. Originally they are from Coventry where he worked in the aerospace industry.
You could tell it was a locals pub by the number of trophies along the far wall, evidence of the practice people put in on the three darts boards. I bet Life After Football can’t even beat three dart boards in those midlands pubs he visits? And live music and all major sports on TV.
James said they always had Otter beers on the bar, Bitter and Sark Lark on this occasion, plus a guest draught beer pump on which he liked to showcase local beers, rather than those from afar. Even the Lager was Otter’s Tarka.
I tried half of Pitchfork Ales Goldbine, I’d never come across this brewery who aren’t even in the 2018 Good Beer Guide. Checking out their website tells me they are a new company formed by Mark Davey and Graham Dunbavan who were made redundant from RCH Brewery in 2017. Like RCH they are also based in Weston Super Mare.
The beer must have only just gone on because James asked the bar man for a taster. I’ll tell you what, if the easy going, straw coloured, hoppy 3.8% ale is anything to go by then Pitchfork Ales are worth seeking out. It’s not too hop forward like some progressive beers can be, although I quite like that style, it’s just really tasty and nice and would suit most tastes. I paid £1.75 for my half and it was an easy NBSS 4. No wonder the Nags is in the Good Beer Guide (2018 and I reckon a cert to be in the 2019). Definitely worth the walk up the hill.
There isn’t great deal else to say except I wasn’t expecting a split level lower room, but that seemed to be more of a games/darts area. Some racing prints above the bar, clean and very tidy. Lovely flowers outside, even after a long scorching summer. There’s a post box curiously positioned at the side of the pub? And a Nags Head on the wall outside. Toilets were good and very clean and they do B & B. There’s obviously an interest in beer because they’ve got a trip up to Otter Brewery; £25, including travel, buffet and free bar!
I tried to take a picture of the pub dog, Boris, a Hungarian Vizsla, and very handsome he was too, but he wouldn’t sit still so you’ll have to do with an old Jack Russell who wandered in with a chap and his grandson. I’ll declare my hand and say I’ve always been a terrier man myself.
Verdict; Top pub, top beer, top of hill which probably keeps the majority of tourists down in the main town.