One of York’s greatest strengths is its superb pubs. If you’re not a fan of places like the Slug & Lettuce, if your idea of drinking hell is overly-cold-so-as-to mask-the-taste Carling and if you don’t think much of having your drinking disturbed by the top 40 then you’re in for a treat, York plays host to some proper, soulful pubs.
It’s an often used cliché that in York there are more pubs than there are days of the year, so with three years of University ahead of you, you have a lot to get through.
The Hansom Cab
Sammy Smiths – two words that will consistently bring a smile to your face during your time at York. The Tadcaster-based brewery has been going since 1758 and remains steeped in tradition, shire horses are still used to make local deliveries, for example. There are a number of Sammy Smiths pubs in York (The York Arms, The King’s Arms and The Seahorse are all good bets) but the best location is The Hansom Cab. Expect to pay very little for a pint, Sovereign Ale is £1.47, and expect a slightly more raucous atmosphere. A great place to escape the foam fulled furore of freshers’ week
A bit different this one. Pivni is a world beer freehouse. Here you can enjoy not just the cask ales present in the other places but also bottles of beer from all over the world. The website boasts of a choice from 80 beers from across the globe – a heavy night. It’s quite a touristy place so it’s not cheap but it’s the kind of place you can’t find all around the country.
The Blue Bell
A good shout if you’re on your own, or if you’re a very small person because there isn’t much room inside. That is, however, its only drawback. A lovely, little pub that often has signs up saying it’s a private party. Chances are it’s not, it’s just the landlord attempting to turn away the hoards of race-goers. Once again there are plenty of fine ales on offer and, if you can find somewhere to sit, a very cosy atmosphere. Perfect for an evening by the fire in December.
The Rook & Gaskill
A quiet, classy pub with a great selection behind the bar. Named after the last two people to be hanged by the St. Leonards gallows in the 17th Century, it’s a great place to enjoy some of the best that breweries in the region can offer. Students are welcome, as long as you don’t go in off your face, order seven WKDs and play spin the bottle. The landlord sometimes reads Nouse’s pub guide so he’ll never forgive us if you trash the place, just buy lots of beer and be friendly.