11 of Peterborough's best real ale pubs
The Ostrich Inn
The Ostrich was a popular Peterborough nightlife spot in the early 20th century but has been in North Street in its current form since 2009. New ownership and management revived the pub’s heyday and it was crowned LocAle Pub of the Year 2018. Show up for live music on weekends and a selection of real and craft ales and LocAle beers to enjoy.
Peterborough CAMRA Pub of the Year 2018 and Beard Friendly Pub of the Year 2020, the Bumble Inn micropub in Westgate offers five handpumps of craft ale, regularly swapped so you can try something new, two craft keg taps, and an assortment of homemade pies. You can even join their 101 club – buy 101 different pints of beer and earn yourself a snazzy t-shirt (and discount).
Grab a pint on the largest floating real ale emporium in Great Britain at Charters Bar. Trading since 1991, here you’ll find eight cask ales on tap as well as a wide selection of guest ales offered throughout the year. There are events happening regularly – the beer and the general knowledge quizzes are a beautiful match!
The folks at the Stoneworks know their stuff, with 23 carefully chosen craft keg beers on hand for you to taste and then quiz the staff about. Keep an eye out for their always intriguing Tap Takeovers, or just pop in on an evening to challenge a random punter to a game of shuffleboard. They even do take-away.
Hand and Heart
The Hand and Heart is one of the Real Heritage Pubs of Britain, remaining as it was decorated in 1938 when it was built. Six handpumps of real ale are available, with one of those always being a dark beer. There’s also a beer festival held around St George’s Day, and another one near the end of September, because this is Peterborough and we can never have too many celebrations to drink to.
The Cambridgeshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019 sits in Werrington, and you’ll find five handpumps of ale and (according to them) the largest range of draught cider in the area, if that’s more your thing. Frothblowers has a no-screen policy – there'll be no sports coverage or fruit machines or wifi – so it’s the place to go if you want a good old-fashioned gossip, along with some quality real ale.
Coalheavers Arms is the only pub in Peterborough to have been hit by a bomb in World War 2, and because the bomb didn’t explode and because the owners were so Keep Calm and Carry On, the pub re-opened that very night. These days, there’s eight handpumps serving a mix of ales and the most disruption comes on football match days when things get busy and loud.
The Wonky Donkey
The Wonky Donkey in Fletton High Street is family-run and all about community. Take your pick of up to eight beers, mainly LocAle, while you enjoy themed nights a-plenty, including quizzes and Grub Club. There’s usually a porter or stout available, too, if you get a craving for something a little darker.
The Ploughman is a community pub in Werrington, saved in 2018 after looking to be at risk of closure as a result of Tesco’s plans to redevelop the area. No more worries there, though, and with six ales on offer (including both LocAles and unusual varieties) as well as live music every weekend and the annual July charity Beer Fest it’s sure to keep thriving.
Pizza and beer – how's that for a combination? The Queen’s Head on Queens Street is all about the letter ‘p’, with pizza, pots, and pints being their main output. And happy customers, of course! With three regular beers and one that is ever changing, what more could you want? They also allow dogs. That’s what more you could want.
The Brewery Tap
It’s a Peterborough institution, open since 1998 and home of a custom-made micro-brewery for Oakham Ales that is visible through glass walls inside the building. The Brewery Tap has five regular cask ales and a variety of guest ales throughout the year, and the Thai food is pretty good, too.