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Volunteer Inn, Lyme Regis

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user reviews of the Volunteer Inn, Lyme Regis

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I negotiated the smokers blocking the front door and stood at the bar doing a fair impression of someone who wants to buy a drink. No bar staff in sight, so went elsewhere after a few minutes. Tried again next day, same smokers. I did get a pint this time however, Butcombe bitter, too cold but OK. I had a look round and a lot of people seem to drink lager here. All in, beer not great, atmosphere not great, score not great 4/10.
ben23699 - 20 Jul 2015 21:10
Spent a nice Sunday afternoon in here. Good beer, good service and interesting crowd. Would happily return.
mjbea1 - 15 May 2014 22:04
Smashing little pub that does beer and cider stillaged behind the bar straight from the barrel. Beers on handpump are localish from SW breweries such as Otter, Sharps and Branscombe Vale (though they don't seem to do Palmers, which given the brewery monopolisation of pubs a few miles east of here isn't such a bad thing!) and always with something interesting. Food looked unusual and haven't yet tried but all in all well worth the steepish climb from the seafront.
Oakman100 - 8 Aug 2013 15:52
Lyme Regis has a few decent pubs but no particular stand out and this is no exception although it might just be the best. I don't think the blazing July day on which we visited in July 2013 was the best as the cosiness of the right hand bar seemed tailor made for sea dogs wearing sou'westers and chunky jumpers. A pint of Otter negotiated my gullet without problems and the food in the left hand, more restauranty bar looked good.
BoehmBawerk - 14 Jul 2013 20:01
A traditional pub just up the hill from the centre of town, this seems to be a decent boozer with a more traditional feel than many of the nearby options which on the whole seem to be rather down at heel or overly touristy. Only a wet dog smell subtracted slightly from the ambience.

The main bar to the right is a long, carpeted room with the walls being a mixture of exposed stone work and black wood panelling. The ceiling was a mustard colour and had plenty of black beams which were all adorned with blue and white fairly lights. A stone fire-place was on the right and the bar counter was opposite this, clad in what appeared to be some sort of wood effect Formica. A large mirror and a few old black and white pictures of the local area completed the decor and the seating was wooden benches with green cushions and green padded stools. The other bar to the left was an entirely different, contemporary affair with more of a bistro like feel to it. I assume this is for dining, although nobody was in here on a recent visit. The floor here is sanded wood, there is a white-washed brick fire-place with a wood burning stove, pale blue/green wood panelling on the walls and chunky pine tables.

Beers on tap were Adam Henson’s Rare Breed from Butcombe, Tribute and Dartmoor Best. Ciders were Ashton Press, Cornish Rattler, Thatcher’s Dry and Thatcher’s Copper Press which was a new one on me – slightly embarrassing that I have to come all the way to the south coast to find it when I only live about ten miles from the brewery (cidery?).
Blackthorn - 6 Aug 2012 20:35
such a lovely pub, better improved now that the miserable man with long hair is spending less time behind the bar!! bar staff are a total credit to this place especially given the manager. was a shame to hear the cheerful landlord had since passed away!! the pub is a total credit to the town if not the best the second best to the nags!
mai86 - 16 Feb 2012 16:36
A very friendly pub made us and the whippets feel at home ,we were on holiday,barman quite chatty and two of the locals gave us the lowdown on the place and it's history.The best one we visited during our stay in Lyme .Oh yes they had a good selection of real ale and cider,I didnt like the beer with no name (Donegal).but the local Town Mill best and Dartmoor Jail Ale were excellent.
mickthefit - 5 Nov 2011 20:42
A bit pokey inside and the tables are very close together.
It is however very cosy and my pint of ale was excellent. We managed to get a window seat which was great watching the world go by.
montie49 - 14 Aug 2011 12:37
Surprisingly, nowhere near as touristy and far friendlier than I had expected. The Donegal was awful in the hot weather but to their great credit I discovered this without shelling out a penny as they had given me a sample to try. Other beers (I think there were three) were fine as was the food.

Campanologist - 18 Jul 2011 14:18
The Volly has certainly improved over the last year. Helpful attentive staff, good range of beers at very reasonable prices. The 'Donegal' on stillage behind the bar is an excellent quaffing beer. There is also Branoc and a guest ale that is changed regularly. Also ciders and a rage of fizzy lager etc. As previously reported by others, the gents is not great and really could do with sorting out.

The pub is now offering food again and hopefully over the Summer will manage to regain the great reputation for good food that it had previously.
keystone - 17 May 2011 08:20
Best pub in Lyme! Great selection of beer and cider served by a cheery barmaid and good food.
blatters2001 - 13 May 2011 17:10
Visited yesterday, good beer, good food and a very friendly barmaid. Lots of people looked in the window but went away because it looks a bit dowdy. Its a shame because its well worth a visit if you dont like "plastic" pubs.
ade1021 - 6 May 2011 10:27
A nice friendly pub, serving good beer. A bit cramped at times, but either the best, or second best pub in Lyme.
mews4x - 22 Feb 2011 17:44
A nice friendly pub with good beer. It suffers from the same post-smoking ban issue of having to walk the gauntlet of smokers in the doorway that many pubs do. But inside it is friendly, warm, clean and the beer is excellent! Fight your way past them!
bighands - 7 Jan 2011 22:54
I like this pub, even if it means a walk up hill!! Been using the place, on and off, since 1987. It use to be a Bass tenancy and now appears to be a free house (I hope it doesn't belong to Enterprise......there's a name for those people that shouldn't be printed on here!!). The pub usually has a good selection of ales and a few ciders. Food is available at lunchtime. Recommended if you find yourself in Lyme.
wolvesfan - 19 Oct 2010 15:03
Nice pub decent ale Sharps Coaster but doesn't do food in the evening which was disappointing Nonetheless a good pub though the gents toilet was a throwback to the '70's.
downsview - 20 Jul 2010 14:30
Lovely pub. Friendly staff, good drinks, the best I went to Lyme Regis
TheGP - 29 Jun 2010 13:13
Really nice, friendly pub at the top of the hill, 4 draught ciders and several bottled varieties. Pub split in two with newly decorated dining area on one side. Bar staff were welcoming even to grockles. My favourite pub in Lyme Regis by some margin
ciderman64 - 19 Jun 2010 07:13
I feel this was one of the best pubs in lyme and friendly.
Great staff and helpfull.
bexlill72 - 18 Feb 2010 15:11
For many years the Volly was one of the the best free houses in Lyme for either drinking the best Guinness in town or for great value-for-money, home-cooked lunches. The landlord was a cheerful irishman of local renoun and all in all it was a gem of a place, (especially after smoking was banned and you could breath inside the 'cosy' bar).

In recent times however, the chef has retired and not been replaced and the landlord has had to retire due to ill health, so the pub is now run by a manager and staff, most of whom try to do their best, with the exception of a sullen, disinterested barmaid who saps what little is left of the place's charm.
keystone - 26 Jan 2010 15:31
This is a terraced pub , with a pebble dashed exterior, with black paint work and an outside bog.

The interior had two rooms; the lounge was dark and seemingly closed, which was strange considereing the bar was rammed full to the point that i only had a half and necked it quickly, being a miserable person that doesnt like ordering from behind people and having to stand in an awkward space just to drink. The decor was a brick and stone look, which looked clean enough to me, with some brass ornaments. Service was fine and a mixed clientele.

Beer; usual tap stuff, with St Austell Tribute, Yeovil Stargazer and Sharpe's Own, which was very good and made up for the muck i had at the Rock Point Inn.

I would love to try it again, assuming i could breathe. The bar was central, so why that rammed when half the pub is empty?
Archivist - 16 Sep 2009 18:02
A solid little boozer frequented mostly by locals it seems even on an August weekend. Great selection of beer from handpump and stillage.
Floyd - 26 Aug 2009 20:52
Good Sharps beer on my visit and the cut and thrust of a proper pub. Good natured but a bit loud at times and a slightly surly barmaid (to visitors anyway).
richhol - 28 May 2009 10:09
A bit dingy and grubby and full of very loud (and half-pissed - at lunchtime) locals who like to dominate the room. Beers were OK but the lasting impression is that it's a bit of a dive.
BobOs - 18 Apr 2009 18:50
The service is a very bad joke, the beer is like muddy effluent, it tries to theme itself as an oirish blarney bar, the toilets should be reported under hygiene regulations, the locals try to block the bar. in essence an unfunny Fawlty Towers kind of place.Very grim ! Probably the GBG 's biggest EVER mistake and I've drank in a few ! Any SERIOUS publican would laugh themselves silly at this nightmare of place !
slerpy - 16 Mar 2009 19:35
Had a smashing couple of pints of yumminess in here.

I was impressed with the small, but diverse choice of well-kept beer. Good grub, too!
beerPrincess - 12 Aug 2008 09:26
Went in here a few times over the week we stayed and the beer was good. The house beer (Donegal?) was tasty and there was a couple of guest beers on which changed a few times while we were there. Also ate there a couple of times and it was very acceptable.
chick - 26 Jun 2008 14:23
Why am I sorry? A = Because I really want to like the pub bearing in mind it's location etc as there are far too few decent pubs in the Lyme area worth a visit as it is so it's such a shame that the beer is so poor.
MisterX - 1 May 2008 10:26
Mister X why are you sorry?
chopin - 18 Apr 2008 23:21
Well chopin I'm sorry to say that I have to agree with you on the beer condidtion, how this has been a GBG regular I shudder at the very thought! I have tried this pub on several occasions and the beer has been naff on each visit. They seem to be far more interested in getting meals out to tourists instead of being a public house that prides themselves on serving a decent pint. Avoid! Nags Head several hundred yards up the hill a far wiser choice.
MisterX - 18 Apr 2008 23:18
The beer never seems tobe any good in here which is a pity because otherwise it's not a bad little boozer.
chopin - 9 Mar 2008 19:14
Busy enough when we popped in recently, but I can't say the beer was much good.
I'd agree with the "less is more" philospohy of stocking less but turning it over faster - they seem to be concentrating on food over beer.
jonno_ - 11 Feb 2008 17:25
certainly right about the surly staff.
anonymous - 30 Nov 2007 20:28
Yes ok a good variety of beers available but none of them are ever in good condition. They usually have about six on. four on stillages behind the bar at room temperature and 2 pumped from the cellar.
The barrels in the bar were not cooled in any way no one seemed to be drinking them. God only knows how long they had been on sale, but I made a return visit about a week later and they still had the same beer, from the same casks on sale, so the beer was well past its best, and still no one was drinking it apart from the odd short sighted tourist.
anonymous - 18 Oct 2007 10:27
Excellent real ale straight from the barrel , excellent pub grub at very reasonable prices , have used the pub on quite a few occasions over the last 4 years and enjoyed every visit......
FORNOW - 13 Sep 2007 15:25
Had to wait until the barman finished reading his newspaper before he could be bothered to serve anyone.
Even then he seemed thoroughly disgruntled about having to do some work.
anonymous - 18 Jul 2007 14:56
Usually have quite a few different ales on sale, but so what? None of them ever seem to be in good condition. Would be better off with just one ale kept properly.
It's only a small boozer, with never very many drinkers in it, so god only knows how long some of the stuff stays on sale for.
Having said that, if you don't drink cask ales it's not a bad little boozer.
anonymous - 18 Jun 2007 16:26
hi okish beer good variety .. traditional pub with locals... but do not eat there... the worst food i have ever had in a pub ever!
chevy - 1 Jun 2007 19:18
Great beer - straight from the barrel. Food very nice and great value. Definitely worth the short walk up the hill. A favourite pub
pxk99 - 29 Apr 2007 19:52
No idea about the rock star but did pop in for a quick pint on Thursday night. Friendly pub, looked to be all regulars in. Helpful landlord, Dry Blackthorn cider, worth a visit if you're down that way.
Big screen TV.
Only problem we found in Lyme Regis was no fast food after 10 o'clock.
SW6 - 14 Apr 2007 16:25
Top of the hill in Lyme Regis - and also the town's top pub! Great, friendly, atmosphere, excellent Guinness. A well-known rock singer is seen there regularly! Food not bad.
mozzzzzz - 14 Sep 2006 17:49

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