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Rowbarge, Guildford

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user reviews of the Rowbarge, Guildford

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

Still going well with a variety of real ales including local Ascot Ales. A new towpath has been built from the Guildford (old) bypass joining up with the existing towpath from Guildford town centre making a cycle or stroll out here for a beer beside the river a pleasant experience.
Steamer1 - 20 Aug 2016 07:22
I've been back a few times since it has reopened. It's good to see that the real ale is still up to scratch and that a lot of the innovations made by the previous landlord have been kept going. There are few enough decent pubs in Guildford to afford to lose this one.
alexw123 - 16 Dec 2013 12:44
So pleased to have cycled here and found it open again. The porter from Caledonian was so good I had to have another. Great to have this excellent hostelry back on the circuit. There were 4 other beers on including a mild.
Steamer1 - 21 Oct 2013 11:23
The Row Barge is located on a housing estate, on the cathedral side of the river. I found it quite friendly with a very good barman who was happy to offer tasters. Not sure if it's a rockers pub or not. But the music choice would indicate it was. A side room has a pool table. A good range of ales was stocked - Ascot Alligator Ale & Posh Pooch, Hogsback Tea & Surrey Hills Shere Drop & Ranmore Ale. Worth seeking out.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Aug 2013 19:47
Now open again, under new management associated with the Guildford Tup, reported in the Surrey Advertiser.
PhilR - 4 Aug 2013 22:41
It is a shame it`s gone, could it be where it is, is the problem?
Nuffsaid - 28 May 2013 12:52
Closed again, no pubs in this area now.
giveusabeer - 18 May 2013 12:19
I think there`s good news,looked to have reopened last night.
stroller - 10 Feb 2013 14:03
That is a crying shame. Such an oasis. What went wrong?
Steamer1 - 9 Feb 2013 22:44
Sad news. Closed? I made a special lunchtime trip over there today, hoping for a few Ascot Ales and their (maybe too cheap?) Ham Egg and Chips. It's a few buses and a deal of walking so I don't get there often enough ;-(
It was like the M Celeste, fully furnished but all locked up, pump clips turned sideways (is that like half-mast?). A bloke sitting nearby said that they had closed on Sunday. Gloom. Pub of the year only a few months ago. Another pub gone. Somebody should reopen it before the summer boat trade picks up...Ascot Ales ?
thirstybob - 7 Feb 2013 19:00
Went past yesterday and it looked as if it`s closed down,shame if it has.
ThePilgrim - 7 Feb 2013 17:20
A good old community type pub in the old sense. It was busy for a Wednesday lunch in winter with most peoples eating. We just had a couple of beers from Irvine (porter) and Ascot (dark mild and a fruity mid brown). There was a beer also from Anwells. Would have liked to have seen a light hoppy beer as well. If it wasn't for the great beers we probably wouldn't freqent here. I remember years ago going in for a beer and the choice (or not) was such we walked out, only returning in recent years.
Steamer1 - 10 Jan 2013 16:28
Went here tonight for first time in 20+ years even although I don't live too far away.
Old fashioned pub in good location by river.
Very quiet but clean and friendly. I liked it.
Barmaid was very friendly and good selection of beers.
I will definitely go back again soon
rabida3 - 16 Oct 2012 23:10
From a boat on the canal this pub looks very inviting with a well kept pub garden on the waterside. Every year my friends and I take a boat trip down the Wey Canal and usually pass this pub with the idea that one day we'll visit. This year we decided to stop and what a mistake. As we were mooring, a very irrate landlord came running from the pub ranting and raving that we can't drink our own drink on his land. We explained that we had no intention of drinking our own and wanted to come in to buy drinks. However, he (Mark) pointed out that one of us was indeed holding a drink whilst holding the mooring rope. So one of us had inadvertently stepped off the boat with a drink and whilst I admit we shouldn't be holding one of our own drinks on his land, the response from the landlord was extremely rude and unnecessary. Regardless to say we got straight back on the boat, leaving the somewhat astonished patrons to their drinks. Can't really rate the pub as we didn't get a drink but I'll give the landlord a zero!
Burty - 20 Jul 2012 08:46
Great choice of cask beer. Only regular outlet for Ascot Ales in Guildford that I know about. A great Tuesday night open mic session which is suitable for all oldloafers (i.e. does not consist entirely of 18 year old Ed Sheeran wannabes).
oldloafer - 3 Apr 2012 23:00
I think that an old buddy, Damian Wilson, is playing this venue on April 26th (ish ?). A very talented bloke.
I will endeavour to get myself along there once I establish the exact date.
Mines_a_large_one - 2 Apr 2012 14:43
Just had a great Sunday Roast here ,Mark and the team have turned this pub into one Gem of a Pub !
Six Casque Marque Ales on at vist Ascot,FFF from local Breweries ! All in top nick !

Very reasonable price as well ! Oh to live near this venue would be great !
Mark and the Team ,keep up the good work !

Don`t take my word for it ! Just give it a visit !
quinboy66 - 5 Feb 2012 20:04
Popped in during a rain break at the cricket. There was a beer festival on with beers at 2. a pint.

Very friendly and well worth the walk from Guildford City Centre.
Huey - 22 Jul 2011 17:27
A cracking riverside pub serving local Ascot ales, its a bit of a hike down the towpath of the river from the centre of Guildford, great beer abd food, more of a locals feel to it, but a proper pub all round.
Hodge1 - 14 Jun 2011 06:07
Inavriably go out of our way to visit this pub for many reasons:

- the welcome has been second to none. On our first ever visit here, Mark walked out to the garden to bring me a half of the bitter I originally wanted but was temporarily off (free of charge naturally!)
- Mark really does know his stuff and keeps an excellent pint... on the last occasion he swapped my pint over for another because he could see that I had been poured one that wasn't up to usual standards (and this despite him not having served me AND I hadn't even tried it)
- the river location on a summer's evening is lovely (there are some things I would remove from the scenery...but that's beyond their doing. Would have been a 10 had it not been for those!)

I am delighted to highly recommend The Row Barge. We haven't eaten here yet, but if the food is as good as the Posh Pooch then it would be a pleasure.

I look forward to many more pleasant visits.

Thank you both
MontyMontyMonty - 7 Jun 2010 23:04
Having known Mark & Chrissie when they ran there last pub in Camberley, i still make the journey to Guildford from time to time, because of the really nice hospitality. If you like a pub to be a pub, & not a "Trendy wine bar" or just another pub in a "Chain", then give this place a try, Real ale's on tap, live bands, pool table, juke box & (during the summer) the beer garden along the canal, . . . you could spend the whole day watching the world go by! . . . also the sunday roast's hits the spot every time!!
TattooKell - 5 Dec 2009 17:34
I have been in here a few times since my last comment. Very pleased to say it is still just as good. The Ascot Ales are a permanent fixture and are very good. The guest is always worth a try.

Well done Mark & Chrissie, it's always really pleasing when a pub gets pulled back from the brink. Far too many go the other way.
alexw123 - 10 Nov 2009 19:55
Ascot Posh Pooch, On The Rails, Andwell King John and in the cellar Pilgrim Autumnal. Good beer, good food, good pub
GuideDogSaint - 11 Oct 2009 14:40
Just to let you all know, we have made it into The Good Beer Guide, 2010,
Both Chrissie & I are very pleased with the first 8 months work, thank you for your support, will be here for a few years yet,
Mark, Landlord
beerseller - 7 Sep 2009 00:21
We have a boat on the river and used to avoid this pub. when it reopened we decided to try it again. We now go there frequently. Sunday lunch is a must! 5.95 for the best dinner. full menu through the week, all day breakfast, great beer, what more could you want! Various bands play weekends, race night was fun last week.... TRY IT!!
boatbandit - 27 Aug 2009 09:14
This is a pub which is well worth visiting. I had always had this one on my "avoid at all costs" list, but a friend told me it had changed hands and was now worth a visit.

I've been in about 6 times now over a space of a few months. Beer (mainly from Ascot Ales) is excellent - 4 taps are on. It's a friendly atmosphere with a larger than life landlord. I had a meal and can vouch for the food as well.

There is still a long way to go, but this place is on the up. Put it back on your Guildford "must visit" list. I have.
alexw123 - 3 Aug 2009 15:38
This pub has really been turned around. I'm just annoyed I no longer live nearby! Great real ales and a friendly atmosphere, with great views of the river on sunny days.
pinga - 25 May 2009 22:56
This is an interesting pub, right on the river a great location, a friendly locals pub, quite an amazing collection of tattoos on display from the local clientele! However I was here for the beer and the new landlord had put up stillage for a beer festival, beer was great. What does deserve a mention is that people who may not have even been bothered with real ale may have been getting their first taste. The young 'jack the lad' and his mates in front of me waiting to be served being a case in point.
Abteilung - 25 May 2009 18:06
I've just been in today (bank hol mon) and enjoyed my visit. A beer festival was on with many ales from local breweries and all at 2 a pint! An excellent pint of Crondall Breweries' Sober As A Judge. I wish I could have stayed for more but I had to drive home
smiles - 25 May 2009 17:39
bellfields, lost both its local pubs, one shut down, the other a resturant,
under new management the rowbarge has re_opened, my first visit, like many others you dont know who your going to meet, or what to expect..
well i tell you i was quite taken back, after hearing what people had said about the pub and location and people that frequented the pub, i found none of that to be existent, i was greated with a warm friendly smile, and a very clean place, even the toilets were spanking, the beer was good with the head staying till the glass was empty, i thought yes i will come back, i am told that the local riff raff have had there chance, and once again, they are barred for life, no second chances... i since had the pleasure of working with mark and chrissie, with the charitys i raise money for, i took over his pub, they laid on a great spread, and all the people including local people, had a great time, making over a 1000 pounds.. so all i can say is, it may once have been a place to avoid, but now its a safe place that you can take your children too...well done mark and chrissie and thankyou for all your help
ontus1564 - 21 May 2009 10:31
Finally we have re-opened the Row Barge, unlocked the doors at 4pm on Friday 19th December, got the real ale going, sadly no kithen yet, but we are working on it, will now open at 12 midday everyday.
beerseller - 30 Dec 2008 01:21
Beerseller i wish you all the very best in your new venture,this has the prospect of being a resonable pub, just a shame about the location.
We will call in when your up and running.
Beersupper - 19 Oct 2008 19:36
if the new managements last pub "the dolphin", london road, camberley is anything to go by then expect a complete turn-around for the rowbarge. no nonsense landlords who support a good fun atmosphere, supporters of real ales, live sport, live music, theme nights, poker and more......give this place a chance!
kkyishkkii - 16 Oct 2008 22:21
good news, I will be the new landlord of The Rowbarge,
my wife & I hope to turn it back into the family local pub it once was, pool, darts, live music, discos, jam nights, amateur poker, sky tv (if needed), themed fancy dress nights, bring back the real ale. Watch this space.
beerseller - 16 Sep 2008 12:46
Was traveling on the Woking road and saw something out the corner of my eye so turned around at the roundabout and headed for this pub and guess what,its gone,all boarded up.Got to say it was not the best in the world due to the location on this estate,but its still another pub gone.
Got to say a big thank you to the pub co`s and govenment for all the help they give to the pub trade.
THANK YOU, YOU HAND CRANKING IDIOTS !!!!
Rant over for today.
Beersupper - 4 Aug 2008 09:52
Is this place still open????????
Beersupper - 16 Jun 2008 17:58
8/10 WHAT, more chance of pink snow in july.
tinliz1153 you need to get out more.
Guildforddrinker - 1 Jul 2007 20:23
tinliz1153, welcome to the site, 8/10 for the Rowbarge!!!! Has some miracle occurred here? If so, please tell us what it is! If the new management have got rid of the foul mouthed low-life oafs of all age groups, the Rowbarge will be a huge success and I for one congratulate them. If they fail in that, it will remain one of those 'Guildford Pubs' that civilised people stay away from. Please don't reply to this post on the Pub's site, send me a message by clicking on my username. No rating left, not been on a narrowboat in that area since our last visit and my earlier review!!

Biker - 27 May 2007 08:35
This pub is now under new management.
It is now a family run pub, is undergoing refurbishment and will soon be selling food.
Things are looking up for The Rowbarge
I would give this pub 8/10 and rising
Keep up the good work Tracey, Dave and Tash
tinliz1153 - 2 May 2007 19:27
If this pub was located any where else on the river other than on this estate it would be good,alas it is where it is and its awful.
Beersupper - 18 Aug 2006 12:00
To get to the bar involved virtually fighting three separate scrawny, tattooed, teenage youths. And wasn't worth it when i finally got there.
Impossibly average pub. Standard guildford chavs, warm, flat lager. They're welcome to it.

Arthurguinness - 18 Aug 2006 11:52
Awful awful awful pub. went in for 1 drink, and left as quickly as possible. Gives true meaning to the word 'Chav' as the pub is full of them. Hopefully better in the summer when there is a good excuse to avoid going inside (apart from getting the beers)
anonymous - 19 Apr 2006 17:36
The pub is now under new management. I think a complete turnaround is underway. The new landlords seem to be keen to make improvements. Can't post a rating as the new landlords have only been there for about two weeks.
Bridgette - 5 Sep 2005 22:28
Expensive drinks and smokey atmosphere.
pinga - 4 Jan 2005 13:55
Ah the Rowbarge!

Many moons ago during my more random phase (as Mr Edwins will tell you) this formed one of pillars of the Triumpherate of pubs known hereabouts (well I will start the rumour) as the "Stoke Triangle".

Very much a locals local with a cast of characters reminiscent of those from the movie "Deliverance" albeit clad in shell suits and trainers. Indeed I will swear that Banjo music is played on the Karaoke.

That said in warmer weather it is pleasant to sit outside by the Canal watching the antics of the locals and noting the navigation skills of the many well-oiled canal boat skippers and crew-persons particularly as they try to sink the boats from the local rowing club.

Recommended only for those following the random weekend school of drinking philosophy!
Mortonian - 31 Mar 2004 12:01
Not nice inside, but nice riverside tables in garden. Handy for walkers by the river.
Vindaloo - 18 Aug 2003 17:07

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