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Dolphin, Plymouth

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user reviews of the Dolphin, Plymouth

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

A great little pub, atmospheric, great selection of beers. The staff and the locals are very friendly. Spent a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon here and left slightly worse for wear.
scarr - 11 Jan 2019 19:04
Great place for people watching and real ale - although most was gravity fed - which is not my preferred.

Draught Bass and Dartmoor Jail Ale were two on offer and in good nick.

Perfect place to sit outside on a summers evening.

Visit blogged at
Mappiman - 8 Aug 2018 10:09
First visit for 5 years and it hasn't changed one bit. Long live the Dolphin. Bass still straight from the barrel and in perfect condition as was the Betty Stoggs. My favourite pub.
addlened - 27 Apr 2016 12:00
Oh My Gawd !
what a pub !
Plenty of real ales and some real "characters".
Generally R.A.F if you like that sort of place.
Like something out of a pirate film.
step over the bodies look no- one in the eye and wipe your feet on the way out
not many of these places left Un/fortunately?
Stuee - 22 Nov 2013 03:03
The best of Plymouth's ale pubs. The Otter and a Dartmoor brew went down well. One of the few pubs retaining any character left in the city.
Snarling_Mallard - 29 Sep 2013 16:03
Excellent, unashamedly basic pub with a wide choice of real ales on gravity dispense and its fair share of characters around the bar.
Heatonian - 9 Sep 2013 23:00
Tried this pub for the first time on Saturday ('cos it was open before 12) and enjoyed it. Two open fires going strong (we need them this April), and at least half a dozen West Country real ales. The Cornish Coaster was in beautiful nick. The Dolphin figured largely in Beryl Cook's paintings, some of which are on the wall here. My wife left/lost her purse in here, and they looked after it very well till we got back on Sunday, well done everyone there. Hope to go again !
davercox - 8 Apr 2013 07:10
Hadn't been in here for about 30 years and very pleased that the Dolphin is still it's irreverent old self. Bass straight for the barrel in first class order, the place packed on a cold and miserable Monday night with a right old mixture of "suits” and regulars and catching up with Billy the Landlord a great pleasure.

Long live The Dolphin!!

friendofhose - 13 Dec 2012 13:36
Do characters include some drunken sort abusing all and sundry on Friday evening, I found it amusing, but some didn't. Still good ales served.
pwilkins - 10 Oct 2012 12:04
Proper Pub with good beer and plenty of character(s).
I even spotted the landlord buying a round for some of the regulars.
sirpubalot - 13 Jul 2012 16:09
A good basic pub which sells some great beer particularly the St Austell Proper job which is often in a very good condition. I dont go here that often couple of times a month maybe but there seems to be a really strong smell of bleach or chlorine which pervades the entire pub sometimes particularly last sunday! Not pleasant and im sure not necessary Landlord?
Devonguy67 - 12 Jan 2012 19:23
Always a favourite but slightly spoilt this time by the barperson who seemed more interested in texting her mates than serving. However,Draught Bass straight from the barrel and a cosy open fire still made for a pleasant visit!
mcroyal - 30 Oct 2011 13:39
Good old fasioned boozer what a pub should be.
Nice ales. 9/10
montie49 - 12 Oct 2011 08:43
Good little boozer selling high quality ales, Bass and Betty Stoggs direct from the cask!
Friendly locals and Landlord.
pwilkins - 19 Aug 2011 12:29
Very nice pub, good beer, the locals do all turn and look at you as you come in though....................
clangersmate - 22 Jul 2011 14:28
Have been working in Plymouth on and off over the last couple of weeks and have to visit the Dolphin. Bass sulphury and the best I have tasted for many years. Company excellent and good luck to the Canadian submarine engineers.
addlened - 21 Jan 2011 15:56
Enjoyed a very good drop of Bass from the stillage the other night. Clearly a few local characters in the bar. However I didn't feel unwelcome.
Ordinary - 28 Nov 2010 22:28
Sorry last post typo. Obviously meant no 'better' draught bass from the barrel anywhere locally!!!
Jannerbloke - 21 May 2010 20:38
No draught Bass from the barrel anywhere locally. Recent slight refurbishment very successful despite concern of locals and the press. A basic but hospitable pub just there for drinking and a good time. Slight worries that pressure from the owners/brewery are leading to other beers being put up in place of some Bass barrels. I love this place. It is very friendly. Bring your mates, your dog and even take away food from any nearby food source. this pub is everything you could want of a pub.
Jannerbloke - 21 May 2010 20:37
It is as plain as a pikestaff, but excellent for that. Bass from the barrel is great too.

My favourite pub in Plymouth, but I do miss artist Beryl Cook drinking in here, as I'll never be in one of her paintings now!
grovetown - 19 May 2010 12:15
And the 35th review takes it into the Top 10 pubs on here!

simple stripped down pub for a pint of ale.
cmofish - 14 May 2010 11:59
Can,t say better than the last review, spot on!
hillsidepaul - 7 Apr 2010 19:50
This is a proper pub - as good as it gets. None of your posh stuff in here, just real life, full of characters and a good pint of bass. I always recommend the dolphin when we organise work doos out..... I finished there on my stag night right next to Captn Jaspers - also know for the finest food in the world! - A Jasperiser is worth a stab after half a dozen pints of bass - a proper plymouth night out!
thecoopers - 12 Jul 2009 20:27
I visited in May.Bass and St.Austell Tribute on gravity.A real old time boozer.Great!I had forgotten how good well kept Bass can be.

oldandmild - 10 Jun 2009 06:15
I visited the Dolphin last year when I took my son to the National Aquarium ( very close by) the service was top notch, they only served Bass but i have to say in best possible condition. the pub itself is a bit like the Dog'nBull in Croydon without the benefeit of the Mr. Sheen.In other words as basic as it could possibly be , the word spartan springs readily to mind.Sadly there are now to few pubs like this and far to many "beer barns ". The drunks were surprisingly friendly as well !
slerpy - 6 May 2009 17:22
A proper pub. Full of personality, and personalities. An exceptional biscuity Tribute is my drink of choice, but most go for the Bass. Only disappointment is the cider: Strongbow or Blackthorn only.
plymouthpirate - 2 May 2009 11:32
Miraculously spared by the Luftwaffe, this wonderfully unpretentious fishermen's pub attracts clientele from all sections of society. Its location is also excellent, in the heart of the characterful Barbican district. An essential stopover on any visit to this proud maritime city.
BoehmBawerk - 9 Mar 2009 13:48
Splendid refuge from the plastic keg palaces that masquerade as pubs. I drank the Bass, (from the cask), and also the St. Austell Tribute both of which were pretty good in this wonderful old place. On the Saturday evening when I visited there was a varied, friendly and lively clientele but not a sign of trouble. I can thoroughly recommend it!
doctorpint - 14 Aug 2008 16:51
What a pub should be. Down to earth, unfussy and old fashioned. Don't want to drink beautifuuly kept Bass from the barrel? Go somewhere else - 'coz that's what they do here. It's a genuinely friendly place and it's got atmosphere in spades. A mecca for proper pub goers and ale lovers who shun loud juke boxes and the outlets nearby that peddle silly alco-pops to the barely legally aged drinkers who inhabit so much of the Barbican. Three cheers for the Dolphin, long may it remain unchanged.
themillbrooker - 28 Oct 2007 12:41
Quiet friendly pub that looked like pubs used to be before themes became the rage. The staff were friendly and the Bass well received.
gillhalfpint - 15 Aug 2007 09:21
What other pub can you go to and sing with three complete strangers, get your fortune read, have a robust discussion about absolute nonsense and get Bass straight form the barrel? In my experience, only this one.

Notably, where other pubs on the Barbican need bouncers on the door, it is interesting to note that the Dolphin has none.

Long may it remain that way.

Hummers - 1 Apr 2007 20:48
I absolutely adore this pub! You will never find a place more full of character(s) and good times. The regulars from Flossy to Alan to Garth to Derek can never be forgotten! I miss those Sunday night visits from the Birdman and his ever changing repertoire. The staff are a riot - cheers to you Nicky! Where else could you go to a pub at 20, 50, or 80, and leave with a smile on your face. Enjoyed by journalists, politicians, fishermen and blue-collar workers alike!Concrete floors, a fireplace, a stained-glass window and Bass out of the barrel...what else could you ask for?
jgough - 31 Dec 2006 04:45
Basic, unpretencious but a really great pub! very little aggro for a pub on the Barbican, the Landlord Billy usually props up a stool at the far end of the bar and keeps an eye on what is happening! The Bass from the cask is unbelievable and should be tried, all ages drink in this hostelry and it shouldn't be missed off a crawl along the barbican. This is what Plymouth pubs are all about, I haven't been in for a while but i understand that Billy has had the upholstery refurbished, it's about time really, but the decor hasn't changed and nor should it, this is an old boy of a pub that shouldn't be changed or regulated! happy drinking!!!
Trouty - 17 Nov 2006 11:05
Wonderful pub. The Bass has always been absolutely superb when I have been in. I don't live in Plymouth any more, but every time I go back, I always go to the Dolphin. Long may it remain just as it is.
nich52 - 31 Oct 2006 15:49
Went in fora quick one very ordinary no bones about it ale and staff very welcoming
blackwolf0578 - 1 Oct 2006 14:46
Nothing wrong with The Dolphin at all, still full of characters and still the best pint of Bass in the country. Been popping in off and on for over 20 years and nothing really changes.
johnthechef - 18 Sep 2006 21:20
my grandmother used this pub in the 1920's after a day gutting fish, when ever i'm back it's the only pub to drink. simply the best
curly_chris - 12 Sep 2006 22:06
Quite simply Paradise on Earth
wheretheale - 23 Jul 2006 20:18
Basic, but unpretentiously honest with it. Rivaling the mighty Thistle and Minerva, this is the benchmnark by which all Plymouth's pubs should be judged. Even my mum's been here and liked it, and she's quite fussy about pubs!
gravedigga - 15 Apr 2006 10:47
Traditional basic boozer, apparently the only unspoilt pub on The Barbican. Popular with all, not just fishermen. Note the splendid old Octagon Brewery stained glass windows. Apparently The Tolpuddle Martyrs visited here in 1832. The beer to drink in this pub is Draught Bass, straight from the barrel. This is a basic pub and, as such, might not appeal to younger visitors, but it's more than OK by me. Highly recommended
JohnBonser - 14 Nov 2005 13:11
anonymous - 17 Jun 2005 14:10
A great pub. Excellent staff, friendly regulars.My idea of what a good pub should be.The fireplace is a nice touch. Great Bass!
bgough - 22 Feb 2005 21:55
Went back here at Easter and realised how truly great this place is. Possibley the best pub in Plymouth. The concrete floor is a touch of genius.
thenationofjames - 15 Apr 2004 16:18
Smokey Joes on Quay Road serves all its Beer straight from the Barrels behind the bar !!!
chris - 4 Mar 2004 13:19
Beryl Cooks favourite battle cruiser - that's gotta count for something. A truly old school boozer.
Good for: Bearded fisherman
thenationofjames - 27 Nov 2003 13:40
Brilliant little pub on the harbourside in Plymouth's barbican. The only place I know that serves Bass from barrels behind the bar. The Bass is absolutely superb!
Nicholas - 11 Sep 2003 05:33

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