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Kings Head, Guildford

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user reviews of the Kings Head, Guildford

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

Starting to smell a little bit but not a terrible pub. Too busy in the sunny weather.
BestBeerBoffin - 19 Aug 2017 19:10
The best pub of Terrible Tuesday. The staff are nice and the food is good. The ales were half decent.
BestBeerBoffin - 1 Aug 2017 16:53
Walked on through. Cheesy music with too many people at the bar. What ashame.
BestBeerBoffin - 3 Jun 2017 18:15
The much better Kings Head of the two, better music, cleaner tables and even better no kids screaming away!
BestBeerBoffin - 1 May 2017 16:54
Excellent pub!!
BestBeerBoffin - 12 Feb 2017 14:50
Actually a lovely pub apart from the fat bald prick working at the bar. I take it he is the manager as he does tend to have a chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he could be more friendly. I still think it is a nice pub overall. Always about 4 or 5 real ales on.
BestBeerBoffin - 2 Feb 2017 18:06
In general one of the best pubs in the town, but it could be improved, some of the seating is a bit all over the place and messy.

The ale range is good and wide, yet expensive and a bit over the top.

Much too packed on a Saturday afternoon, but decent on a week day and the staff have always been friendly which is one of the main things in a good pub.
EyeOfTheTigerBeer - 26 Nov 2016 16:42
Only stumbled across this pub recently but glad I have. Good ale selection and has a lovely tiered garden that sits below the castle keep. Inside is cosy for the winter days.
Oakman100 - 17 Nov 2016 20:48
Had a lovely burger here the other day. Plenty of real ale choice normally which is handy, but if the Hobgoblin is on thats always the best ale. Nice pub.
BeerOnlyMan - 1 Nov 2016 17:57
Visited here the other day and there isn't anything especially interesting about this pub, but it is at least a bit older than the others and has more real ale so a bit more interesting than some of the other pubs in this not very interesting town.
HeavyBeerPubDrinker - 19 Aug 2016 16:18
Very nice burgers, best pub in Guildford now.
NoDisgrace - 20 Jul 2016 17:12
Running commentary - again?
sussexfox - 25 Jun 2014 21:09
Corporate sytle or lack of, large garden- seems larger than the pub itself...didn't see 5 real ales but will take the word for it- all in all acceptable place if you don't mind the sticky floors and bars- ok pint of Brakspears Kings Head 3.4 so ok for drivers- didn't try food- a standard pub experience
alezilla - 19 Jan 2014 20:14
Corporate sytle or lack of, large garden- seems larger than the pub itself...didn't see 5 real ales but will take the word for it- all in all acceptable place if you don't mind the sticky floors and bars- ok pint of Brakspears Kings Head 3.4 so ok for drivers- didn't try food- a standard pub experience
alezilla - 19 Jan 2014 20:14
The food here is pretty good value, especially the omelette. The beer is pretty good especially the 6X.
aleman - 8 Nov 2013 15:29
Very reasonable pub, can get crowded at the weekend. At least 5 real ales on with Hobgoblin being the best.
JabbingJubbly - 9 Mar 2013 17:55
An above acceptable pub which caters for the real ale types as well as the younger generation who like to stay up late.
EyeOfTheTigerBeer - 10 Jun 2012 20:39
Reasonable pub which is generally busy, let down by the barstaff..... if you are not one of their friends or a student the service is grudging at best.

Should serve people in the order they arrive at the bar not mates first.
beershot - 27 Sep 2011 17:47
Beautiful building, nice outdoor area but unfortunately like one other pub in guildford the staff are miserable and appear bored stiff. Shame because it is otherwise a good pub.
philli4000 - 5 Sep 2011 11:59
lovely genuine pub, i will come back here if and when im back in Guildford. Nice and dark inside, beams, low roof, and good service. Loads of cuttings and articles about the history of the place around the walls, a nice touch.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 27 Jul 2011 11:02
First ever visit today. Pleasant enough experience but am I the only one who is not over keen on student bar staff? They may be drinkers but the female variety know absolutely nothing about beer. But over all not a bad pub, OK on a sunny day to sit on the patio.
beernotfood - 24 Jun 2011 18:49
Reasonable town centre pub adjacent to the castle gardens. Has a fair-sized garden on a quiet road. King John, Speckled Hen, Tea, Hobgoblin and Landlord on pump. Not keen on that selection myself, but the King John was alright. No food served after 1500.
BitterShurn - 4 Jun 2011 19:01
hmm. has potential, but very much a student pub....ales aren't that great...the Star is better...even if less salubrious...
d.franks - 28 Apr 2011 19:40
A good pub with friendly staff and fine, affordable food. Shame about the ales.
theguildfordfour - 23 Feb 2011 15:13
Walked in to meet some friends on a crawl of the town to find of the 4 ales, 2 were off. A third then came up cloudy for my friend just before I was served, leaving Hobgoblin, which I don't like anyway. No sign of any of the three beers being replaced so I left.
metrology_man - 25 Oct 2010 08:20
A pub in the town centre with a great garden loads of seating out side not so much inside great it its sunny due to noise kick you all inside around 11pm so you are all crammed inbetween the bar and toilets being barged every 5 seconds. good Ales I had a good Pride in there customers seem abit dodgey feels very clicky and un relaxing but loads of staff all seem to be busy i will be avoiding this pub in the evening but a good sunny pub lunch venue i feel
thor5355 - 25 Sep 2010 22:05
I also enjoyed the Courage Best here.
DrinkingJoeFrazier - 3 Sep 2010 16:23
Hadn't been in here for a while, but what a joy! Really friendly bar staff and a beautiful atmosphere, plus a cracking pint of Courage Best.
oldgolded - 24 Aug 2010 20:22
Good Old Speckled Hen.
DrinkingJoeFrazier - 21 Aug 2010 14:44
Had an excellent beer here, it really was very good at 3.9%, sadly the name has gone from my memory! Even so, I recommend this pub for its beer and location.
DrinkingJoeFrazier - 21 Jul 2010 16:26
Pint of King John beer was not very well kept at all. The pint of T.E.A however was much better. It is a very nice pub but the staff can be a little immature in their attitude at times.
Passing_By - 13 Jun 2010 09:13
Nothing much to add but good pub and worth a visit, nice outside in summer or inside in winter.
drinkers_paradise - 27 May 2010 22:07
Never changes. Hobgob, IPA and Courage Best.

Id like to see some new ales as the range isnt that exciting. Its still good place.
BestBeerBoffin - 6 Apr 2010 17:16
Almost totally dead on a Friday afternoon!! After 5pm...

4 Real Ales on: Wychwood, Courage Best, Hogs Back TEA and Deuchars IPA.

Lacking in atmosphere but the quietness was good in a way..

Jukebox is good.
BestBeerBoffin - 5 Feb 2010 19:23
This pub looks great and serves some decent beer. The outdoor area is good enough for summer but it can get very busy.

I've had a couple of dodgy Hobgoblins in here before - cloudy and overly bitter - but generally it's ok. Bar staff are a mixed bag but generally ok. The food isn't bad either.

I remember some really great nights testing the bar staff with their internet jukebox - they routinely censored what could be played and you had to really battle it out to get your quid back. I don't know if it's still there, but try Sleep's "Jerusalem" and count the seconds. They must have some pretty strict rules in there. Either that or they don't like Sleep, I guess...

Very studenty, but all in all you get a wide mix of people and it's a decent pub. Much better than some other local alternatives, and it's close to the station, taxis, restaurants, etc.
chris_g - 25 Jan 2010 16:43
Terrific Guildfordian pub situated in a great spot hidden away from town centre.

I frequented this pub having thought about entering The Star, however was put off by a group of youngsters!

This place had a cosy and comfortable feel and the people at the bar seemed friendly.

Only one real ale on, which being the Hobgoblin, however it was on form which suggests this is a pub which cares about real ale.

Worthy of a visit any time. 10/10.
PubReviews2010 - 5 Jan 2010 18:11
A timber framed building dating from the 16th century, the interior has low beamed ceilings, exposed brickwork, some stone flagged floors. All one space but the long layout allows for a feel of seperate areas. The front carpeted area has a large fireplace. Several framed news clippings on the walls are of interest, particularly the details of the partial collapse of the building in 1995. It has been sympathetically restored using substantially the original beams etc although a couple of newer posts are evident (and rather necessary I imagine!)
Four hand pumps served at the time Deuchers IPA, Courage Best, Wychwood Hobgoblin and my choice Hogs Back Advent Ale, a pleasant seasonal fairly dark brew.
The burger and chips were only a fiver, but to be honest although the burgers were home made and passable the chips buns and salad were not great.
Maldenman - 4 Jan 2010 17:10
Visited this pub for the first time in years yesterday lunchtime.
Like a lot of central Guildford pubs it's dark and gloomy when you walk in from the sunshine and has different rooms, alcoves and levels around the pub and garden. Some of the upholstery and furnature is a bit tired and dirty but I liked the old local paper stories and letters on the walls.
There were four real ales on and I tried the Hog's Back Autumn Ale which wasn't bad at all. The service from the attractive young barmaid was friendly, the music nicely varied and kept in the back ground and the atmosphere was relaxed, even as the pub got busier with people popping in for lunch.
I would definitely come back for a pint or two, and it's worth going 50 yards up Quarry Street in preference to the Star Inn.
flashharry1965 - 16 Oct 2009 10:33
Grecian playing quiz machines, well I never ;)

I've been going here for many years now and the feel of the place has changed slightly in the last few visits. Maybe it's just me getting older but I'd rather head to the Whitehouse or The Keep where you're not surrounded by kiddies.

And the landlady needs to learn to smile a bit, she is pretty young but already looks like she's got 20 years of putting up with pub punters on her shoulders!
beergibbon - 12 Sep 2009 19:50
Matthewb overstates it, but I've always thought this pub, which has been a favourite of the Guildford drinking circuit since I was a teenager in the town, is a little over-rated. It certainly looks the part, with a large and quite nook-and-crannyish interior, and a very decent, large, split-level pub garden out the back. But the interior does need sprucing up: as an example of what Matthewb has said, the carpet in front of the quiz machine is so filthy that my shoes were sticking to it, which is pretty revolting. Always three or four ales available, although when I visited they were all stronger than 4% which struck me as a bit unbalanced. The Hobgoblin I had was averagely served.
grecian - 30 Aug 2009 09:11
Good proper pub full of character with good selection of 4 ales - The Timothy Taylors was on top form the other night when I was there. I'm in the group saying "mathewb - you are very wrong, go and get your larger based drink around the corner in the numerous Ikea furnished pubs"
pchaimba - 7 Jun 2009 22:11
Popped in today.... Doing great here for Bank Holiday Monday.

Was a nice day to sit outside in the sunny beer and the food was excellent! Good portions and solid value for money. Good beer range at the moment as well with Hobgoblin, Hogs Back, Courage Best and Tim Taylor on handpumps. Other beers as well, but why not choose the real ale!
BestBeerBoffin - 25 May 2009 16:07
What are you on about mathewb!!!!
This pub is a Great example of what an Old English pub should be.
Have drunk in this pub for last decade and apart from the fact they do use energysaving lightbulbs (not a bad thing) i have to disagree with your exzagerated comments!!!
There are normally 4 diffent ales on sale and personally I have had no problem with the TEA.
Maybe you just visited on a off day although the George Abbot seems to be your sort of place?!?!

mjd1966 - 11 Dec 2008 18:49
In Reply to Matthew, thats the whole charm of the place - in that it is old, and still has an old fashioned feel to it. Obviously i'd like it to be a little cleaner, but I have not noticed it to be filthy either. You don't like somewhere like the Auberge either which is the exact opposite of this!

Stay away from the T.E.A and Hobgoblin and try a Courage Best or Directors or as BeerSupper says lagers can be ok.
TheSurreyPubMan - 4 Dec 2008 16:10
This pub is appalling. The furniture is absolutely disgusting - the stains and grime on every single seat and every inch of carpet in the place must date back decades; and don't lean on the tables unless you want your jumper to get stuck and unravel when you lift your arms up. There is apparently a decent range of ales on offer, but the pint of TEA we had was absolutely dead. The lighting is also dreadful - ancient lampshades with energy-saving bulbs sticking over the top everywhere you look so you've got glaring lights in your eyes. You really wouldn't take your mother in here, and you really really wouldn't take anyone you were trying to pull in here. Stay well clear and wait for a refurb. Or a deep clean at the very least.
matthewb - 26 Nov 2008 23:13
I`m with the Nun on this one !! This is one of the best(if not the best) pubs in Guildford, very good range of lagers which i was on the other night,the cider could be better ie Thatchers and yes BBB there are very good ciders to be had.

ps BBB you can keep your toothbrush thankyou.
Beersupper - 14 Nov 2008 19:30
Visited the other day. The ales are still the same but the Courage Best was off. The Courage Directors is a good beer also. If you like lager there is generally, Stella, Carlsberg, Fosters, Kronunberg 1664 and San Miguel. If you like Cider they have Strongbow. I just have no idea why you'd choose to drink it!
BestBeerBoffin - 13 Nov 2008 12:51
Same ales on for a long time now as SurreyPubMan suggests. Indeed Of the ales, i'd only recommend the Courage Best. This is a nice old pub though, which has a jukebox, and apparently a ghost! Its never been one of those pubs for events such as pub quizzes and live music. Its just a good traditional drinkers pub. 10/10
BestBeerBoffin - 19 Sep 2008 10:11
This in my humble opinion is the best pub in the town, bar nun (no pun intended).
flyingnun - 7 Sep 2008 16:48
Good visit. Good Jukebox. Good beer. 10/10
TheSensiblePubReviewer - 23 Aug 2008 23:14
Guildfords best pub, selling Guildfords best 1664!

Always a good atmosphere, only negative thing, staff can sometimes be a bit lethargic.


Jonny1967 - 15 Jul 2008 17:43
Currenly a pub making the most of the summer. Plenty out outside sitting space, does the garden combine with the Olivio restaurant? I think so, Biker probably knows.

Typical ales on at the moment are T.E.A, Courage Best, Courage Directors and Hobgoblin. Call me hard to please, but they seem to have been the same for ages! Ancient pub, which had a fire not so long ago, if you walked in you probably would not notice.
TheSurreyPubMan - 5 Jul 2008 05:57
Sod’s law that the sun would disappear the day my girlfriend and I decide to visit yesterday afternoon (15 May). While a few people braved the comparatively colder weather, inevitably it was virtually empty in the outside seating area. I paid £5.85 for an original Bulmers and a diet Coke, so make what you want from that if anything about the prices of drinks here.

The “southern softies” we are meant that we eventually went inside, as there are no heaters on the roof terrace. While I imagine pleasant (and also packed) in the warm summer sun, the view from the roof terrace is pretty much nondescript. Yet inside, there is an impressive wooden décor and I noticed a few old maps of Guildford on the wall. Glanced at the limited food menu and for the prices, I would prefer to visit a restaurant.

This is one of those pubs that rely heavily on the outside seating area/sun shining, as I doubt I would visit in the winter, with the inside far too small to even contemplate searching for H-File victims if single. Drinks seemed a tad expensive also. As for the summer, if you’re a sun seeker I would prefer to relax in the quite brilliant castle grounds next door, buying booze from Sainsbury’s on the High Street!!

Searching_for_H_Files - 16 May 2008 15:45
Stop in when Gavin Thomas is playing - [from his friends in Houston]... Always a good place for original music!
tcsmythe - 3 Apr 2008 05:46
I like this place. It does get absolutely packed at the weekend with youngsters but I can just about hold my own as I haven't hit the big 3-0 yet!

They serve hobgoblin and Hogs Back Tea.

The terrace and garden are good in the summer months
beergibbon - 5 Dec 2007 10:05
About 5 years ago I was sitting at a table on the lower back terrace/patio of this pub enjoying a couple of good beers with an old mate and witnessed (heard) the most fantastic 'chat-up' line of my life from a young chap (25ish) who was just above on the upper terrace !! if you want to know what it was then message me on this site. A very good all round pub and they do a smashing light lunch. First went in there in 1967 I think!
Biker - 27 Jan 2007 14:50
I have used this pub for a while and must say it dont change that much ,always a good atmosphere beers and lager kept well.Nice and re.laxing
Beersupper - 24 Jan 2007 18:57
You can dare to try the hobgoblin beer here. Actually does not taste too bad
aleman - 20 Jan 2007 01:25
A good cozy good ales. All in all a good atmosphere and nice place to go.
stroller - 15 Jan 2007 15:14
A great English pub - a good selection of ales. First class atmos. I really quite like it.
apintofaleplease - 23 Nov 2006 20:03
They stop letting in people after 11pm now it seems. But maybe that won't be every night
anonymous - 18 Nov 2006 11:56
Great atmosphere, some good beer and nice beer garden. However gets absolutely packed in the evenings. As in ridiculously. Especially after the garden is shut at 11:30
blode - 15 Nov 2006 16:20
This pub is still very much open. Late license to 1am on Fridays and Satursdays, although this seems to change on a weekly basis. You are allowed to have fun here to a certain extent, always a good place to go
aleman - 26 Aug 2006 13:04
Tried to visit at 12 noon today (3rd August) but was shut; I wonder if this permanent
bthill - 3 Aug 2006 16:10
Excellent pub, good beer, good service, not bad for tables. Good for groups, can get busy so may end up standing. Real fires in winter, great to cosy up next to with a big glass of red wine.
marvellous - 20 Apr 2006 11:59
Excellent during the day, this pub has a lovely atmosphere, good food and a relaxing beer garden. However be warned, the garden closes at 11.30 while the rest of the place stays open into the early hours (one of the few pubs in Guildford that does) as a result it becomes quite ludicrously busy in the later half of the evening...
sjmtlewy - 18 Apr 2006 14:25
Nice pub, nice selection of beer, nice and cosey, and nice music in the background. Generally a nice place, but do mind the LOW DOORWAY AS YOU WALK IN!!! I learnt the hard way!
jonwright87 - 15 Feb 2006 22:48
Lovely pub, friendly staff, good atmosphere, extensive jukebox. Nice beer garden for the summer, good food. Excellent selection of beers (including Hobgoblin). Only downsides are Guildford prices and it can get busy in the evening, especially during winter.
sjmtlewy - 21 Dec 2005 23:49
Great place with a real open fire. Have to try an evening there at some point..
pubgenius - 2 Feb 2005 23:35
One of the best pubs in Guildford ...always made welcome by the staff . Good outside area for the summer .
anonymous - 1 Feb 2005 10:41
There is no pub quiz here tonight. Only live music, though I'm not certain which kind.

Will - 30 Aug 2004 13:25
one of the only good pubs in guildford, jukebox so u can chose the music and it is actually a traditional pub not like all the done up tacky places that seem to fill g'ford these days. great outdoor seating for summer and winter cos of the heaters and marque. wicked pub.
suzi - 16 Aug 2004 16:58
There is a nice atmosphere to this pub, but the beer and the music will not be to everyone's taste.
Will - 8 Aug 2004 19:03
Lack of sitting space really and can feel a little cramped. Off-putting if you dislike smoking. The directors pint here has quite a poor reputation.
aleman - 7 Aug 2004 16:20
Great pub to end a Saturday night pub crawl, the people are friendly, the beer's good and the upstairs terrace in the summer is great, it feels like you're abroad somewhere if it's warm enough... beginning to get a little crowded now, but usually room for one more person! :)

To counter the 'freezing in the winter' they had a cunning plan and put up a huge marquee over the outside with loads of spaceheaters and also if you're properly toasted by then you should have the miraculous heating properties of the Beer Coat (tm) to keep you warm! :D
I - 27 May 2004 22:31
Great English pub and very helpful staff - booking a table for sunday lunch was a great idea they seemed surprised! but gave us the best able in the pub!
Steph - 23 Apr 2004 14:30
Awesome for a quiet to meduim night night out in guildford, as well a good place for a lunchtime pint and bite to eat. Reasonably priced beer friendly staff and a good atmosphere. Good terrace outside for summer time and great live music. Everything you could ask for in a pub, love the place hope it never changes.
Mike Mullin - 20 Apr 2004 12:29
Fantastic pub.

Always busy, but never over full, and everyone is always friendly.

Jake (guitarist for "The Reckless") and friends do the live music on wednesdays, and they make for a fantastic night out.

Friendly staff and good food make this my top pub in guildford.
Lewis Docherty - 3 Mar 2004 22:26
Nice pub - swirly smoke lights in the corner outside. Brilliant in summer, freezing in Winter (with a very small inside). A girl and a boy play the same set of old favourites such as The Beautiful South and Otis Redding on Wednesdays - not too bad. Check out the girl's shoes too.

But set above every other pub in the world by the cheese ploughmans - with masses of cheese, fancy bread, coleslaw, pickle, plenty of salad and an apple.
James - 6 Dec 2003 14:39
By Far the best pub in town with a wide selection of fine food and ales. Top music on wednesdays
anonymous - 23 Sep 2003 14:40
probably the best pub in guildford
tony - 1 Sep 2003 20:31
Fantastic pub even if it is a bit pricey for drinks. Free music on Wednesday nights which can vary from Jazz, Blues, Rock or Folk - nice touch!
James - 4 Aug 2003 00:38
Expensive, but very pleasant sitting outside on a nice day.
anonymous - 2 Aug 2003 10:28
Top pub in Guildford. I don't remember any trouble there although some of the beer garden at the bottom can get a bit tricky to negotiate...
Matt Le Ross - 1 Jul 2003 14:20
Good beer and food, and friendly staff (mostly). Good outside seating area and excellent location. Top pub!
anon - 12 May 2003 16:59
worked there for a summer (2000) time...people were great, management great... had a blast.
sheri - 6 Feb 2003 05:49
Expensive pints, but they are good quality. Roof terrace is great in the summer.
David Miller - 11 Nov 2002 22:44
One of the best pubs around. Food is highly rated and atmosphere is friendly.
lou - 14 Oct 2002 15:51
Great pub in summer as it has a rare beer garden in the town centre. Excellent food too.
David - 14 Jun 2002 17:32

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