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Dublin Castle, Camden

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user reviews of the Dublin Castle, Camden

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

Its a Friday evening and I've been working locally so why not pay my 1st visit to the famous Dublin Castle. I arrive just before 7pm and it’s pretty empty inside but there’s a fair few out the front smoking, I can faintly hear a band warming up out the back.

3 ales on tap which are Young's Bitter, Wells Bombardier and St Austell Tribute. I don’t see anyone else drinking any of these so I opt for a pint of Camden Hells lager, there’s also Camden Pale Ale available.

The lighting inside is very red and it matches the old fashioned bar and interior.

A decent enough pub but obviously receives more praise for a being a well known music venue.

lezford - 11 Oct 2014 12:43
Given its history of stars who have played/worked here ,this pub might be tempted to cash in on that legacy. But, apart from a few posters and other memorabilia related to Madness, it appears to be a level headed Camden boozer and certainly not "up itself" about its past. On a busy Friday night there was quite a nice atmosphere in the bar area with a mostly young crowd. The "music venue" at the back is quite small and intimate, very dark and a bit characterless, apart from the gig listings posters on the back wall. It reminded me a bit of the worst of 70's night clubs. But , it is all about the music and it was quite exciting to listen to a number of young bands playing original numbers.

tarkatherotter - 15 Sep 2014 11:55
We were there for an excellent triple header from Dallas Don't, We Aeronauts and Be Like Pablo and this remains one of the UK's classic music venues - I unsurprisingly saw Steve Lamacq in here once. Service was also superb along with some great Madness memorabilia festooning the walls. the only bum note was two pretty poorly kept pints - Flying Scotsman and Young's - although I'm sure the Guinness is exemplary.
BoehmBawerk - 22 Jul 2014 07:37
Was in here last friday afternoon.
Haven't been in here for a while(it use to be a sunday night regular for me)
Service was quick, and the pint of tribute was perfection.friendly bar bloke and the ussual Dublin Castle atmosphere.Good to see Peggy still in there as well
A great pub and a legend on the london gig circuit
tottenhamsean - 29 May 2014 15:39
Stood around for 10 minutes and no attempt to serve us from the one bar walked out....crappy service-'s Britain!!!! probably quite good otherwise with bands alezilla leaves this as a don't know so as not to damage it too much....3 ales on tap...
alezilla - 19 Apr 2014 18:40
Obviously famous for its music credentials and if you're into that kind of thing, it does hold good gig nights I'm told. Otherwise, this is a very good pub with a traditional London feel to the interior. Plenty of punk types and tourists but still friendly all the same with very nice staff. Open late.
QueensParker - 6 Oct 2013 02:42
I mainly come here to see bands play, but when I have poped in for an afternoon pint, I have found it pretty good.
perfect_spy - 5 Jul 2013 01:39
old fogies need to get pissed somewhere and there isnt many places better than the dublin castle
becks007 - 4 Jul 2013 17:31
I spent an afternoon hanging out with some ageing rockers at the Dublin Castle. These people are old enough to know better. Leather trousers on a 20-year-old don't look good - unless it's Sheena Easton of course - let alone someone of 50. Entering this pub felt a bit like stepping back in time to the early 1980s. The mirrored walls made me cringe, I seemed to be surrounded by old fogies in leather trousers. There was no escape. However, the beer was good - Adnams Explorer, Deuchars IPA and Shepherd Neame's Master Brew. - 17 Apr 2013 11:31
Not so much a pub, more the waiting room for the venue at the back with seating round the edges but standing room only in the middle. Nice pint of Deuchars though.
SimonM - 8 Nov 2012 13:25
I can't believe how many times I have been in the spread eagle over the road and never ventured in here. A few weeks ago, there was an article in one of the broadsheets about Suggs and his favourite places and this was mentioned. I thought it was amusing seeing a picture of him in front of his own memoribillia. This week, I was looking for somewhere to eat and saw an advert in the tube for a place on the parkway - which led me to here. Great place, very friendly people who spoke to a stranger carrying a large book, with an air of indian food around him. I will be back.
Mappiman - 3 May 2012 20:00
Was there last weekend. The atmosphere of this place never changes. The rear bar is OK if you fancy a no nonsense night out with a live band or the indie/sixties music that the DJ always plays. But that said it isnt trendy at all and feels more like a pub up north than a London venue, the clientele in the pub as a whole are mostly just shy and cliquey 20somethings and alternative/indie kids. The layout in the front bar is a bit crap. Unless you can get a table which is normally impossible, you have to stand up and unless you face the wall you feel like everyone is staring at you. One thing that is better is that the bar staff are more polite than they were, they used to be right miserable and rude.
mike25 - 20 May 2011 14:13
legendary music venue. great for bands, good crowd, friendly staff. only criticism: prices are too high
indiesociety - 11 Oct 2010 08:43
Great little pub with a nice atmosphere, friendly staff and a good juke box. Ideal for a few beers before going to the electric ballroom.
thinly..slced..cheese - 6 Sep 2010 15:21
Top quality beer on offer - wish I could remember the name of the beer I had - it was excellent. The pub has plenty of character. Very good service but it was a very quiet Saturday afternoon when we called in. There aren't many seats so wouldn't like to visit when the pub gets crowded (I must be getting old!).
StudioM - 26 Jul 2010 12:00
Hit this place in search of live music. Supposed to be 3-4 bands, but in the end there was only Ross and the Wrongens (uns?) who played a decent set.
Relaxed and friendly pub with good service - the Pride was just right.

NM_Ale_Drinker - 9 Jan 2010 17:30
I don't get out enough these days but popped in during a night in Camden recently. The layout, the flooring and the jukebox are all crap. However, there is a definite charm to this place. I've been here over 100 times so there must be something, just can't put my finger on it. A few ales on tap was a long time coming and very welcome.
JohnMcC - 6 Jun 2009 03:26
Just say no.
northlondoner - 13 May 2009 11:15
Its a great pub with friendly barstaff and fast service with a good range of beers to choice from. You can bump into the odd celeb here too. The DJ in the back bar is wicked and plays until 2am every weekend. If your in Camden town this bar would make a great night out.
merryjones - 8 Dec 2008 23:18
This is very much a live band venue and Im not sure that it is really worth bothering any other time. There are a couple of plasma screens, but it is difficult to get comfortable as you feel that youve arrived too early or late.
The barmaid is very friendly and Im sure that it is a great night when the bands kick off, but my sweat box dancing days are over.
Strongers - 30 Sep 2008 10:35
Great pub and a great Venue. Check it out
good_pubs_are_rare - 23 Sep 2008 23:48
I think people need to remember that this is a traditional Irish pub and as such seating is limited - Irish pubs never bothered with seating because people are there to drink not to sit as anyone who has been to Ireland (not Dublin) will know. This is a pub which has got a great deal of chartacter and will have a very nice atmosphere whatever time of day you visit - highly recommended.
dgm105 - 18 Sep 2008 16:03
I went in this pub just on saturday for the first time,i found the bar staff friendly,i had apint of London Pride not bad at all,one thing was i wasnt impressed with the toilets they were dirty and flies floating about the place.I imagine it would be good to see live music here at the weekend,the only problem is not enough seats.
I wouldnt take a girl here on a first date,i would maybe come back here for a beer next time in Camden.
Dyl - 15 Sep 2008 23:43
we all love the Dublin Castle. Its what a pub
should be like
becks007 - 25 Jun 2008 19:45
I was in the Dublin Castle a few weeks ago and spoke to the lovely Czech barmaid for a while. Decent prices between 11am - 6pm, and one of my fave London boozers.
Dell72 - 23 Jun 2008 15:08
Don't really understand the negative comments on here, but I haven't been in the evening and I gather the door staff spoil things somewhat. This always seems to be the case with London pubs - shame.

Anyway, we found this a perfectly decent pub - well priced before 6pm, efficient and friendly staff and a nice atmosphere. Don't know about the ales, but the Guinness was fine. Also largely free of the pretentious a*ses that haunt many other Camden drinkeries these days. Shedloads of cheap, multi-band gigs too.
petewithers - 20 Jun 2008 13:01
Went in for a quick pint last week. They don't know how to look after real ale, as my London Pride was off! The toilets are in the basement and were damp and disgusting. Not enough places to sit either.
JazHaz - 25 May 2008 14:03
Went in on St Patricks day, well priced (2.50 a pint) although I assume its more expensive when a gig is on. Bar staff were friendly and had a laugh with some of the other people in there. Good pub. 7/10
clarkey_cat - 9 May 2008 16:40
Arguably the greatest night in the history of the Dublin castle took place last night.
The Gonads played!!!!
Not only that but the support band MOT were superb.
A decnt pint of Guinness(other venues please note)and bar stff that realise that people have payed to watch a band, not stand at the bar.
This place went down in my estimation a year or so back(due to the Door supervisors,nothing else), but seems to be getting back on track
tottenhamsean - 4 May 2008 14:49
On the night I tried to visit this pub, the door staff refused entry, simply for possessing a carrier bag, containing a book and a bag of crisps.

My advice is avoid the place altogether, and go somewhere more welcoming.
Harry_Flowers - 10 Feb 2008 00:07
always busy, always fun, not enough places to sit though.
Mattclary - 30 Dec 2007 14:15
My ex boyfriend Peter got punched here by one of the bouncers after refusing to "buck his f**king ideas up". Completely unacceptable. The only good thing here is Becks on tap and lush toilet paper.
Crisp_Fewtrell - 26 Jul 2007 14:33
I've had loads of great nights there - good mix of people, good music, very reasonably priced beer for a music venue, and also usually some good bands - although I did have the misfortune to see Keane play in there once...
DarkLordOfBarnet - 8 Jul 2007 12:16
What a great pub with a wide range of beers and cider to choose from. The sevice is quick and the bar staff friendly. The front bar has a great jukebox while the back bar has a DJ playing indie tunes after the bands have finished playing their sets. I would say its one of the better pubs to go to in Camden if your after a good night out.
merryjones - 27 May 2007 18:36

My partner and I went to this pub on Saturday 12 May for the first time, and on asking for our drinks, the barmaid told my partner to "..f****** open his f****** mouth because she couldn't f****** hear him". On asking for the bar manager, the staff just laughed and said he wasn't there, and when I asked the barmaid in question if she spoke to everybody like that or just him, she replied "Just him".

Not the place to go for a friendly welcome. I wouldn't go here again.

anonymous - 14 May 2007 12:05
Have since given up on this pub,despite being agood night out, i dont like the way the door staff are allowed licence to speak to,and treat people the way they do.Shame as only a short while ago, they were ok.And the rest of the staff are superb
tottenhamsean - 13 Mar 2007 09:04
Was in here on the last 3 Sunday's , great night, good atmosphere.Guinness not to shabby either.
And the quality of the Dancing out the back room was superb!!!
The bald middle aged fella who was with the 3 raunchy blonde sorts,was particularly good at the ol Northern and Tamla!!
tottenhamsean - 19 Dec 2006 09:18
Great jukebox - 5 songs for a quid!
Ale isn't great but cracking atmosphere - gets busy later on, so get there before sixish for a seat.
Odd decent band in the back room too
atsoutar - 11 Dec 2006 16:57
gerat for an afternoon session.
good jukebox,
decent pub
becks007 - 16 Nov 2006 19:26
I was dragged in here on a night out in Camden and it seemed a total midden - heaving, sweaty and unpleasant, like shagging a fattie but marginally less shame and regret afterwards.

Thats the thing with Camden I think - you've got this whole grungy alternative scene based around live bands etc., in which being jostled by people with personality disorders and flat pints of Carling in plastic glasses are both seen as acceptable. Leaves folks like me a bit cold to be honest.
anonymous - 6 Sep 2006 09:42
Legendary, great venue, the king of Camden and long may it reign.
patrickjsm - 6 Sep 2006 04:42
This is the pub where Madness played their first gig and it has also hosted a number of other well-known bands on their way up the ladder of fame.
gearbox - 24 Aug 2006 16:16
The Dublin Castle is good fun but like the other pubs in the area of this type can be a bit busy on Fri & Sat nights. Get there early if you want a seat!
There is a good crowd and a good atmosphere. The jukebox is great but the beer isn't always up to scratch.
wocca - 24 Aug 2006 16:05
Staff were really friendly and very efficient. Customer service - 5 gold stars!
Quite small venue which my friend described as 'pokey', but I thought it was quaint and had a nice understated atmosphere.
The bands area out the back is excellent. Had some wicked nights there.
Great pub which often gets overshadowed by the edinboro castle.. Shame though because it's almost better (can't compete with huge beer garden or exotic beers)..
bella008 - 7 Aug 2006 16:55
bands play out the back; stage/venue is small but atmosphere was good the 1 time i was there.

out the front it's a regular bar, not great beer/layout, but for some reason it works well; the clientele seem pretty ok, and it opens late.

i could see this being a pretty good place to go for a late beer/see a band during the week.
silverside - 28 May 2006 03:22
I have seen some awful bands and some truly awful bands in here but loved them all.
drink the bottled beer as the draught can be dodgy sometimes.
but peggy makes the place what it is, god bless her
cosmicbongo - 22 May 2006 22:09
This is a really good pub with a friendly atmosphere.
digicat2 - 18 Mar 2006 20:47
wicked pub with a wicked venue at the this pubs vibe ALOT
Seantroll - 3 Mar 2006 16:14
Yeah liked it - saw some band no idea who was good night better than C wharf that night
tullster - 17 Jan 2006 15:51
There aren't many indie/britpop acts over the last decade doing the London gig circuit that didn't grace their presence on the small stage hidden away in the back room of the Dublin Castle. Great venue for up and coming bands and a really nice feel to the place.
The crowd in there is usually a good one although you will most definately come across at least 10 people trying so hard to look cool that it hurts your eyes! The staff are friendly and it is in my eyes one of the best places to booze in London inless you like R & B!
Alicat - 28 Nov 2005 15:47
Yep - real love hate relationship with this place. I've played some great shows here with too many bands to mention (anybody who's anybody has gigged here at some point), usually an interesting mixture of people, late opening always a plus particularly on a school night when it's not too rammed. Stick to bottled beer though, and keep an eye on your belongings - very nearly had several instruments and a camera go "missing" from the tiny dressing rom/storage area.
tim_eyles - 4 Nov 2005 18:00
Fianlly feel qualified to review this place as I have actually been in for an evening's drinking and not just to watch a band out the back. I like this place. It has character, a somewhat run down character, but charcter nonetheless. Not great from a visual point of view inside although it has a nice exterior and the often signed posters of bands that passed through on their way up are a nice touch. Service at the bar was quick and friendly and prices very agreeable. Lagers were available on draft, in bottles and even in cans and there was a good selection. Good mixture of punters that created a nice buzz. Decent pub all round.
Venue at the rear of the pub is one of the best small venues to see unsigned bands in London, environment is nice but quality of band is extremely variable!
Mr.Monkfish - 3 Oct 2005 10:54
Erm, Camden is not a residential area. Good pub though................ oh yeah, Madness used to play there too.............
Dammers - 4 Sep 2005 12:30
Good for spotting interesting hair. The disco in the back after the bands are finished can be fun in a reliving-the-sixth-form kind of way.
joe_G - 15 Jul 2005 20:15
I really just dont get what all the hypes about. I found this place to be small, dark, dhingy, smelly and the bar dude spilled a red wine down my top. Not Impressed!!!!
death2smoochie - 16 Jun 2005 19:13
Well i dont know why i'm bothering to write this review cos everytime i write something about this pub the people at delete it! Well here we go again.
The Dublin is a Great pub for watching live up & coming bands. It's reputation is now truly international (People were spouting about it in San Francisco when i was there recently) It still has a bit of a Grunge hangover to it, but so what. It's still way better than that "sterile" venue that opened in the Angel recently. The beer is Ok if Pricey and the atmosphere is large when full.
All in all a great pub/venue. Just a pain in the ass that everyone uses this site to advertise their bands!!

ganger - 20 May 2005 10:47
A rare thing: a pub I still enjoy a drink in after a decade! Usually very crowded, which can be annoying when too sober.
dawnage - 3 May 2005 22:49
good pub came here for paddys day! great atmosphere but slightly cramped! not enough tables!! but still good none the less!
anonymous - 18 Mar 2005 16:21
Saw a few bands here back in July, can't remember the date but the headlining band Streetleeper were great!

They are back there Saturday November 6th, and so am I!
Lauren Laverne - 1 Nov 2004 13:30
Is this better? My band (The Laughing Jayhawks) are shiite!

Dublin Castle though is great if a bit pongey ... and yes the beer is ropey to say the least ... I think the pipes must be cleaned oh once a bartender lifetime :-/

Still keeps it real eh!!!!
Blackboru - 31 Aug 2004 15:39
Can everyone please stop telling how great their band is?

This pub has an excellent late licence (1am or 12ish on Sundays) and because of that it would be one of my most visited pubs. Rarely have I been there before 11.

The beers are gunk but the music is good. However, now at closing time they have this incredibly offensive and annoying looped message telling you to please leave quietly. It should be banned as a form of torture, and it will surely only be a matter of time before I snip the speaker wires.
travis - 31 Aug 2004 13:58
Great Pub with Great Music. The Frontline are playing on the 19th... not to be missed!
Bob - 16 Aug 2004 12:41
Went to see some live music on Sunday (18th July) - it was a really good atmosphere. the 2nd band - "Playing Nervous" absolutely rocked the place. Awesome!!
Dave - 20 Jul 2004 16:19
We went to the DC a while back, not knowing which groups were on, but were very impressed. The group that stood out for us, was 8Ball, we even bought a CD - excellent! Good Music Venue.
Tracy Hobbs - 12 Jul 2004 14:49
Boss Star are playing DC on the 22nd June and they rock. Power-Pop...Can't wait. Don't miss it.
Tim - 6 Jun 2004 10:46
Only been to DC couple of times, disappointed on 31st may as i went along to see killer angels and although the band played an excellent set the attitude of the guy on the door collecting money was awful.he tried to rip of me and a couple of my mates and was the most rude person i have ever met and he completely ruined the nite and atmosphere. Cheers mate.
S - 1 Jun 2004 04:53
To Jabba the Hut or anyone else that might be interested, The Shine (see comment April 23rd) are playing there tonight - May 12th. Go along as they are great.
Prinny - 12 May 2004 09:28
The DC is a fabulous place the Madness mecca!! great posters of the band, occasionally you'll see a member in there for a quck pint - my sort of pub!! But as mentioned a bit scary when crammed full of people!
Emma Southerby - 29 Apr 2004 14:21
Seen some real quality bands at The DC... Good indie/rock'n'roll band called The Shine just after New Year, worth checking out if they're on soon.
JabbaTheHut - 23 Apr 2004 23:42
It's okay if you wear converse pumps, ripped jeans, Post Sex T-shirt and use lots of gel in your hair!

Still, fun night out if you want to see some up & coming bands.
Steve - 16 Apr 2004 13:41
Good atmosphere-music-drinks:my favourite pub in Camden !
anonymous - [email protected] - 13 Feb 2004 18:45
Rumours that McKinney playing at the DC next month? any one know when? saw the last 5mins of em at on the rocks last night well good
jane - [email protected] - 22 Jan 2004 11:47
Full of brit pop wannabes who missed the boat.

DC seems to go from being completly empty to rammed full in the blink of an eye.

Beer is just about OK. Fosters was warm and slightly flat. Not somewhere i would make a habit of going to, but as a live music venue it's pretty good (Was there to see the Kodiaks last night).
Rob - 18 Jan 2004 12:06
Godless Reds (fantastic indie punk rock) are playing at the Dublin Castle on New Years Eve! Partttaaaayyy...
Claire Fun - [email protected] - 6 Dec 2003 15:27
Get along on Tuesday 9th December to see a fantastic band called The Rock Of Travolta who are supporting The Vessels..........DO NOT MISS IT!
Roo - 3 Dec 2003 15:59
Vis-a-vis the jukebox: if you want your money's worth put on 'Release the Pressure' by Leftfield. It's sven and a half minutes long...
anonymous - 2 Dec 2003 15:51
Not a bad pub at all. Many a good night had at the Dublin.
Word to the wise...when on the out for the bar staff who turn it down as and when they feel like it. Just winds me and a few others up the wrong way thats all.
Camden_Dave - 20 Nov 2003 14:13
I visited this pub on Friday 7th November and was pleasantly surprised. There was an excellent Indie style band called "The Shine" who performed 7 songs, all of which were original material. Keith Allen (of Fat Les fame,amongst other stuff!) was there and seemed suitably impressed with these lads too.

Lesley - 12 Nov 2003 12:30
Not bad for a late drink. Avoid the draught beer though - go for the big bottles of Grolsch instead.
Chris - 24 Oct 2003 12:57
Full of arseholes. Expensive beer. Gets way too crowded, can't think of anything worse than been in a crowded pub full of complete tossers.
James - 24 Oct 2003 11:25
Pretty poor - shagged out bar, dirty glasses, crap tasting draught beer. Crowd is mixture of interesting people and arse-slapping tosspots.
John McSmith - 26 Sep 2003 15:20
Bugbear promotions are notorious as one of the worst band for ripping bands off, which is a shame as it could be a nice venue. Also, I found the drinks very expensive. So although we had been looking forward to it, it was most disappointing.
Shirley McLure - 4 Sep 2003 08:11
Toilet venue for up-and-coming bands. Useful late licence too.
Darryl - 11 Aug 2003 13:54
This is the second pub I have been in which has tried to decorate in an uncomfortable off-terracotta colour. It looks tacky my friends. The actual beer selection is quite extensive. The beers on tap are Miller, Becks and something else, as well as all the other usual suspects like Fosters et al but they are all probably as flat as the pint which I had spilt on to the floor. The jukebox has a vast selection of songs and doe not accommodate the usual Hits compilations which disease every jukebox around the country. Undoubtedly, this pub has a lot of history due the bands which have played here on there rise but it is one of those pubs, just not comfortable unless you are watching live music or there for your last pint on a Friday night and dont expect to get aseat.
Doofer - 6 Aug 2003 12:58
the place is Awsome. Secert gig on Monday 21st of July. Queens of the Stone Age accoustic!
James Witby - 20 Jul 2003 13:25
I'm with Briony. It's a venue. Don't go expecting a pub. Ok though.
G - 16 Jun 2003 16:38
Went once, place was full of completely wasted tossers who kept barging us and trying to start fights (some of us had broad Irish accents). Great music though.
DaveK - 25 Apr 2003 15:36
Has possibly the lowest bar of any pub I've seen.
dsf - 10 Mar 2003 12:44
This pub is more of a venue than anything else. Not bad at all.
Briony - 14 Aug 2002 09:12

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