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Jolly Woodman, Beckenham

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user reviews of the Jolly Woodman, Beckenham

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

After 3 swift halves in other Beckenham pubs, I arrived at the Jolly Woodman to find people queuing up outside just after midday. Luckily, they opened not long after I arrived. The pub is situated along what appears to be a mews street and it has the feel of a country pub. Even the toilets are outdoors at the rear. The ale range comprised of national ales - Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter & Sharp's Doom Bar were supplemented by 3 Yorkshire ales - Timothy Taylor Landlord & Knowle Spring & Black Sheep Best Bitter. A pub designed for conversation, with a basic interior and an outdoor drinking area at the rear. Bar snacks are served. My favourite Beckenham pub.
blue_scrumpy - 31 Mar 2019 14:40
A Terenced gold medal winner.

Quality backstreet pub serving good beer. Friendly staff. Requires repeated returns.

Worth the walk up from the High Street.
terenced - 5 Dec 2016 09:53
My first ever visit to this quaint village style pub a short stroll from Beckenham High Street. Its been in the GBG for a few years and until now I've never managed to get here.

You enter with the bar straight in front of you and are greeted with
6 hand pumps each serving a different ale from 6 different breweries. The selection was Harvey's Best Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord, St Austell Tribute, Adnams Southwold Bitter, Young's Bitter and my choice which was Woodforde's Wherry. My pint was excellent and very good value at £3.65.

A lovely relaxed atmosphere throughout, no music and no television. Makes a change to have both of these but its very refreshing.

The front bar has old and collectable bottles on the shelves , a couple of old brewery mirrors, going through to the back there's plenty of tables & chairs, old pictures of the area on the walls and the door out to the back garden which is very nice but not the right weather today to sit out in.

I didn't expect this pub to be so nice, it's a corker.
lezford - 9 Apr 2015 14:50
It's like a kennel, dogs galore.
ThePubber - 10 May 2013 19:35
Have recently moved to the area and was told of many good things about this pub.....I wasn't disappointed; the Landlord is a very welcoming chap, the ale is brilliant, and considering it is a small pub and very close knit, I never felt an outsider. Will be frequenting this delightful local a lot more.
BeerMatt42 - 6 Mar 2012 13:32
Nice pub, good beer, but too expensive, better in summer I would think
bloodylimey - 19 Dec 2011 16:45
A brillIant fantastic backstreet pub with great beer. Could this be the best pub in the south east of London? It's so nice to see attentive bar staff who can serve a drink with a smile in a busy pub. Mr landlord / Manager you are a credit to a dying art.
ThePubber - 3 Dec 2011 22:00
A magnificent pub - certainly the best in Beckenham. Pub dogs, beer nuts, Desperado and darts!
stevefromharlow - 8 Jun 2011 13:27
Best Pub in Beckenham by a country mile, great beer, great people!!!! This is how a pub should be run. A gem of a pub in these days of corporate branded pubs or pubs that cater for the cheap larger drinking idiots. This pub shouldn't be missed but don't everyone!
FlyBoyFly - 22 Mar 2011 11:40
As good as ever, and more than happy that this is my local. Best pint of TT Landlord south of the river.
Dartitis - 7 Mar 2011 13:58
U-shaped pub with attentive (& hopeful) pub dog. 5 ales on which 2 were 'interesting' - the O'Hanlons Port Stout was very good. Beers rather pricey though.
Booze_Allen - 28 Dec 2010 14:08
Next door to The Oakhill, q.v. A traditional pub with a front bar and seating towards the back. Super friendly pub dog. Had 5 real ales, 3 of them you could get in a decent real ale pub, the other 2 probably harder to track down and appeal to the beer snob like me. My Betty Stogs was very good and my friend's Port Stout was in fine form. 3.40/pint so not cheap.
Abteilung - 27 Dec 2010 22:39
This place seemed like an island paradise when me and my wife visited a few weeks back. Then again, we had just staggered out of the Oakhill Tavern, not because we were tipsy but because we were so shocked at how the Tavern has been transformed into a dump.

The Woodman is indeed jolly, but its size means it easily falls victim to its own success. We were forced to drink outside, but fortunately the weather was decent.
Spritus - 27 Sep 2010 07:57
family run - dog behind the bar jumping up and down every time the barman went off to serve sandwhiches......nice enough - very quiet on a Friday lunchtime - certainly one of the more interesting pubs in Beckenham - its not full of chavs which its greatest point!
adamwalsh - 28 May 2010 16:46
Beer quality very good - would like to see range change a bit more often with the odd different ale. There is definitely the volume to experiment.

Guvnor born to run a pub and knows how to keep locals happy and is very visible.

Downside: Can get very busy and some of the customers could play a bit better when it comes to letting people get served.
ripitupandstartagain - 11 May 2010 20:59
I'm sorry, I know this is my 2nd review in a row of this pub, I swear I don't work for them.

But I just love this place more and more with each visit. As Jonw999 said below, it is like a country pub in Beckenham.

We travel from East Dulwich to visit, walking the dog through Beckenham Golf Course en route past Ravensbourne Station.

Yesterday we paid just 3 each, for freshly cut roast beef sandwiches, that contained more beef than some Sunday Roasts I've paid 12 for ... amazing value AND quality.

Only minor complaint, is that this is the 2nd time they've ran out of bottled Addlestone's Cider, during one of our visits.

Come on now ... get a massive stock pile!
Pat_Bateman - 26 Apr 2010 13:52
I instantly loved this pub. Very basic cosy lived in feel to it. Staff and locals all very polite and friendly when we visited around 2pm on a Sunday afternoon.

Chilled Addlestones in 500ml bottles went down very nicely. 3.85, but that's not too bad these days, when you could easily be charged the same or more for horrible Bulmers or Magners. I also sampled a pint of Kronenbourg which was very well served.

Busy enough to create a really lively atmosphere, but we still managed to get a table.

It's very quaint and even has outside toilets, which I felt, just added even more character to the pub.

If you live anywhere near this pub, then you simply MUST try it.
Pat_Bateman - 29 Mar 2010 09:38
A country pub in Beckenham! Popped in for a couple with my partner one weekday afternoon to find a friendly welcome and well-kept pints of Tribute and Landlord. Certainly a place I would return to.
JonW999 - 6 Aug 2009 17:52
I live about a mile away from this lovely little boozer , but its well worth the travel , people here are very very friendly and welcomed me with open arms the very first night that I found this little piece of heaven

The ales were plentifull and always pumped with a smile.....
The toilet is a wlk away across the courtyard but is much cleaner than the Oakhill next door , its rustic but its still worth a visit to the jolly
I always try to make a trip to this pub whenever i can.....

Keep up the good work jolly
cossy52 - 11 May 2009 12:17
Beer is always good here. Plenty of choices and a guest ale and fortunately, a lack of lager louts. Never had the food but don't think it is up to much as never seen anyone eating! Understand the cliquey comments but they're all a friendly bunch. Also concur with the cute barmaid comment.
Goatmaster - 14 Apr 2009 21:34
Not a bad pub, but we weren't bowled over by it. It did feel a little cliquey, but it may have just been a one-off. Beer was fine and so were the bar staff in fairness. As others have said, it is pretty noisy.
gomezcat - 4 Apr 2009 15:22
Fantastic pub with great beer, feels like you're in the middle of the country rather than beckenham. Can definitely feel a bit cliquey like the others say, but they're all friendly enough. Can be a bit noisy when busy, not from music though, just pure volume of shouty bloke voices and can often get very busy with barely enough room to stand up. Nice beer garden in summer.
anonymous - 23 Feb 2009 17:45
Great pub just off the beaten path, with a good range of real ales and whiskeys for sale. Although this pub can get busy with groups of regulars, it has a welcoming atmosphere and the garden is excellent for a quiet pint with a few friends in the summer. Well worth checking out.
nll225K - 28 Dec 2008 13:01
It is a traditional locals pub, which is why it is so well-liked. As the saying goes, in the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Beckenham is the valley of the blind but that still makes the Woodman a one-eyed man. It has well-kept ales that are a bit on the pricey side and the bar staff are friendly enough but it's still a locals pub that has gained a not-entirely-undeserved reputation for being cliquey. Still, that makes it better than pretty much anywhere else in town.
crazyk - 28 Oct 2008 16:22
Great beer, lovely little pub, cute barmaid (sometimes). Would have awarded 10 if she was always on duty.
argh_bee - 23 Oct 2008 18:33
CHICK, did you mean Beckhamian by any chance ? As it is not particularly near to Croydon.Croydon does not have a pub as good as the Jolly Woodman.
slerpy - 14 Aug 2008 12:46
Lovely pub and the beers are always well kept. A bit cliquey but that's locals for you. Doesn't really detract from the charm of the place. The yard at the back is pleasant if the sun ever shines. Would make this my local if I was a Croydonite.
chick - 14 Aug 2008 09:29
Nice little traditional pub in a quiet sidestreet only a few minutes walk from Beckenham High Street. Five real ales on offer, the two I tried were in good condition. However all ales appear to be 2.95 a pint, which is a lot for a 3.8% session beer. Also, there was a crowd of rather loud middle-aged regulars propping up the bar making it feel like I was in a golf clubhouse.
Rich66 - 13 Aug 2008 21:51
Very nice pub indeed. Had 3 ales on when I popped in.
Bit expensive at 2.95 for a pint of Landlord.
Miles007 - 10 Jul 2008 11:24
The best pub in the world...I really love this place.
specialone - 5 Jul 2008 07:30
Proper back street pub; very pleased that I live nearby. Small in size, though has six well kept ales (range somewhat unexciting, though have seen one occasionally dispensed straight from the barrel), and respectable clientele.

Unless my eyes were deceiving me there doesn't currently appear to be a pub sign outside?
Dartitis - 26 Mar 2008 14:46
Great beers (6 real ales), with friendly staff, very old fashioned (if a little run down) decor. A proper pub which is a real oasis in the intellectual/cultural desert that is Beckenham.

Check out also an impressive array of quality Scottish and Irish malt Whiskies..

Why is this pub not listed in the top 40....????

Phoebe_the_Dog - 12 Mar 2008 16:42
An absolute treasure of a pub; make it your local if you live in the SE or BR postcodes.

Great beer, fine wine, wonderful friendly atmosphere, super service, everything a local should be!

Pop in when you're in the area and you'll be more than pleasently surprised. It is what all good pubs should aspire to be!

PinotageMax - 26 Sep 2007 16:26
Wonderful wonderful place with excellent range of proper beer with proper people drinking it. I usually find it very difficult to write things positive about Beckenham due to my views on the lack of cultural diversity!

Only thing that spoils it is the silly pub sign that makes it appear to be a plastic paddy pub (ie a sign that looks like a leprecaun) - hope the manager is reading this!
baggydave - 23 Jun 2007 14:08
been drinking here since i was 15 ( !! ) its never changed and thats the real appeal - a hidden gem

i always pop here when i see my folks and i reminise about my youth

good oh !!
ben1972 - 21 Mar 2007 11:24
The way a pub should be. Decent beers on tap, lovely atmosphere, beautiful old building and service with a smile.

Nothing to fault in this place.
CorBlimey - 23 Feb 2007 13:50
A gem - unmissable for fans of small, unspoilt pubs with high quality Harveys and outside loos - reminds me of the Farriers in St Albans but better. In an absolutely gorgeous street too.

mtaylor40 - 1 Feb 2007 20:58
I visited The Jolly Woodman today after seeing that it stocks Deutchars ipa, and found that it is an absolute gem. A small traditional pub in a side street in Beckenham Kent, a victorian building with the bar kept in the old stile of wooden decor, like pubs used to be, and you seldom see now .Comfortable seating inside, with a small garden at the rear, leading to the outside toilets.
The landlord is passionate about his beer, and keeps it in top condition. In addition to the Deutchars he had Harveys best, Adnams, and London Pride on. Sandwiches can be had at lunchtime, and as a final bonus the bar is now non smoking.
Make a visit here your top priority, this pub is too good to lose.
traditionaldrinker - 14 Oct 2006 19:18
Excellent pub. Great ales.
Bovine_Juice - 3 Dec 2005 21:36
Easily the best pub in Beckenham. Accomodating to ale ages of drinkers, excellent ale. The new owners are apparantly going to start work on the courtyard around the back.
anonymous - 2 Oct 2005 10:58
came across the woodman a few weeks ago with friends and absolutely loved it. selection of ales offered was great especially the IPA and Sussex,better still the range of whisky on offer which was unbelieveable. the pub has been busy on both visits generating a good relaxed atmosphere inside and in the colourful rear garden. cant really think of a negative only wish i lived nearer!
thomasbrady - 5 Aug 2005 07:56
Terrific little sidestreet local dating back to the mid 18th Century. In one of the oldest streets in Beckenham & the place is bursting with character. Not a lot of room inside but the sheltered rear garden is perfect for a summer's afternoon wiling away a couple of hours. One major plus point is this is one of the only places in the borough I know of that serves a pint of the fantastic Caledonian Deutchars IPA, alongside Harvey's Sussex & at present, Gales Bitter. One criticism is they should have a larger range of rare ales from microbreweries, then this would be an almost faultless 10. Dartboard by the back door, friendly barstaff & I'm sorry, but even the outside toilet facilities I find endearing. Will definately be returning.
young_camra_collectiv - 1 Aug 2005 18:57
Pretty much all the comments below are quite correct! It's a tiny pub with bags of character which obviously hasn't generated the revenue to allow a bit of cash to be spent on necessities like working toilets. Shame, let's see what happens here, because it's like a little secret pub!
juliatheakston - 31 Jul 2005 17:38
I've just heard that the Jolly Woodman is due to become a NON-SMOKING pub from Monday July 11th.
glenfarg - 1 Jul 2005 14:08
This pub could be great if the new owner spent some money on it atlast. It has a crude working mans club, atmosphere and good beers. But the rear courtyard is like a dump and you can literally hear and smell the toilets being used.
walklim - 29 Mar 2005 16:07
I really like this pub - you'll almost certainly have to stand in the winter but the beer garden is good and there's definitely something to be said for a pub that doesn't appear to have been refurbished in forty years. Often serves Harvey's Sussex Best which is a lovely pint.
pubcollector - 14 Mar 2005 22:17
I've heard during the past week that the pub is now under new management, so perhaps it will undergo a facelift, hopefully without losing its existing character.
glenfarg - 8 Feb 2005 20:20
This pub is in dire need of renovation - as long as the character of the establishment is not lost in the process. It is a small pub situated just a few yards from the Oakhill Tavern. Many of the regulars alternate between both pubs.
glenfarg - 20 Jan 2005 10:53

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