skip nav  

Pickerel Inn, Cambridge

back to pub details

user reviews of the Pickerel Inn, Cambridge

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

Great pub. Well worth checking out. Good beer and a warm welcome. It is a nice place to be in a good location near the river.
dougdeep - 27 Jun 2022 14:20
The Pickerel was like an oasis in the real desert that is Cambridge on New Year's Day. With the Hopbine, St Radegund, the Champion of the Thames, the Cambridge Brew House, the Maypole, the Mitre and the Castle Inn all closed, I was well onto my list of reserve pubs for the day when arriving here. Unsurprisingly, it was rather busy. There are 2 small rooms with access to the bar, with a larger interconnecting room and another smaller area at the rear with a real fire. This is a Taylor Walker pub, which had a decent selection of ales - Taylor Walker 1730 Special Pale Ale, Oakham Pickerel & Citra, Tring Pale Four, Woodfordes Nelson's Revenge & Wherry, Greene King IPA Reserve & Timothy Taylor Boltmaker. There were also 2 real ciders - Old Rosie & Rosie's Pig from Westons. Be sure to check both rooms with access to the bar to see the full selection. Bar staff are knowledgeable. A welcome sight on New Year's Day.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Jan 2017 20:42
Only 2 Oakham badged beers available which were no more than OK. Another unrecognised beer was undrinkable and should not have been served. It had been busy in Cambridge on a Sunday afternoon but no excuse for selling bad beer
Rocky53 - 24 Feb 2015 16:26
Not many ales on yesterday, suppose that is to be expected in the Xmas/New Year gap. What was on was good. Just outside the main tourist area so not as crowded as some of the other city centre pubs.
Aztecgoat - 31 Dec 2014 11:37
Great boozer just down the road from a very serviceable curry house, a winning combo. Multitude of local cask ales and a couple in barrels behind the bar too. Didn't try food but it looked good. Friendly service and great place to watch Cambridge going about its business..
TommyRogers1979 - 29 May 2014 22:36

We called here for a beer during a recent day trip to Cambridge after visiting the wonderful Kettles Yard and gallery which is 100 yards or so away on Castle Street.

The Pickerel seems to be a relatively unspoilt pub which is claimed by some to be the oldest pub in Cambridge. With its low, beamed ceilings and a variety of nooks and crannies, it certainly has plenty of atmosphere. Today serves an interesting selection of real ales including Theakston Old Peculiar, Woodforde's Wherry and the same brewery's Nelson's Revenge. I had a couple of excellent pints of the latter which were served by a very helpful and friendly barman. The downside was that the beer cost £3.75 a pint, but I guess that this is probably about par for the course for pubs in the tourist hot spots of the city.

steve2905 - 2 May 2014 08:53
Woodforde Nelson's Revenge - very nice it was too. Good range of ale in a olde worlde pub. 10 years ago it was Wherry Best.
Booze_Allen - 10 Apr 2013 19:43
Visited today. A fine selection of ales on offer, opted for the London Fields Hackney Hopster fantastic quality. Very enthusiastic bar maid made my all to brief visit enjoyable.

Lovely pub.
ericstadd - 3 Apr 2013 20:03
A decent range of cask beer on pumpage still on here - actually quite a busy and seemingly thriving city centre pub. Friendly vibes seemed to pervade the atmosphere. We attended as part of an extensive pub crawl for a stag do; this was one of the latest venues visited, and so memories beyond this somewhat basic coverage are probably too hazy to provide further detailed coverage. But all-told, this pub held its own and would be recommended.

Apparently I was here 6 years ago but I can't recall much of that either.
TWG - 13 Dec 2012 17:34
The blessed Old Peculier was on tap in February -- shame if it disappears during the summer. This is a nicely-run pub with courteous bar staff. Not all that busy the night we were in and, as mentioned below, there was room to sit by the front window and watch the passing scene.
Braganca - 23 Feb 2011 21:37
Beer is good and well-chosen. The Theakston's Old Peculier is not always on during the summer months but always makes a welcome appearance in Autumn/Winter. Every time I have been there everyone has been welcoming and friendly. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a good time with a good choice of real ales. Only issue is that it does get crowded in the evening time but still does not prohibit moving around.
njdevilsrul06 - 30 Dec 2010 16:52
A favourite. Sit in the front window and people watch. The view is of Magdalene Street and the College gates. It can get pretty crowded in the evening, though. There's an outdoor paved courtyard area if the weather is cooperating.
SillyPoint - 4 Oct 2008 16:58
I like this little pub and its mixed crowd. Beer is good and well-chosen. The Theakston's Old Peculier is not always on during the summer months but always makes a welcome appearance in Autumn/Winter. I do have only one gripe - they serve all ale through a sparkler, regardless of its origin (OP tastes very good through a sparkler, but Woodforde's Nelson's Revenge could do without it). I asked the barmaid politely to take it off for my pint and she did so thoroughly willingly. She said I hadn't been the first to ask and the landlord insisted on it. Odd. But don't let this anorakish beerdom put you off - a super pub and (rare for Cambridge) a city centre pub of note (St Radegund the only other - though further afield there are super pubs).
jesusjohn - 19 Aug 2008 14:14
Old multi-roomed pub right next to bridge over Cam. Two banks of handpumps serving same beers front & rear bar; Woodforde Nelson's Revenge & Headcracker(7%), Oakham Inferno, Salem January Sale. Quite studenty but good homely feel. Not crowded on our early evening visit, one wonders how these houses survive outside term-time.
trainman - 28 Jan 2008 12:28
This is a great pub, and they always have Old Peculier on draught and on form!
jmrharding - 26 Jan 2008 13:26
Lovely little pub with an interesting internal layout. Fabulous selection ( eight at least ?? ) of real ales. Went in earlier this week on a cold, wet evening, and the lovely smile of the dark haired barmaid warmed me up a treat.
philanders - 8 Dec 2007 16:01
Are there two Pickerels? I ask because the one I visited doesn't match the descriptions below. The beer was crap; warm and dead. The place was dull and empty. The Polish barmaid was off slight interest as she appeared half barmy bless her! Doesn't open until noon, if the staff turn up on time. My crowd went over to the Baron of Beef on the other side of the bridge for a better kept pint and friendlier staff. I would return, but only on an evening to compare.
Cibalia - 24 Nov 2007 06:56
Lots of atmosphere and good range of beers, including guest ales. Very good.
aaroncp - 27 Aug 2007 11:32
Excellent pub with well-kept and interesting beers, and a good-looking menu. Also, unlike most of the other city centre pubs it hasn't been knocked about and consequently retains bags of atmosphere.
The only shame of it was that I had time for just two pints - I'll definitely be back on my next visit to Cambridge.
Drinking_Bull - 9 Jul 2007 17:14
Walked up for the Castle pub but found it closed so called in to this pub instead. Not in the Good Beer Guide - why not - it serves great beers and is worth looking round at the various nooks and crannies. The food menu looked good but with a bus to catch we were unable to sample any.
gillhalfpint - 16 Apr 2007 00:03
A very respectable outlet that largely deserves the positive reviews it has received lately. Aside from having a cracking location near the river, it has a charmingly beamed interior with numerous alcoves and nooks that can get crowded, but in less busy periods their true relevance and appeal can be enjoyed. They also enable the pub to house various different types of customer at the same time.
The food looked generous in size and reasonable quality, although I should say that I personally didn't sample any.
The ale is a real draw here for those who are "proper" beer lovers: a broad selection of 4 well-kept offerings including 2 from the superior Woodforde's brewery, a GK offering (ubiquitous IPA) and Theakston Old Peculier. The only problem? All were dispensed through sparklers seemingly by default, and with the exception of the Theakston, this method was not appropriate as it gave an unpleasant soapy head and the full flavour was not intact. I asked a couple of times for the sparkler to be removed, and whilst it was done, I was given a slightly quizzical look by one barmaid, and a dismissive one from the other. A slight taint on an otherwise good pub for beer and well worth using as part of a central crawl - especially as it isn't exclusively GK like so many of its counterparts.
TWG - 7 Nov 2006 14:03
mythical food selection seems right I asked on a Saturday lunchtime and was told food would be coming on at 2.15 (rather peculiar time don't you think?)

Anyway beer selection is great and welcome change from Greene King everywhere!

I was also given a 1938 halfpenny in my change!
jeremyb - 9 Oct 2006 00:05
providing it's not overrun with students, this is a top-notch place to drink. historic, unspoilt, lots of nooks and crannies, good selection of beers.
mozzzzzz - 4 Oct 2006 12:52
very good selection of ales and friendly staff. hoary old gentlefolk tell of a mythical food provision. have a few pints and go to a pub that actually offers food.
colinqueen - 24 May 2006 01:58
Beautiful old english pub, great choice of ales, excellent food and friendly staff. What more could you want?
emcg - 13 Aug 2005 11:44
In the historical centre of Cambridge. Looks slightly tatty, but for a pub this old, I suppose that's the way it should be. Bare wooden floors, OK beer garden. 5 real ales are on, 2 guest beers and 3 regulars. Sampled Old Mill Bullion (average), Young's Waggledance (too much honey sweetness) and Woodeforde's Wherry (very good). Quiet in the afternoon, friendly bar staff.
Sigmund - 28 May 2005 23:29
Good food, good beer good atmosphere. What more is wanted. One of the best.
pbkeber - 20 May 2005 11:19
Great atmosphere and nice selection of beers. A little pricey but not too bad, and a nice beer garden.
happytourist - 20 Dec 2004 14:03
Good Beer Guide, low ceilings, probably the oldest pub in Cambridge (well, that or the Green Dragon). Too many Magdalene college students, but otherwise very nice.
mikewmiller - 2 Nov 2004 17:44
Summer drinking is excellent too with five real ales on tap and a secluded beer garden (which looks like it must have been the former coaching yard). Somewhere to retreat to now that the Mitre nearby has been gutted.
Mark - 15 Jul 2003 01:21
Tiny, genuinly "Olde-Worlde" pub with open fire and great atmosphere. Nice mulled wine in winter too. Don't ever change it-it's a little gem.
anonymous - 6 Apr 2003 12:29

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.