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Downgate, Hungerford

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user reviews of the Downgate, Hungerford

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

Characterful, small pub with great views over the common. Tasty good food at value-for-money prices with decent Arkell's beers. I had the 3B and the Ginger IPA, both justifying their Cask Marque status. It was a shame that the Donnington's Life Sentence ran out as we walked in and was not replaced. Ciders are Strongbow and Stowford Press. I can't say I have ever commented on urinals before but this was the first time I have seen urinal goal posts (you will have to visit to see what I mean!).
paul_d102 - 25 May 2014 20:39
I was in Hungerford for a Southern League soccer play-off between Hungerford Town & Merthyr Town on a Bank Holiday afternoon. Nipped in here after visiting the pubs on the major roads. The few football fans who'd visited had gone and the few drinkers were seemingly regulars. Very impressed and not a little relieved to find an establishment that's still a pub. The other hostelries in Hungerford seem to concentrate either mainly or entirely on food these days. I can't blame them, as that's what the diminishing pool of punters with money seem to want these days... though I should think the pool of punters with money in Hungerford is still more a large lake of punters than a pool and I doubt if it's diminishing. This isn't Merthyr Tydfil.
The external photo doesn't do the place justice, as the seats outside look out over a verdant valley and it was idyllic on a warm early summer day.
You could call the place a mite pokey or you might say it has character. I'd go for the latter. Banknotes, football memorabilia & aircraft pics on the walls, together with a few interesting artefacts.
Dart board generally out of commission, though: sited above a wall seat & I'd assume only used when there's a match on.
Friendly and entertaining bar staff and local drinkers seemed sociable.
Beer? As mentioned, plenty of Arkell's staples on offer and were excellent. Would definitely be my first point of call on a return visit to Hungerford.

MarlingSnallard - 6 May 2013 22:24
Nice traditional little pub on the edge of Hungerford common. Well kept Arkells beer, I had the Wiltshire Gold and a Sunday lunch that takes some beating. Will be returning on a regular basis.
pcbvt68 - 26 Feb 2013 12:31
I completely agree about this lovely pub, it's one of the few Arkells haven't screwed up. Long may it survive!
Honeybadger - 16 Sep 2012 17:27
It’s reassuring that pubs like this still survive . The kind of delightful pub that is fast disappearing, untouched by modern trends to modernise and ‘gastro-ise’. On the occasion we visited, staffed by two ladies and a shy but talkative parrot This pub offers good traditional home cooked meals, like those my mother used to cook and sold at budget prices. With four Arkells ales on offer, we stuck with the Moonlight which was in excellent condition. A must for a return visit.
Hellskitchen - 16 Sep 2012 16:46
Went today for first time, and what a pleasant surprise, a little gem. Good food and excellent beer, will visit again when in the area.
BELAM - 1 Jun 2012 18:21
Footnote to the below review - Pub is in 2011 Good Beer Guide (fifth year in a row).
Lord_Jeffers - 16 Nov 2010 22:21
A proper pub aimed at the more "mature" punter. Beer is superb (Arkells 3B and 2B), three different areas to sit in, tables outside with views over Hungerford Common. Homecooked food, piped music (quietly!).

Friendly local crowd (I'm one of them), dogs welcome, near the railway station, and only a walk up the hill fom the High Street. Plus, you are guaranteed to find it warm in the winter, this place is never cold!

The other interesting features are spectacular flowers in the spring and summer, caged birds on the roof over the door, and another chattering away in his cage by the fire.
Lord_Jeffers - 16 Nov 2010 22:20
A charming Arkell's house, happily untouched by any of the corporate styling so many breweries force artificially onto their estates.

Not so many pubs these days can give the impression of being inside someone's home, but this is one of them. Cosy and convivial. I found the Arkell's 2B in excellent condition and the home-made steak and kidney pie was of proper short pastry - as opposed to off the Brakes' lorry.

Five minutes' walk from Hungerford railway station. Hourly trains from Paddington. I used it as the starting point for an hour's stroll along the canal to Kintbury and the Dundas Arms. Just right on a fine afternoon.
apchilcott - 9 Sep 2010 21:39
Totally agree with all the comment s about this place, its an absolute gem of a pub. Really cosy feeling, great beer, great menu, friendly staff plenty of park and set in a wonderful location by the common, shame theres not more pubs like this around.
superseagulls - 4 Mar 2010 17:59
On a gorgeous Spring day, this pub ticked very box - beer (3B - a classic), warm welcome, multi-room, set between town and countryside. Almost perfect.
mtaylor40 - 4 Mar 2010 16:34
The Downgate used to be my local when residing in Hungerford for a short while. David & Janet run a great place with great beer & food. I visited them again before Christmas with a group of 14 friends for a Saturday afternoon drink (or 5 maybe 6), all agreed with my opinion & will be visiting again when the time allows.
trouter - 3 Mar 2010 15:36
Really good "proper" pub on edge of town, well kept beer, nice outside area by the common, friendly. One of the best pubs in the area.
newbury_drinker - 16 Oct 2009 14:22
Visited on a Sunday in October 08. What a super place. The Arkells 2B and 3B both excellent, friendly bar staff and nibbles in the bar - the first time I've seen this in 20 years!
micksimm - 21 Oct 2008 12:48
Perfect real ale in a superb pub. An ideal base for a stroll across the Common and down the hill to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 11 Feb 2008 11:25
Seems to me that soots must have got his glasses steamed up from coming in from the cold to the warm atmosphere, it is our local and have just been partying and there are no Jacket spuds at £6.00, and it is good homecooked food at a fair price just like mother used to make, not enough of them around these days, all plastic and chain pubs, long live our local pubs.
dyates5 - 9 Jan 2008 21:41
This used to be a good pub for ale and cheap pub grub, but unfortunately they have put their prices up far to high for basic fayre. How can anyone justify a jacket spud and beans for over £6?!!
Soots - 9 Jan 2008 17:37
This is how a pub should be a warm and joval welcome from the host, super place to drink and eat the real ales kept in very good condition very worthy of the good beer guide, food exellent pub food, staff very friendly, coins and old currency don the walls aircraft hanging from the ceiling such a lovely pub a must if you are in the Hungerford area.
pubwaych - 7 Nov 2007 22:26
My first and only visit to a Hungerford alehouse to date, and happily I can report no disappointments. Indeed, we found this to be a classic, unspoilt, traditional, welcoming little local that made one yearn for the days when pubs were simpler, community affairs with no corporate pretence or affectation; just a jolly and convivial couple running a down-to-earth, characterful, primarily drinkers' pub.
I've been to few Arkell's houses over the years but it seems to me that their very traditional, steady approach pays off in pubs like the Downgate. The licensees kept the 3 ales on perfectly; the 2B and 3B really were on song. Nice long chat with the landlady. We liked the fact it didn't take itself too seriously; the Union Jack toilet seat was a nice touch and didn't suggest "football chav/Sky Sports" as sadly displays of flags so often do with pubs nowadays.
Mention needs to be made of the location too: set on the corner of the nearby common where cattle can be found grazing freely, complete with outside seating and kissing gate. Excellent.
If ever I'm down that way again, I shall be down the Downgate.
TWG - 30 Oct 2007 12:40
absolutely beautiful pint of arkells summer ale and a friendly welcome, ideal 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 4 Aug 2007 18:48
friendly staff, interesting characters, good beer and food. walker, cyclist and dog friendly.
tadley_musher - 10 Mar 2007 20:56
Sounds like sour grapes because we allways have Sunday lunch at The Downgate and is one of the best around and is freshly cooked on Sunday Mornings,Complainer must be another jelouse Landlord
anonymous - 6 Nov 2006 10:32
A pleasant enough pub with friendly staff, but avoid the Sunday lunches. I had 'roast beef' the other day and it was overcooked, tough and dry, and looked like it had been prepared about a week earlier. The veg too!
anonymous - 9 Oct 2006 12:07

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