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Winchester Gate, Salisbury

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user reviews of the Winchester Gate, Salisbury

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

Excellent pub with a nice selection of well kept ales on tap.
Friendly staff and chatty locals on our visit, obviously dog friendly too.
A decent pool table, and plenty of Salisbury history/CAMRA pamphlets and prints evident too.
Definitely one of the areas better pubs and well worth the short walk from the town centre.
StoneBlack - 4 Sep 2016 22:31
Another excellent beer festival held over the May bank holiday. Superb selection of beers from as far away as Scotland. I hear the landlord and landlady, Bill and Anne, are selling the pub. I hope the new landlord/lady keeps up the good work done so far. Bill and Anne have turned the Winchester Gate into a little beer haven in Salisbury and I hope that will continue.
oldbeerquaffer - 3 Jun 2016 19:23
The pub had a beer festival over the weekend of 21st,22nd,23rd August. I have to say it had one of the best beer selections I have seen in a long time. Most beer festivals have the same tired beers but Bill ,the landlord, always comes up with a great and varied selection. Also some interesting ciders including a 'whisky-cask' cider.Excellent. A well run festival with cheery and knowledgeable people serving. Recommended .
oldbeerquaffer - 1 Sep 2015 09:57
Nothing special about this pub on a Monday night. Asked for a taster of Three Castles Thunder and deceided to have a pint, £3.40 with a 20p Camra discount.
Pool table only 50p.
rpf1955 - 19 Aug 2015 20:28
Three or four ales, all from local Wessex breweries. An interesting selection. A basic pub, with one bar used for live music. The other bar was pretty simple, but an interesting mix of locals. Definitely a drinkers pub, not a place for food or ambience. Good rock music on the sound system. It seems they do some interesting cider festivals, although there wasn't much/any draft cider on tap during normal days.
Worth a visit for ale drinkers if you're in Winchester. Asides from the beers, it's not a particularly special place.
JonRambo - 8 Apr 2015 12:19
Good quality beer on including Northumberland Irish Stout. Good marks from us having trad' cider as well as light and dark beers. Only downer for us was we could have done with a cheese roll or similar in which case we would have stayed longer. A good drinkers pub.
Steamer1 - 28 Jan 2014 16:58
Cider festival over the weekend and that seemed to be well organised in the back garden - marquees up in case of rain, good selection of ciders and Perrys and a decent crowd. Inside seemed to be different, some sort of raffle on in one room, and then a loud band on in other. I think that without the cider festival, would have scored much lower
Andylk - 18 Oct 2013 17:58
3 beers on during my visit, Goffs was excellent. Fell into conversation with the Landlord who seemed a charming guy. A nice, albeit unassuming freehouse pub which was good for a drink on a wet Thurs night! Recommended.
Chrisnutt - 15 Jun 2012 21:21
3 handpumps on Saturday serving Crop Circle (£3), something from Box and another small brewery. Quality was fine when we eventually got served - the Crop Circle ran out half way through pulling 4 pints and the lady serving said the barrel would be changed. Great - except she didn't say that the landlord insists on cleaning the pipes between barrels! If she had, I think that we'd have sampled something. No compalints though - well worth visiting.
cheshirecat - 10 Oct 2011 09:01
Although I don't live in Salisbury I have visited the Winchester Gate on numerous occasions.The left hand bar is used for live music,so when a band is due to play the sofa's and tables are moved out,so maybe holbornboy happened to turn up at that time.Bill and Anne,the landlord and landlady,have a couple of really good beerfestivals a year,usually on May and August bank holidays.I went to the latest one in May and it had a superb selection of beers from all over the country.On the temperature of the ales in the bar,it is just the temperature of the cellar.I'm sure no-one would want the beer to be warmed-up.The outside has had a paint job and looks much better.I hope Bill continues with his quest to bring some different beers to the local drinkers.
oldbeerquaffer - 9 Jun 2011 11:11
A ten minute walk from the town centre brings you to the Winchester Gate, cut off from the town by the hideous motorway just outside it's doors. The pub has two bars, the one on the left, which has a stage, was deserted, possibly owing to the fact that it had nowhere to sit in it. The right hand bar, as others on here have noted, is a curious mix of lounge and public bar. The pool table sticks out like a sore thumb. There were four or five customers on my visit, all sitting at the bar.
There were three ales on the pumps, Botley Mill, Sixpenny 6d Black and Hopback Crop Circle. My pint of Crop Circle was a couple of degrees colder than I would have liked. I can't say I warmed to the place, mainly because it was bloody freezing in there. I'm getting a little bit irritated with pubs that are too tight to put their heat on on cold days. This fact, combined with the schizophrenic nature of the interior, means that I'm only giving this pub a 5.

holbornboy - 30 Jan 2011 11:59
Was here over the bank holiday and enjoyed the beer festival and BBQ. Lots of live music as well from folk to ska to thrash metal.Oh to be able to live in Salisbury in a house situated between the Winchester Gate and the Wyndham Arms! Marvellous!
TonyAle - 2 Sep 2010 18:02
I think the landlord may have taken heed of a couple of previous posts regarding the space taken up by the sofas and random stools as they have gone, to be replaced by normal tables and chairs. The bar now has a lot more space to allow people to get through to the toilets, particularly when the pub is busy.
Beers on when I was in the other day were Hop Back Crop Circle, Downton German Pale Ale and Wessex Walnut Best, a good choice and all in excellent nick.
afullpint - 2 Dec 2009 11:36
Enjoyed this pub very much. The beer was good and well-kept - I tried all three although it would have been easy to stick with the Tettnag Red. Friendly landlord and chatty locals plus one excited gent who had, as he informed as all, just seen a 747 doing a u-turn. As Roger B says, both locals and landlord were happy to tell us what were other good pubs and we followed their advice. If you want your pubs to have plush carpets and trendy furniture - well, it may not be for you, but anyone who likes a good honest local will enjoy this one.
Pompeybelle - 14 Oct 2009 22:09
I would like to echo "ETA"'and Trev's sentiments below. The Tetnang ale from Downton was excellent,but the place is rambling,shall we say. Its like wherever you stand you're in the way. But given the clientelle I wouldn't like to bash into some too often. There was also Bristol Beer Factory (zzzz) and one other. Good pub but needs to have a bit of thought applied to it.
an_ecunemical_matter - 11 Oct 2009 11:59
You would think that the Winchester Gate is just far away from the town centre not to make it an immediately obvious place to head for although the collection of foreign bank notes over the bar would suggest that several overseas visiters do get this far (unless the locals do a lot of exotic travelling!). The 2 bar interior doesnít have any particular merits with the main bar having an odd mix of lounge and public bar with the pool table, darts area and TVís sharing space with sofas. The second bar is a more modern brick and wood affair where they have occasional live music (proper bands that is, not computer led karaoke!). There is also a healthy collection of pump clips on display which is always a good sign although I only recall there being 3 pumps; Three Castles Corn Dolly, Goff Excalibar and Hop Back Crop Circle which is a good enough selection for me on my fleeting visit. There is also a pleasant split level beer garden for sunnier days and the very welcoming, chatty and approachable regulars were happy to recommend other pubs for us to visit. It is a pub that is easy to overlook with all the other more touristy and historic pubs in town but it does make a good pairing with the Wyndham Arms on the other side of the busy main road.
RogerB - 14 Aug 2009 12:45
I happened to notice whilst passing by last week that a beer festival was being held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, so I thought I'd try it out on the Friday night. A small marquee had been set up in the pub's back garden with 12 ales, a cider and a perry on and a BBQ doing burgers, etc. The beers included ones from Crouch Vale, Woodfordes, Mauldon, RCH, Harviestoun, Otley and Inveralmond plus a sublime Raspberry Wheat Beer from Milestone - a tad strong at 5.6% as I realised later to my cost!
It was so good that I managed to scrounge a bed overnight at a friends and went back on Saturday and indeed for part of Sunday. The weather of course was great over the weekend, and the place was packed. An enjoyable time was had by all. The landlord - I believe his name is Bill - was in constant attendance and seemed to enjoy regularly sampling his ales.
Well done!
afullpint - 27 May 2009 15:46
There is no doubt that Bill's beer is superb - my last visit saw off a Three Castles Lazy Dayz and the best pint of Apple Blossom I've had in a long time.

As a pub, it's less impressive, though. It's poorly laid out, tired decor and soem unpleasant yoofs mars it bit.

Overall, though, if you're looking for a decent pint in Salisbury, this is a great addition to the list, especially if you tie it in with a visit to the Wyndham Arms just over the road.

I'll be back.
ETA - 7 May 2009 08:35
This is a place to go for the beer. Three interesting pints - all guests, nicely served. Handy for the city centre but not over-run with customers. An amazing Sunday lunch deal was advertised; given that beer or wine is included for free, the roast comes out at about £4 !! Downside: very cluttered layout; continually trying to step over stools to get anywhere; far too much space taken up by the pool table (though the babe playing pool was worth watching in her own right!); and a dreadful racket coming from next door where some live band was tuning up for a gig.
Trev - 7 Mar 2009 20:28
Re the previous review commenting upon mine, I wasn't suggesting that the Winchester Gate was better than the Village because it certainly is not. My real ale pub of choice in Salisbury is still the Village, but this pub offers a welcome addition to the quality real ale scene in Salisbury. Anyone venturing over to, say, the Wyndham Arms should include the Winchester Gate in their travels.
afullpint - 22 Feb 2009 19:36
Any review that says this pub is a challanger to the Village demands a visit to check out the facts. Modern decor with sofas and some sad brewers tudor. Friendly, young and enthusiastic staff, offering a wide range of interesting well kept beers and Planet Rock as background music. All pretty good, I do think the customer profile is a little different to the Village, this being aimed at a generally younger age group. The customers on my visit were attracted by the beer, the pool table and included some yoghurt knitters.

anonymous - 16 Feb 2009 11:36
Went in here whilst taking a breather from the Salisbury Winter Beer Festival. Three beers - Hop Back GFB, Keystone Cheer Up and Flowerpots Stottidge Stout - all in superb condition. I was told by the landlord that he has beers from Box Brewery, Goddards, Harviestoun, Blindmans, Yeovil Ales, Three Castles and George Wright all waiting to come on. Vies with the Village for the best pub in Salisbury when it comes to real ales.
afullpint - 4 Feb 2009 17:08
Definitely not the foodie joint feared by anonymous. Rather, a friendly pub where you can get a good pint or two and have a good chat and a game of pool if required.

I think food was available but we didn't eat as we had many pubs to visit that day.
GrahamA - 17 Jul 2008 09:26
a much improved pub under new ownership, has got a beer festival at the end of may
littlecon - 2 Mar 2008 15:09
Left hand bar was completely empty Sat 14:00, to the right the atmosphere was local, chatty & friendly. Nothing exceptional about dťcor or layout, pool table to far end, but feels like a venue for a decent pint and a chat & a laugh. Keystone Large One, Hobdenís Golden Delirious, GFB. Too many pubs on our list to stay for 2nd pint, which made it rather embarrassing that a second game of pool lasted forever, whilst our empty glasses had to remain unfilled! To the most recent anonymous comment (why?) I would say that this couldn't have a feel further away from being a 'foodie joint'.
trainman - 25 Feb 2008 14:25
I have heard a rumour that a new landlord will be taking over the pub at the beginning of December. Let's hope that it doesn't get turned into a foodie joint.
anonymous - 9 Nov 2007 16:33
Often go there but I wish they would be a bit more adventurous with the choice of real ale - given that the place is a genuine free house. Also, why don't they do any food? I've been there, say, during a Saturday afternoon when I've felt a bit peckish and have had to leave to go elsewhere to get something to eat. Still, I like the place and will continue to go back.
anonymous - 23 Oct 2007 16:33
Its good to see that this place still receives decent comments. Its a while since Ive been there or even in Salisbury for that matter, but the music in the lounge on the left was always good. Do they still do music?
anonymous - 12 Oct 2007 11:29
Pleasant pub just off the ring road. Good selection of up to 4 real ales. Public bar can get a bit noisy, particularly when a pool match is on, but there is a separate lounge plus a super little garden.
anonymous - 11 Oct 2007 11:30
I think they may have been having landlord problems here. However, always a good selection of ales - and only £2 a pint between 5pm and 7pm.
anonymous - 25 Sep 2007 08:00
Four real ales (Hopback Spring Zing and Timothy Taylor Landlord appear to be on permanently) excellently kept. Two rooms and a garden. Worth visiting.
zip - 21 Apr 2006 22:19
What a jolly pub! Called in yesterday for a pint, way off my local area, "Ecce homo ergo elk!" The nectar of the gods; Timothy Taylor's Draught Landlord. Not generally imbibed by me for over 25 years since I left the Keighley area.
Eclectic set of barmaids; such fun and greatly entertaining. Be sure to call again soon.
almost_an_old_git - 5 Feb 2006 17:53
good ale pub with two beers, each, from Timothy Taylor and Hop Back when i visited
ahscum - 26 Jan 2006 21:36
This has never been a Wetherspoons, and no longer does it necessarily have a Milk Street beer as it is notowned by them any more. Nevertheless, Timothy Taylor Landlord is permanently on as its biggest seller, as well as two guests. Well worth a visit.
alebuff - 1 Sep 2005 18:42
A solace from the other nearby establishments that remind one of Darwins waiting room.
Rich - 12 Oct 2004 13:35
Beer has got better since the change of ownership. Music on saturdays can be largely varied in quality but open mic nights are fun and laid back. This pubs rating improves with time
Darrell J - 16 Sep 2004 14:40
laid back yet vibrant different from the usual wetherspoon chains.....wish it was nearer my house so it could be my local
Vicky - 29 May 2004 19:55
Milk Street (Frome) beers on sale, fantastic. A wonderful atmosphere.
Nigel - 25 Mar 2004 16:34

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