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The Cross Guns, Avoncliff - pub details

Cross Guns
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Address: Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2HB [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 14413) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Avoncliff (0.1 miles), Freshford (1 mile), Bradford-on-avon (1.4 miles)

Pub facilities/features:

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> Current user rating: 5.8/10 (rated by 63 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Seven Stars, Winsley (0.7 miles), New Inn, Lower Westwood (0.8 miles), Inn at Freshford, Freshford (0.9 miles), Barge Inn, Bradford on Avon (1.2 miles), Lock Inn Cafe (Canal Side Cafe), Bradford on Avon (1.3 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of the Cross Guns, Avoncliff

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

5 most recent reviews of 57 shown - see all reviews

A week away (Monday lunch).

What's isn't there not to like about this pub?

Near to the railway station (this week's mode of travel) adjacent to canal/aquaduct and river with a terraced garden. A nice walk (when it's dry) to/from their sister pub at Freshford.

Our third visit in as many months, usual range of Box Steam beers with Butcombe Original as the guest, which I had. They've created a deli/café on the second level of the garden to make room for selling beer in the small beer. Friendly staff and food was good on a previous visit.
ellisref - 9 Jun 2018 13:18
A truly charming pub dating back to the 15th century nestling in the lush wooded valleys in between the River Avon and Kennt & Avon Canal, upon which I was fortunate enough to be taking a narrowboat holday a coupel of weeks back, enabling me to finally visit the Cross Guns, which somehow had gone under my radar when visiting this vicinity on previous occasions.

It was well worth the short walk from moorings just before the nearby aqueduct, for t he Guns is trying - and by and large succeeding - to be all things to all people. JD Wetherspoons attempt this but of course can't really be anything much beyond a jack of all trades; somehow this independently owned and cannily-run establishment manages it whilst retaining a unique character all of its own.

It is a haven for excellent fresh food - a strong, almost overbearingly comprehensive, menu shows dishes not only traditional to Britain but from worldwide, with both fish and meat options offering many possibilities for whatever one's palate desires. Our part of 14 ate heartily and essentially opinions of the dishes were positive; my steak and ale pie was the first where I've actually managed to taste the ale (Box Steam Tunnel Vision apparently)!. The Guns certainly has its place as a sound local restaurant, and yet does retain a sense of being a local pub, with a lavishly-tooled bar through which one can obtain most types of beverage - though arguably all tables in each part of the pub being set with cutlery could potentially put off drinkers with no intention to dine.

Said bar is graced with I think 6 handpumps, dispensing the full range of cask Box Steam beers (the licensee and his family bought the brewery in 2006 along with this pub and the Freshford Inn, and have clearly worked tirelessly to create an increasingly viable business that covers many bases). Sometimes guest ales appear though on our visit it was BS all the way. The Chuffin Ale, Porter, Tunnel Vision and Ghost Train were all sampled and all found in impeccable condition. Mention should also be made of the cask cider: 3 were offered (dry, medium and sweet) with the Bristol being taken back to our boat for consumption there - and mighty fine it was too. Keg beer and cider is available of course for those who use it.

The character of the place could well be construed as somewhat falsely-assembled, but the vast array of bric-a-brac, puberiana, breweriana, and numerous other antique and traditional items does suit the pub's cosy and cavernous stone interior, and even if it has been carefully-crafted, it has enough of an authentic feel to satisfy the many visitors who pitched up during our visit. Postcards, sweets, coffee, and all manner of extraneous items are available for purchase. There is a priest's hole which has been decked out with flowers and other accoutrements - clearly the local vicar has no current need of it.

Externally there is a tiered patio and decking area with plenty of seating for days blessed with clement weather. It is family-friendly and provides a convenient alternative when the tables indoors are full up and room at the bar is limited. It leads down to the river which is a delightful setting.

Service-wise, we received friendly and efficient attention from the landlord, his daughter, and other barmaids. There was much boasting about how many large-number parties were booked in for meals, and the B and B facility is apparently booming to boot. If in need of these, the obvious advice is to book up as early as possible.

It is hard to fault this pub. If it were a little more drinker-friendly and a little less foodie-favoured, it would be a 100% surefire success. That is a relatively minor setback in the overall scheme of things, and I think they've still done enough to merit a 10 on this site. If decimal places were allowed perhaps I'd give it a 9.3!
TWG - 24 Sep 2012 09:39
Outstanding selection of five ales from the Box Steam Brewery. Helpful bar staff offered us a taste of some of the beers before we ordered.

According to the newspaper cuttings on the wall, landlord Ken Roberts was such a fan of the Box Steam Brewery, he bought it! (He also owns the Inn at Freshford.)

The man himself kindly filled us on the history of the pub and showed us the remarkable Priest's Hole adjoining the dining room.

With its lovely terraced riverside garden, the Cross Guns makes an ideal pitstop on the lovely canal walk from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon.
rentaquote - 7 Aug 2012 23:32
I visited the pub 01/07/12 and not for the first time, and I received what I expected, great beer about 6.50 for two pints, friendly service and a pleasant location.
So the toilets are basic, but I've always found them to be clean.
As for the food, 8 to 18 per meal, and a good selection from the menu. My gripe is being charged 2.50 for a sauce to accompany the steak. I'd be happy to pay 1.25.
You won't waste your time visiting here, so enjoy yourself.

Signalman - 2 Jul 2012 14:35
Enjoyed a decent lunch here recently. At least the food is good. As usual the Box beers were in good condition. What is it about this place ? Clearly a cash cow it does seem to be run by people who don't give a toss! Poor attitude from the staff and epically dreadful toilets seem to be the norm here. The beer garden is squalid with duck s**t everywhere and rotten benches. The landlord doesn't deserve this pub.
steamraiser2 - 29 Jun 2012 16:23

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