A Guide to The Pubs of Windsor
Windsor has a good range of pubs and wine bars, from the deeply traditional to the sleekest modern bars. The star rating is not any official score, but our own assessment based on living and drinking in the pubs of Windsor for many years.
Best Pubs in Windsor
One of the greatest pubs in Windsor without a shadow of doubt.
I really don’t need to say any more, other than this is what heaven will be like if they serve beer in heaven. If they don’t, I would like to stay down here at the Two Brewers please.
Windsor only has a couple of venues that could be properly described as a riverside pub. The Boathouse is a short distance downstream from the bridge and is right on the waters edge, so a perfect place to sit outside in the sunshine and watch the world go by. Refurbishment in spring 2015 included upgrading the kitchens so food should not suffer too many delays even when the place is full. The beer range is fair and the staff are lovely.
The Queen Charlotte
Blocking the end of Church Street, the building has been home to a pub for a couple of hundred years, but rarely one so attractive and welcoming. Following a half million pound refurbishment the Queen Charlotte has opened with John the landlord (former landlord of the carpenters arms) offering excellent local ales and a fine gin selection. Food is a cut above standard pub fayre and the ambience a little more sophisticated than its neighbouring competitors.
Three Tuns Market Street, Windsor.
The building behind the present Guildhall was erected in 1518 and served as the Town Hall until the 17th Century when it became an Inn. I like this pub, but it rarely surfaces on my beer radar.
The Carpenter’s Arms (Market Street)
The Carpenter’s Arms has some lovely beers. Every visit is a mini beer festival in itself. The building has some lovely old Victorian features although it is far older than that and a quick trip down the stairs reveals the cellars where various gnarly old locals will tell you tall tales of secret tunnels into the castle and ghostly goings on. The Carpenters Won the CAMRA (Slough Windsor and Maidenhead) pub of the year award in both 2013 and 2014.
The King and Castle Pub a little way down the hill, on Thames Street (part of the J D Wetherspoon pub chain) is recommended as a lovely place for Sunday Morning coffee.
The Royal Oak Pub
Close to Windsor and Eton Riverside Station, the Royal Oak has an excellent range of beers and a high quality lunch menu. Although the building looks 1930s there has been a pub on this site for hundreds of years and the landlord knows loads about its history.
The Swan, 9 Mill Lane, Clewer
The Swan is the best surviving traditional pub in the area. Live music and a good atmosphere in this small cozy local. If you are taking a walk along the riverfront upstream from town, just keep going, till you get past the leisure centre and find Windsor’s relief Road (Royal Windsor Way) towering above you. Go left parallel to the relief road, through the underpass and into leafy, quiet Clewer. Past the ancient church (which predates Windsor Castle) and at the end of the road turn left to find the Swan pub on your right.
Some people think of Brown’s on Barry Avenue as a riverside pub, but some people are just plain wrong. it isn’t! It does have a good sized terrace but the ersatz decor inside leaves me cold. It used to be the Fort & Firkin and before that it was the legendary Old Trout, a great live music venue. Before that it was called the Thames Hotel.
The Duchess of Cambridge 3-4 Thames Street SL4 1PL
This was once the B-Bar and before that was the Slug and Lettuce. Now revamped as a traditional pub in the heart of town opposite the castle walls. A decent range of beers and cheap meals available. There is a nice sun terrace out the back.
The Corner House 22 Sheet Street
On the Corner of Victoria Street and Sheet Street, this pub has a nice little upper deck where you can hide away with a pint and enjoy a very pleasant afternoon watching the traffic below. The Corner House has recently changed ownership, so we will wait to see if it can return to it’s glory days of the 1990s when as ‘the corner bar’ it was one of Windsor’s best hang outs. They currently run comedy evenings on the last wednesday of each month. Call 01753 862 031 for details.
The Prince Arthur Pub Grove Road
The Arthur has recently been refurbished but still retains an authenticity which attracts loyal local custom. A little way off the beaten track for visitors but a well loved Windsor pub nonetheless.
The Vansittart Arms Vannsittart Road
This lovely pub is known as either ‘the vanny’ or ‘the Fancy Tart’ by most locals. This is a great summer pub with a welcoming staff and quaint atmosphere, although it can get overcrowded at weekends. The strange name commemorates the Vansittart family who came to England from Holland in the sixteenth century. In the nineteenth century they owned lots of land around the area and Nicholas Vannsittart rose to the rank of Chancellor of the Exchequer and was knighted as Lord Bexley. It is no coincidence that the pub on the other side of the street is called the Bexley Arms. A good range of beers and good range of food and a great atmosphere combine to give the vanny a deserved five stars.
The Alma 61 Springfield Rd
The alma is a strange place and we love it. It is an old-style local with regulars at the bar, odd decorations and a thursday quiz night. They don’t even have a great selection of beers, but on the plus side they do some really smart food at very cheap prices. Even the chips are cooked to perfection and served with style. Their chili in a bun is legendary. Bring guests and show them a distinctly different but rather endearing side to Windsor. The longtime owners recently sold up and left taking The Captain (legendary grouchy and ever hungry pub dog) with them. We wish the new owners success.
The Copper Horse, Alma Rd
Despite the evocative name, The Copper Horse is not one of Berkshire’s prettiest pubs. It is strictly a ‘locals only’ boozer on the ground floor of the ward royal 1970s housing estate.
Bel and the Dragon (formerly known as ‘William IV’ and ‘Southwestern’) is more a restaurant than a pub, but it is a good one and the location is great, right by the bridge.
The Waterman’s Arms Brocas St, Eton
Located just across the river in Eton, the Waterman’s has an interesting history. The building dates from the Sixteenth Century and has gone through various uses, one of which was as a mortuary. Local legend has it that in the seventeenth the victims of the plague were so many that the cellars were used as a temporary dumping ground for the thousands of corpses who dies in Windsor and Eton. Don’t let this put you off the beer, I saw at least 10 members of the local branch of CAMRA in there recently and that says a lot.
The George, High Street, Eton
A long established pub, at the Eton end of the bridge, they have a nice interior a good patio and a small but decent range of beers. The food is good and we use the George (formerly the Hogshead) as a watering hole when finishing a cycle ride or walk along the thamesside path.
The Horse and Groom, 4 Castle Street, Windsor
A very old town centre pub, which was formerly the Lower Rose and Crown (Early Eighteenth Century) and sits in a building that dates back to Sixteenth Century. In 1721 the landlord Arthur Matthew paid 20 shillings to the overseers of the poor in an out of court settlement related to a charge of selling ale without a licence. The building is lovely and easy to find, close to the statue of Queen Victoria opposite the entrace to Windsor Castle.
More Pubs in Windsor
In Addition, there are a number of other good pubs and bars in Windsor:
- Bar Yello – 11 Goswell Hill, Windsor, Berkshire
- Bell, Dedworth Road – closed down 2010
- Bexley Arms – 50 Bexley St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Bricklayers Arms – Hatch Lane, Winkfield, Berkshire -demolished 2012
- Bronx Club – 63 Victoria St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Cafe Blu – 70-71 Peascod St, Windsor, Berkshire
- College Arms – 55 High St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Constitutional Club – 17 Sheet St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Corner Bar – 22 Sheet St, Windsor, Berkshire (a photo of 18 October 1974 shows this was at the time a Courage pub called The Round Tower)
- Cranbourne & Winkfield Royal British Legion Club – Hatchet Lane, Winkfield, Berkshire
- Crispin – 56 Grove Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Criterion – 72 Peascod St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Crosses Corner – 73 Peascod St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Crown & Cushion Inn – 84 High St, Eton
- Duke Of Connaught – 165 Arthur Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Duke Of Edinburgh – Woodside Rd, Winkfield, Berkshire
- Duke Of York – 198 St Leonards Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- The Fawn – St Leonards Road – Closed down in 2013
- Fiftyone – 51 Peascod St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Grenadier Club – Maidenhead Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Ha Ha’s- Unit 40/Windsor Royal Station, Windsor, Berkshire
- Henry VI – 37 High St, Eton
- Hernes Oak The – Hernes Oak/North St, Old Windsor
- Highlander The – 7 Church Lane, Windsor, Berkshire
- Jolly Gardeners The – 92-94 St. Lukes Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Merry Wives Of Windsor – 65 St Leonards Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Mitre The – Oxford Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Old Ticket Hall- Windsor Riverside Station, Windsor, Berkshire
- Old Windsor Working Mens Club – 46a St Lukes Rd, Old Windsor
- The Oxford Blue – Crimp Hill, Old Windsor, Berkshire
- Palmer Arms The – Village Rd, Eton Wick, Berkshire
- Prince Albert The – 2 Clewer Hill Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Prince Arthur – 29 Grove Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Queen – 282 Dedworth Rd , Dedworth, Berkshire
- Queen’s Head – Windsor Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Rose & Crown – Woodside Rd, Winkfield, Berkshire
- Duchess of Cambridge – 3-4 Thames St, Windsor, Berkshire
- Stag & Hounds – 302 St. Leonards Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Three Elms The – Dedworth Rd – Closed down 2012 – converted into a minimarket
- Trooper – 97 St Leonards Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- Vanilla Bar, Goswell Hill, Windsor, Berkshire
- Windsor Castle The – 98 Kings Rd, Windsor, Berkshire
- York Club – Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire
Further afield there is good food at Ye Old Hatchet- Hatchet Lane, Winkfield, Berkshire. This pub is a few miles south of Windsor through the great park, but the trip to the old hatchett in winkfield is worth it for both atmosphere and quality of food.