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Swan with Two Necks top UK pub

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted February 12, 2014
the swan with two necks
Country charm: The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton. (Check bottom for credit)

The Swan with Two Necks named UK National Pub of the Year while the Pandora Inn wins gold at South West Tourism Awards.

The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire has been crowned National Pub of the Year by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Described in a press release as "a sleepy village pub" in "an idyllic setting across from a small stream and surrounded by green fields", the Swan beat off stiff competition from some 57,000 other pubs to land the gong that was last year won by the Baum just 24 miles (38.6 km) away to the south in Rochdale.

"We are delighted and proud to have been judged CAMRA's National Pub of the Year," says the Swan's landlord Steve Dilworth.

"We've been at the Swan with Two Necks for 27 years and think of it as our hidden gem."

"This is a fantastic achievement not only for ourselves, but our dedicated staff – and a great boost for our community."

The Swan, the judges noted, is a "delightful country pub" that "up until three years ago acted as the village post office".

What's more, this community pub boasts "friendly and knowledgeable staff" and a "beer choice and quality [that is] excellent".

But how does landlord Steve get the best out of his real ale?


"Talking to the barrels has finally paid off!" he says.

"The Swan with Two Necks really is the best of the best, having beaten rival pubs at every step in a process which starts at a local level and takes a full 12 months to complete," says CAMRA pubs director Julian Hough.

"It is a wonderfully welcoming pub that serves a fantastic pint and is popular with regulars and visiting tourists alike in a quintessentially British rural setting."

According to CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2014, the Swan's homemade food "comes in portions ideal for the hungry walker".

"There is outdoor seating in the garden and in front of the pub, looking out onto a small stream running through the beautifully kept village", while "cosy open fires blaze in winter months".

But better still, the pub serves Rake & Herald booze editor Dr Miltov Lamprey (struck off)'s all-time favourite session ale, the unbelievably tasty Golden Pippen from Yorkshire-based Copper Dragon, not to mention a variety of guest ales from such micro-breweries as Phoenix, Dark Star and Salamander.

To win the National Pub of the Year competition, the Swan first had to win its local and then regional competitions before being put forward as one of four finalists.

The entire process, CAMRA says, takes "hundreds of hours of judging by dedicated CAMRA volunteers and competition judges", who evaluate each pub on such criteria as atmosphere, level of service, value for money and community focus, with extra weighting given to the quality of the real ale, cider and perry served, whether the landlord talks to the barrels or not.

The three other finalists, in alphabetical order, were the Hope in Carshalton, the Horse and Jockey in Stapleford and the Old Spot Inn in Dursley.

Hats off to all, we say.

pandora inn team
And the winners are... The Pandora Inn team. (Check bottom for credit)

Meanwhile in other news, we have just learnt from a look round the St Austell Brewery website that one of its pubs, the Pandora Inn in Restronguet Creek, Cornwall, has scooped top honours as Tourism Pub of the Year at the 2013/14 South West Tourism Awards for a second year running.

"We are absolutely delighted that the Pandora has done the double once again, winning gold at both the Cornwall and South West Tourism Awards," says landlord Steve Bellman.

"It's a great honour for the pub and a well-deserved reward for Catherine, Lester, Tom and all the team who have put so much effort into making it a success."

"I would like to pass on my congratulations to the team at the Pandora Inn for picking up yet another award," adds Adam Luck, St Austell Brewery's estate director.

"They have exceptionally high standards and their food offering is consistently excellent."

"On the same night as winning the South West Tourism Awards they were also recognised at the Brewery's own Estate Awards ceremony, winning the Food Pub of the Year category – a truly outstanding pub."

Fair play.

Right, fix up the jag, Miltov.

There's a couple of pubs I wanna visit.

See also Baum best boozer in Blighty, posted 23/2/13.

Sandi Toxic
was raised by wolves inside a disused clay pit near Lanjeth. You can befriend her on FaceBook here. She is still quite feral.

Picture credit

Top and thumb: The Swan with Two Necks by Alexander P Kapp.

Bottom: We're not sure who owns the copyright for that one but it's probably either the organisers of the South West Tourism Awards or St Austell Brewery. Either way, we found the picture here and will happily give the copyright holder due credit should they get in touch. Sorry. Hope that's not a problem.

For licensing information click the above links.

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