Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Guest House, Southport

A minute's walk from Southport's Lord Street is the Guest House on Union Street. The impressive exterior is half timbered, and inside the walls are wood-panelled, so people often assume it is much older than it really is: just over 100 years old. There are three separate rooms and a drinking area around the bar. Above the bar there are glass screens which many years ago used to be pulled down at closing time, but are now fixed. The interior is mostly unaltered and the pub has just been listed in CAMRA's National Inventory, a record of pub interiors worthy of both protection and celebration, the only pub in Southport with this distinction. Outside there is seating to the front of the pub and in the attractive courtyard to the rear, which has a covered area for smokers.

At the weekend there are 11 handpumps serving real ale, although this number may go down to 8 or 9 during the week. Theakstons Old Peculier, Jennings Cumberland and beers from the Caledonian range often feature, but there is always a changing selection of guest beers, often from local breweries such as Southport, Formby and Parkers. The pub is regularly in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, which is based on beer quality.

There is also an extensive selection of malt whiskies. You can have a coffee, and they serve a range of light, reasonably priced snacks at lunchtime; sometimes in the evenings free nibbles are placed on the bar.

Thursday night is a popular quiz night, and there are two unamplified folk nights each month in the
front room: the first Monday is mostly songs, while the third Monday mostly folk tunes. They also have a solitary television. Generally, though, this is a pub where people go to meet friends and have a conversation. The clientele is fairly mixed in terms of age, gender and interests.

The Guest House is near all the main bus routes on Lord Street, and less than 10 minutes' walk from Southport railway station. Street parking only. Enquiries: 01704 537660.

This is part of a series of articles that I am writing for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter. Previous reviews are here.


  1. I've only ever been there once, but it ticks a lot of the boxes for what I like in pubs, and good to hear it's still going strong.

  2. The Guest House is my favourite Southport pub by far. In fact, I will even suggest to the Mrs a day out shopping on Lord Street just so I can have an Old Peculier in there. Great place..


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