Pub Details

Burgh Island
(01548) 810514

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Pilchard, Burgh Island, Devon, TQ7 4BG – The Good Pub Guide

Worth a Visit

Sadly, the splendid beamed and flagstoned upper bar with its lanterns and roaring log fire is reserved for locals and guests at the associated flamboyantly art deco hotel, but the more utilitarian lower bar is still worth a visit for the unbeatable setting high above the sea swarming below this tidal island; well kept Sharps, Thwaites and an ale named for the pub, real cider, good local oysters and lunchtime baguettes, Fri curry night; dogs welcome, tables outside, some down by beach


  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Rating: 3/5 (226 votes cast)

Reader Comments

Nice pub what we seen of it given that the best part of it is probably reserved for locals and residents of the hotel. It seems the hotel owners are still deeply enbedded in the 1930's class ridden sphere. If there was another pub in bigbury i am sure that it would fly, the pilchard is basically a 'rip off'. If the owners do not want visitors at least have the decency to say so, then we will all know where we stand.

I have been to The Pilchard Inn many times over the years, but not for a while - until last Saturday. What a shock. What once was a charming old and informal pub has been transformed into a singularly unwelcoming and badly-run place which obviously has ideas above its station. The current owners, who own the Burgh Island Hotel, clearly want only hotel residents on the island and in the pub. A plethora of notices indicate that non-residents are not allowed into the small garden area in the front of the pub, nor in the ground floor bar, nor into the hotel grounds, nor anywhere else. The ordinary customers are confined to the lower level bar and the outside tables on the wall below. If there is one hotel resident waiting to be served in the ground floor bar, everyone in the lower bar has to wait until the resident is served, however long they've been standing there. Fair enough to serve residents quickly but, given that this is a public house, why not have more than one callow youth serving behind the bar and treat the public with a bit of respect? The only food for non-residents, when we were there, were baguettes. It took us more than fifteen minutes to get served. By the outside tables, the dustbin area was open to one's gaze, with rubbish all over the ground, probably having been turned over by a cat. Nobody was clearing up the tables, which had bottles and glasses and crisp packets and trays left uncleared. It was a pitiful sight and a most disappointing experience. Either this is a PUBLIC house or it isn't. The welcome and service given in this establisment is an insult to the public and to the heritage of this once very appealing island.

Nice old pub in a unique setting. Shame half the pub is for residents of the Burgh Island hotel only especially as their bar was empty on the busy Sunday lunchtime in September 2009 when we were visiting. However, it is a great old building with lots of tables outside overlooking the lovely seaside view. Only one person serving the day the day we visited which meant it was 10 minutes to buy a drink. "Pilchard Ale" was well kept and very good.

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