Fr. Matthew Cashmore

Deacon in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. Digital media & publishing consultant.

The Barge Inn Review

I love this place, I really do. The beer was outstanding (Brains SA don’t ‘ya know) the people where friendly, the sun was out and I managed to pinch a plot right in the middle of an Ariel bike club meet.. couldn’t be much more perfect.

The field is small, but will easily accommodate up to about 80 tents, there’s no real order to the place, you can either park well away from the pub (and noise) under trees at the bottom, or much nearer the action right next to railway sleepers.

The pub itself is wonderful – it gets exceptionally busy on a Saturday night but the food was top notch, as was the music in the main bar, the bar staff helpful and friendly. Downstairs, as you can see from the photos is a small marquee which you can hire for your own party – they’ll even set up a small bar right next to it.

The Barge is in the middle of no-where and in one of my most favourite places in the UK – Wiltshire – it’s a great little ride down with many opertunities to try out many types of road – but in the end you’ve no choice but to hack around some curvy B-Roads. The nearest shop is 5 miles away, and the nearest neighbour to complain is even further.

There’s a B&B down the road, but to be honest if we go to the Barge you’ll have little option but to camp – unless you can hire a barge for the weekend and sleep on that!

The music has to stop at midnight dead (the local bobby comes to check) but we can carry on – the bar will close at midnight – but we can carry on 🙂 There’s a very laid back attitude – including booking. It’s first come first served unless you ring and pay in advance – then they’ll rope off an area for you.

You can have a huge BBQ – they even have the kit there – and are happy for you to have a hog roast – but no open fires.

The facilities are, well, basic. Drinking water is easy to get to, and clean, but the toilets are another matter. In the gents the area you wash your teeth in is right next to the urinal – not the best smell whilst cleaning and shaving – the shower is basic, and not very clean – but it does work and the water is very warm at all hours – I solved this situation by getting up at 7am to shower – before anyone else – there’s no way I would have showered in there after everyone else…

The journey is 95 miles from Waterloo, London, if you use the M4, probably about the same if you use A roads – but still around 100 miles – which isn’t too bad and will only take a couple of hours – and given it’s one of the most beautiful areas of the country… I did’t mind!

You can see the pics from The Barge Inn here;

http://londonbikers.com/galleries/gallery/518dcfac-782e-4a4e-9f9d-91783aa80a03

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3 Comments

  1. We live local and often take the bike out for a quiet pint or meal. The Barge public house has been a favourite for many years. Unfortunately the management and catering has deteriorated to the point where it is only recommended for the location. Perhaps a drink taken in the garden adjacent to the canal on a sunny day is still an attraction. Service with a smile? No….

    In this venue, it would appear the customer is not always right – with the Chef coming out of the kitchen to our table advising us of how the food should taste!!

    There are better places to go… If camping and beer are required, then the New Forest is 25 mins ride South.

  2. Interesting points there Brooska, in fact I’ve written a quick review of the only New Forrest camp site that takes bikes over at

    http://www.thelondonbiker.com/blog/?p=8

    I’ve never found the service at the Barge to be anything less than helpful and friendly, they even opened up the bar downstairs for us because we complained the walk into the main bar was too far!

    And anyway, the New Forrest may be just down the road, but they don’t have any camp sites where they pour you a beer straight from the barrel not 300 yards from your tent and bike.

  3. There are a few mixed reviews here but I think it sounds really nice and would like to try it out

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