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“Regulars only”
Review of The Blue Bell

The Blue Bell
Ranked #1 of 50 Nightlife in York
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Blue Bell is York's only Grade II* Listed Edwardian Public House. The first pint was pulled in 1798 and it's interior has remained untouched since 1903, allowing you to step back in time and experience a piece of living history first hand. Famous for it's wide selection of cask ales, pork pies, friendly service and lovely atmosphere, The Blue Bell is also York CAMRA's Pub of The Season for Winter 2016/17 and is listed in the Good Beer Guide as well as numerous publications regarding classic pub interiors. There are no TVs, music or games machines and although there is free WiFi, don't be expecting any mod cons or gimmicks. The Blue Bell is also York's smallest Public House and as such has extremely strict policies of no groups, swearing, Hen or Stag parties, mobile phones or Under 18s. At busy times you may not get into the pub - midweek afternoons are usually the quietest times if you would like to sit down. A warm welcome awaits you at The Blue Bell - but only if you follow the rules and do your part to create a warm, relaxed and (some would say old-fashioned) atmosphere of respect and friendship. It's a proper pub, for proper pub people...
Level Contributor
34 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Regulars only”
Reviewed 22 December 2010

I visited this pub with a group of colleagues after a Christmas lunch. As with another reviewer, we were asked to stop swearing. Fair enough, we toned it down as requested. But we were also told off for leaving empty glasses on our table, sitting in front of the fire and therefore apparently blocking the heat, messing up some cushions on a bench, and putting a chair in a different place to where it is normally kept.

All the regulars clearly treat this place like an extension of their living room. That's fine, but if it is somebody's living room you don't expect to have to pay for the drinks!

Finally, I have never known another pub which puts up signs saying 'Private Party' just because they don't want more people in there.

In a word, avoid!

6 Thank 4Cumbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
37 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“One of the best pubs in Britain”
Reviewed 13 August 2010

Panelled Edwardian pub, with two rooms. The interior is more or less untouched since 1903. If you want a quiet pint, in a genuine Yorkshire pub free from the stag parties and hen nights of some of York's bars - this is the place for you. The loyal band of regulars are friendly and welcoming, as are the bar staff. They have six real ales on, as well as a good selection of bottled beers. They're not keen on large groups - and you can see why. The place is tiny and they rightly don't want to ruin the mellow ambience. A particularly fine example of the British pub at it very best.

2 Thank LondonSprinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Like walking back in time.”
Reviewed 24 May 2010

I visited this pub over a year ago and Im sure it hasnt changed since then. It had a selection of traditional drinks but the real experience was the interior. So very cosy and traditional, the sort of place that makes York special.

1 Thank antidotes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“expensive night”
Reviewed 26 July 2008

all I can say about the Blue Bell is check your change

4 Thank BluemoonYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“Sad little tale”
Reviewed 20 March 2006

Three friends and I were recently in the Blue Bell when the landlady interrupted our private converasation to tell us we were in a 'non-swearing' pub. We were in conversation between ourselves and a couple of chaps we had just met and were talking about visiting London. We probably were using swear words but not loudly, aggressively or directed at anyone, simply in general friendly banter and conversation.

We had never heard of such a concept as a non-swearing pub. Was this true or did she just not like our faces? We left the pub as it was closing time anyway but it placed a dampener on our evening and we left somewhat confused.

6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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