Cornwall is renowned for its local breweries and top-notch cask ales. From quaint village pubs to isolated historic inns, we pick ten of the best places for a pint of Cornish real ale

Words by Leanne Revell

1. Jamaica Inn, Bolventor

Made famous with historic tales of smugglers, rogues and pirates, the Jamaica Inn is nestled amongst the isolated moors of Bodmin and has been welcoming travellers for nearly 300 years. The inn entices thirsty guests with local Cornish brews and open fires and you’ll be in great company too as according to folklore, the Jamaica Inn is home to a  ‘friendly’ ghost!


2. The Blue Peter Inn, Polperro

With regular listings in the good beer guide, this free house offers an extensive selection of real ales from a plethora of local breweries, including Harbour Brewery and St Austell Brewery to name just a few. Fancy a spot of taste testing before you buy? The Blue Peter Inn sells tasting paddles to convert even the most skeptical lager drinker. Cheers!

The Blue Peter Inn #polperro #cornwall

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3. The Blisland Inn, Blisland

Calling all real ale aficionados. The Blisland Inn once achieved a coveted CAMRA award and it’s renowned locally for a good taste in cold beverages. The landlord has served over 1,370 real ales and has a choice of six behind the bar any time. Sit back and unwind with a pint in hand as you soak up the traditional atmosphere of this Cornish country pub.  

Carb loading for a weekend of climbing #pub #carbloading

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4.The Old Ale House, Truro

With a selection of draught ales to entice thirsty punters and regular live music events taking place every week, The Old Ale House in Truro is a great pub to enjoy a spot of entertainment with your beer. Feeling peckish? Enjoy a dish from the nibbles and starters section of the menu – perfect for sharing with friends or enjoying all to yourself.

#oldalehouse #truro

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5. The Blue Anchor, Helston

The Blue Anchor claims to be one of the oldest original inns in Britain, dating all the way back to the 15th century. But this isn’t just a pub, it’s a brewery as well, with over 600 years experience of brewing ‘SPINGO’ ale. There are four beers produced throughout the year to try, from a clean tasting hoppy IPA, to a sweet Cornish bitter; fans of proper beer will be in for a treat.


6. The Jolly Sailor, Looe

The Jolly Sailor is a traditional Cornish pub with dark timber beams, roaring open fires and flagstone floors. The bar has a covetable real ale selection available on draught, and plenty of rooms upstairs for you to sleep it off afterwards. It’s been said that The Jolly Sailor is haunted so you might need a bit of Dutch courage to stop over.


7. The Boathouse, Falmouth

Renowned for its scenic harbour, Falmouth is stunning even in the poorest of weather and the views of the harbour from The Boathouse are panoramic. The Boathouse has won multiple awards including a spot in the 2017 CAMRA Good Beer Guide so kick back in the sunshine with a pint of ale and enjoy some of the finest scenes Cornwall has to offer.


8. The Preston Gate Inn, Bude

The Preston Gate Inn is passionate about serving good quality real ale and their extensive selection comes from breweries and microbreweries across Devon and Cornwall. There’s a choice of guest ales to suit the seasons; think thirst-quenching beers in the summer and comforting ales in the winter. The pub also holds an annual October beer festival – what more could a beer lover wish for?

Rattler cider – If you know, you know🍻

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9. The Rising Sun Inn, Gunnislake

Amazing views across Tamar Valley, a sunny terraced garden and a large selection of real ales behind the bar; The Rising Sun Inn in Gunnislake is a wonderful summer spot for a pint with friends. Or, in the winter, this cosy pub is the perfect hideaway for sipping a hoppy favourite from the tap and indulging in a hearty pub classic from the dining menu.

Draught ale

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10. The Castle Inn, St Ives

Situated in the heart of old St Ives, this historic Cornish inn has a collection of five British ales on tap and an alternative choice of guest beers appearing behind the bar  – that’s not forgetting the choice of bottled ale too. There’s something to sate the appetite of any real ale fan – and don’t fret if you miss a guest beer either because there is different one available each month.  

Where’s your favourite pub for real ale in Cornwall?


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