We visit the Bristol pub that’s officially one of the best in the UK

‘We are a community pub where everyone is made to feel welcome’
The Wackum Inn on Whitehall Road is a popular community pub with a reputation for its burgersThe Wackum Inn on Whitehall Road is a popular community pub with a reputation for its burgers
The Wackum Inn on Whitehall Road is a popular community pub with a reputation for its burgers

The Wackum Inn is the sort of Bristol pub most people would just love to have as their local. The fact it happens to score consistently high marks on Tripadvisor also means it attracts people from all over the city.

At the time of writing, this handsome red-brick pub on Whitehall Road has a perfect score of five out of five on the reviews website and it’s also number two in Bristol for burgers - beating off competition from countless places that are actually burger restaurants.

The pub is also number three when it comes to consistently high Tripadvisor reviews for the 1600 Greene King pubs around the UK. That’s a phenomenal achievement for a neighbourhood pub outside the city centre.

“After being here for almost 14 years Damion and I are really proud of our reputation for friendly service and tasty, great value food,” says landlady Laura Pike. “We are a community pub where everyone is made to feel welcome and alongside our food we are big on sports and entertainment.

“There is always something going on at The Wackum and we are very happy that our reviews show how hard our team work in providing the best service in the area.”

Step inside The Wackum Inn and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. The welcome is as friendly as can be, it’s spotlessly clean and there is so much on offer for customers old and new.

‘We pour happiness into BS5’ is the cheery message chalked on one board by the central bar. Another lists forthcoming events and they include fancy dress pub golf, poker, a ‘Jokers Jackpot’ cash prize game and a free jukebox after 6pm on Fridays.

There’s also a meat raffle on Sundays - always a sign of a proper community pub and at just £5 for a strip of tickets, it’s bound to be popular in tough times.

Inside the Wackum Inn on Whitehall RoadInside the Wackum Inn on Whitehall Road
Inside the Wackum Inn on Whitehall Road

To the left of the bar, there’s a pool table and dartboards, with walls decorated with framed football shirts. Sport clearly plays a big part here and some seating is even draped with various football scarves. In the gents, the tiles have been covered with colourful pages ripped from football magazines.

Although The Wackum Inn doesn’t advertise itself specifically as a dining pub - it actually sells more booze than food - the menu is extensive and reasonably priced.

For £12.99, you can ‘enjoy’ a belt-busting 2kg of chicken wings. There’s also an ‘epic chip butty’ (£5.29) - that’s chips topped with cheese and gravy in a soft roll served with a pot of extra gravy for dipping.

There’s a £7.49 all day breakfast, as well as pies and pub favourites - dishes such as chicken curry, lasagne and gammon and eggs are all part of a ‘£10.99 for two dishes’ deal.

And as for those ‘build your own’ burgers - they’re only £7.99 but pay an extra quid and you can double up.

Being a Greene King pub, the bar is well stocked with the brewery’s own IPA and Old Speckled Hen, as well as premium beers like San Miguel and Madri. As well as Thatchers Gold, there are three of Thatchers’ fruity ciders. I stuck to Guinness and it was a perfect pour for a pocket-friendly £4.20.

But what about that unusual name? This must surely be the only pub in the land called The Wackum?

It was originally called the Beaufort Arms, and then the Beatem and Wackem. Apparently, the current name is a reference to when local miners’ wives visited the pub in search of husbands spending too much of their hard-earned money on beer and drag them home.

The women used to ‘beat ’em and whack ’em’ with rolling pins but I’m sure no such punishment is handed out by BS5 spouses these days.

Not that the temptation to spend a few hours drinking and eating away your wages in this excellent pub isn’t still there.

The Wackum Inn, 533 Whitehall Road, Bristol, BS5 7DA.