The village pub 20 minutes from Bristol with great river views and cheap cider

This riverside sports pub has a pool table, dartboard and skittle alley

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Unbelievable as it might seem for such a small village but there were once 21 pubs in Pill. With a population of around 3,500, that’s a pretty impressive ratio of pubs to residents.

Over the years, that number has been reduced significantly to three, although one local told me The King’s Head only seems to open at weekends at the moment so you could say it’s down to 2.5 pubs now.

Overlooking the River Avon, and with benches outside for alfresco drinkers, The Duke of Cornwall is still going strong and it’s where a lot of the locals tend to drink.

A large Victorian stone-built pub with black and white timber gables, the pub’s beer garden is actually a small village green called Pump Square across the road.

Inside, there are two simply furnished rooms with high ceilings, one with bare wooden boards, pool table and dartboards, the other with carpet, banquette seating and a brick fireplace.

As well as large TVs for live sport, the walls are dotted with old black and white photos of Pill and also a wonderful framed 1940s poster for the Pill & District Regatta.

The yellowing poster lists events taking place at this mid-summer event and they include swimming and rowing races and a ‘tub and spade’ race.

These days, the pub has slightly less energetic pursuits such as the May 28 mid-year quiz and occasional live music from local bands on Saturday nights.

The traditional interior of The Duke of CornwallThe traditional interior of The Duke of Cornwall
The traditional interior of The Duke of Cornwall

But there is also a skittle alley and six-a-side matches start at the end of May. It costs £10 per team to enter, £2 per player each week and money goes into the pot for winners at a presentation night.

A traditional pub that doesn’t go beyond crisps and snacks when it comes to food, the bar is well stocked with spirits and a range of draught beers and ciders.

These include Foster’s, Moretti, Coors, Guinness, Courage Best, Doom Bar, Strongbow and three types of Thatchers cider - Gold, Haze or Dry. And prices are cheap, too, with my pint of Thatchers Gold a reasonable £4.

Rewind 100 years and the Duke of Cornwall would have been mainly frequented by shipbuilders and boat dwellers.

An old poster for the regatta has pride of place on the wall of The Duke of CornwallAn old poster for the regatta has pride of place on the wall of The Duke of Cornwall
An old poster for the regatta has pride of place on the wall of The Duke of Cornwall

Nowadays, apart from local residents, it attracts thirsty walkers enjoying the riverside walks around the Severn Estuary.

With splendid river views and plenty of benches on the green for outdoor pints in the sun, it may be one of the last remaining pubs in Pill but the Duke is certainly a perfect spot for the noble art of summer imbibing.

Duke of Cornwall, Pump Square, Pill, Bristol, BS20 0BG.

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