The tucked away village pub near Bristol where the nearest train stops just twice a week

This tucked away rural pub has a busy calendar of live music and bingo nights

Rail strikes or no rail strikes, it’s a good job The Plough doesn’t rely on train users for its regular customers.

Unbelievable as it might seem, there are currently only two trains a week to Pilning station - a two-minute walk from the pub - and they both run on Saturdays.

One leaves Temple Meads at 7.23am and the other at 2.32pm. Both journeys take 59 minutes because, for some reason, you have to change at Newport to get the connection back the other side of the Bristol Channel.

‘Extremely sparse’. That’s the official description of the train service between Bristol and Pilning station and it’s hard not to agree with that.

If you want to get the train back to Bristol, there’s only one service at 3.32pm on Saturdays but it leaves 60 seconds after it arrives at Pilning station, which means any grand ideas of a ‘quick pint’ at The Plough are soon kicked into touch.

Luckily, this tucked away rural pub between the sleepy villages of Pilning and Easter Compton, isn’t reliant on rail passengers and there’s a large car park for customers arriving by winding country road.

Although the front signage is missing at the moment, The Plough is owned by Wiltshire brewery Wadworth.

It certainly ticks all the right village pub boxes with its log-burner fires and cosy snug area and books and walls adorned with old black and white photos from yesteryear. Walk past the bar and there’s a larger area illuminated by skylights, which is used more for diners.

The cosy snug at The Plough in Pilning
The cosy snug at The Plough in Pilning
The cosy snug at The Plough in Pilning

The double-sided laminated menu is extensive, with a range of burgers, baguettes, filled jacket potatoes, meat and fish main courses and a ‘homemade’ section featuring pies, curries, chilli con carne, beef lasagne and, of course, a proper Ploughman’s with Cheddar, Stilton and ham.

Being a Wadworth pub, two of the brewery’s best-selling ales are on tap - the 6X and Henry’s IPA - with Moretti, Guinness, Foster’s, Amstel and Thatchers Gold and Dry also on draught.

A pub that recognises its community value as a tucked away village pub, it has plenty of events lined up to keep locals occupied during those long winter evenings.

On Sundays (after the last of the roasts are served) there’s bingo and Saturday nights are either karaoke or live music in the large marquee outside.

In fact, the line-up of live acts for the coming months is impressive, with Madness tribute band Gladness, Beatles tribute The Fab Four and ‘Benidorm Tom’ (yes, it’s a bronzed Tom Jones tribute act) all performing soon.

The dining area at The Plough
The dining area at The Plough
The dining area at The Plough

On the stormy weekday lunchtime I visited, the pub was surprisingly busy considering the rain lashing the windows. There was a large group of work colleagues catching up on pressing office issues over plates of cottage pie and gammon steaks with chips, egg and pineapple.

A few retired locals were huddled near the bar with their pints and having a far more relaxed lunch hour.

As the storm continued to rage outside, it was tempting to stay for another pint, but I had a train to catch.

The only problem was that it was leaving Severn Beach station, a brisk and windswept 30-minute walk away, rather than the station around the corner.

If only they could add a few more services to those twice-weekly trains currently stopping at Pilning itself. But then, if it became too accessible, The Plough might not be the well-kept secret it is now.

The Plough Inn, Pilning Street, Pilning, BS35 4JJ. Tel: 01454 632556.