The best pubs in Aylesbury Vale according to CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2023

Three pubs in Buckingham made the cut
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A few select Aylesbury pubs have been selected for the 2023 edition of the world famous CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Each year CAMRA offers an insight into pubs, bars, clubs and breweries throughout the country.

Three Buckingham pubs were among the few shortlisted in Aylesbury ValeThree Buckingham pubs were among the few shortlisted in Aylesbury Vale
Three Buckingham pubs were among the few shortlisted in Aylesbury Vale

It highlights venues selected by its members "as places to savour good beers from”.

As well as real ale, it offers a verdict on cask-conditioned lagers, world beers, and real ciders too.

Here are the pubs and breweries highlighted in the 50th edition in Aylesbury Vale:

The Oak, Aston Clinton

CAMRA says: “A handsome 500-year-old pub whose large and pleasant L-shaped bar has a wooden floor and plenty of seating. A tiled area to the left is like a traditional public bar – full of local characters and chit-chat. The other sections are low- beamed and comfortable. Outside is an extensive beer garden with attractive leafy trees in season."

The Pointer, Brill

CAMRA says: “More than merely a destination eatery, this free house has become a destination alehouse too, thanks to the

skilled cellarwoman. Its four hand pumps offer a reliable choice, often featuring a stout or porter plus another guest beer. An open-walled kitchen serves wonderful locally sourced food to a separate vaulted dining room. The pub supports the Brill Beer Festival in August.

The Hop Pole, Aylesbury

CAMRA says: "Well worth a short stroll out of the town centre, this temple of beer regularly sports nine cask ales including three or four guests alongside the Vale Brewery beers. There is also a good range of bottled beers, mostly from Belgium. The pub hosts a long-running quiz on Tuesday and a ukulele night on the second and fourth Wednesday each month. Live music features occasionally at the weekend. Regular beer festivals are held.”

The King’s Head, Aylesbury

CAMRA says: “This is the oldest courtyard inn in England, complete with cobbles. Converted stables occupy one side and host a grocery shop. The magnificent building is owned by the National Trust; the bar and shop are run by the Chiltern Brewery. The bar has up to four Chiltern ales, with two often changing, and a guest beer – often stout or a porter in winter. A cider is also usually available. There is plenty of outside seating. Beer festivals are held periodically. Closed Monday and Tuesday.”

King’s Head Coffee & Gin Bar, Buckingham

CAMRA says: "In the centre of Buckingham, this is a pleasant and comfortable pub with a hidden-away, sunny courtyard garden. As well as two real ales from the SIBA list and Old Rosie cider, it is a coffee, gin and cocktail bar with a buy-one get-one-free cocktail menu throughout the day. Its range of food menus from breakfast to evening offer a very wide range, with gluten-free and vegan needs catered for.”

The Mitre, Buckingham

CAMRA says: Buckingham’s oldest pub is a stone-built free house dating from the 17th century. Its cosy and friendly atmosphere is enhanced by an open fire. In winter its five hand pumps offer interesting changing beers, regularly including local brews. In summer one ale is replaced by a still cider. Large-screen TVs show major events. Live music is played once or twice a month. Parking is on the street. Local CAMRA Pub of The Year 2022.”

The Woolpack, Buckingham

CAMRA says: "A short walk from the town centre, this busy, nicely modernised pub retains many old features. It has a separate function room with its own bar, and a large riverside garden with a covered and heated patio. Four hand pumps serve two regular and two guest ales, joined in summer by a box cider that is often Old Rosie. Food is freshly cooked, with local produce used where possible. Children are welcome until early evening. The garden has treats and water for dogs. Parking nearby can be difficult.”

The Bell, Chearsley

CAMRA says: “Attractive thatched pub on the edge of the village green, often featuring in Midsomer Murders. A Fuller’s house, it is pleasant on sunny summer days and cool winter evenings alike. Its ales are well kept, all coming from the Fuller’s stable. This pub is also renowned for its good wholesome food.”

The Rising Sun, Haddenham

CAMRA says: "This bustling village pub boasts six real ales on handpump, with favourites from XT Brewing as well as unusual Animal Brewing Co creations, plus a changing selection of guest ales, craft beers and ciders. With a landscaped garden and treats on tap for canine companions, this family and pooch friendly pub seamlessly blends the best of old and new. Local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019.”

The Eight Bells, Long Crendon

CAMRA says: "Charming and characterful village pub with a glorious beer garden. It is renowned for slaking the thirst of ale enthusiasts. Fudgel ale from Chiltern Brewery is a permanent fixture on handpump alongside guest beers from across the country. Food features local produce. The local morris dancers perform here, and the pub hosts beer festivals over Easter weekend and August bank holiday.”

The George and Dragon, Wendover

CAMRA says: "Delightful free house with an adjoining coffee shop. It is split between public and saloon bars, both offering home-cooked food. The friendly public bar offers darts, a jukebox and TV; the saloon is dedicated to dining. Four LocAles are served alongside two guest beers. Parts of this well-maintained pub date back to the 1700s; traditional features include inglenook fireplaces, beams and a quarry-tiled floor. In summer the pub hosts regular beer festivals overlooking the green.”

King and Queen, Wendover

CAMRA says:" Situated just off the high street within easy reach of the station, this three-room village pub has a pleasant, homely ambience. Good food is served in the restaurant. Comedy nights, quizzes and televised sport are shown. There is an impressive wall map of the local countryside in one room. A wood-burning fire helps to provide a warm winter welcome for walkers returning from the nearby Chiltern Hills. The pub features in the novel The Paper Lantern by Will Burns.”


Boobytrap, Aylesbury

CAMRA says: “A five-barrel brewhouse and taproom established by chef Philip Baker in 2021 and producing beer in bottles and cans.”

The Chiltern Brewery, Aylesbury

CAMRA says: "Founded in 1980, Chiltern, located on a working farm, was one of the first microbreweries in the country. Family-run, its emphasis has always been on producing natural, wholesome beers using the best British malt and hops (some grown in Buckinghamshire). Now run by the second generation, George and Tom, it supplies around 100 outlets including its tap, the King’s Head, Aylesbury, and has recently been expanded on-site. Some bottled beers are suitable for vegans, and some are gluten-free.”

XT, Long Crendon

CAMRA says: “XT started brewing in 2011 using an 18-barrel plant. It supplies direct to pubs across southern England and the midlands. The brewery has a taproom and shop sell draught and bottled beers to drink in or take out. A range of limited edition, but ever-changing one-off brews is produced under the Animal Brewing Co. name.”

Vale Brewery, Brill