Licensed Horncastle, Restaurants & Pubs

Horncastle's licensed premises and Hotels have contracted steadily from before the demise of the Horse Fayres in 1948, the Canal, and the Railway Station, shortly afterwards. From fifty   Pubs in Victorian times, the dozen or so now comfortably support the 6000+ population, and the occasional tourist influxes. It's fair to say each night spot has it's own character and regulars.

refurbished georgian Pub frontage of Old Nick's Tavern

The Red Lion theatre,   Old Nick's live music nights, the Punch House dj's, all provide entertainment for what is a small market town. Trouble is very rare and a Policing presence is generally not needed, even at 2.30am when the mini-buses start dropping off revellers from the Lincoln nightclubs. Sporting events are usually well supported, with the bigger pubs and hotels showing matches on Sky, and the handful of local Polish workers drank in safety with their English colleagues during the European and World Cups.

It's quite amusing (and amazing) that the Red Lion is popular with local bus drivers and delivery people - with it's extensive rear seating, Good Pub Grub menu, and wide choice of none alcoholic drinks, it offers a welcome break to the busy, busy Tea Rooms and Cafes. The Bull and Rodney quite often have 'ordinary folks' mixing with business and tourist types for teas and coffees in the lounges. With WiFi internet available, it is quieter in these establishments rather than at the 'refugee center atmosphere' of the library. All the licensed premises are members of the Police initiated Pubwatch scheme and have cctv and two way radio links, not that they get much use.

(Click on any of the pub signs for a view of the pub!)
Angel Inn
Angel Inn Pub Sign victorian clear & black stained glass
North St.
Admiral Rodney
Admiral Rodney Hotel Sign Best Western yellow & blue
North St.
Agra Tandoori
Agra Tandoori Sign Indian purple
Market Place
Bull Hotel
black Bull Hotel Cromwell's Restaurant Sign with small central oval bull picture
Black Swan
Black Swan Inn Sign ornate modern font & bird image gold leaf on black
South St.
Harpers Bar
Harpers Bar sign red oval with straight font evoking music score mark-up
South St.
Wania Rooms
Previous India Garden Restaurant purple signage with text shadow sans-serif plain carnival font
Market  Closed
Kings Head
Batemans Brewery Kings Head sign with stylised central hop it's seeds a back to back Batemans letter B
Kings Treasure
Horncastle's Chinese Restaurant sign in royal red to denote King's Treasure
North St.
Mantles Fish restaurant pastel & blue signage high up on angled corner brickwork showing olde portrait of building between scrolls
Market Place
Magpies cream restaurant sign with stylised half moon of black magpie feathers
East St.
Old Nick's
Old Nick's Tavern sign orange with impish green devil pulling forked staff from vertical
North St.
Punch House
Punch House pub sign of 3 yokels in Lincoln green ladling out a bowl
Market  Closed
Red Lion
Red rampant Lion pub sign on white shield
White Shakesby's black & white Restaurant sign in lite gothic script
West St.
The Crown
Red Crown pub sign with Freehouse wording over male Hanoverian Crown (pre-Victoria post Tudor)
West St.
Fighting Cocks
Pub sign of cockerels fighting in dirt yard
West St.
The Ship
 beautiful cream pub sign of tall blue sailing ship in full sail & heavy surf
plain Menu list sign of cocktails and wines at Bentons
West St.
Squash Club
Squash, Gym and Snooker Club plain black & white sign
North 0.5Km Hemingby Lane

Licensed Restaurants

Rear Patio at Shakesby's overlooking River Bain Over on West St is    Shakesby's  fine English cuisine. Seating around fifty plus, usually harvested locally, the á la carte menu is generally seasonal, and in summer the cool flagged floor aids relaxation after serious nom noms. The back patio overlooks the river and is available for after dinner drinks.

Next door to Shakesby's is   "No.29" coffee shop which has started opening for cocktails and wine Friday and Saturday nights, in addition to it's daytime fresh ground coffee. Light paninis, snacks, sandwiches and soups are available often made to inhouse recipes.

  The Magpies over out on East St also has some good reviews on a google search, the low cielings adding atmosphere to the dining experience. It's recently been pushing to upgrade it's chef's star rating, and keeps a window full of Michelin and Good Food Awards. On Road parking in front, on the side street, and in town is ample for the thirty plus diners it serves. Lately, with the crack down on drink-driving, it's also made a couple of rooms available, for overnight, or longer stays.

The main hotel is The 3star Best Western   Admiral Rodney, and it takes 'walk-ins' and has quite a popular bar area with the obligatory widescreen Tv, or quieter lounge area and restaurant. With  The Bull, and to some extent the Red Lion, it's the commercial accomodation provider.

The Agra Tandoori on the market place has alot of repeat clients, and the aroma is gorgeous for streets around, when they're cooking. In a grade 2 listed row of 17th century buildings, it's more than holding it's own against the Traditional Lincolnshire chefs in the town. As is the King's Treasure Chinese up North St, which has something of a vegetarian option available. Take out sales are brisk, and it's worth phoning an order in to get in the queue. It's popular for children's parties, with some of the lite rice and cracker meals a draw for those amongst us that baulk at brussels and cabbage. There's been some concern over   Monosodiumglutamate being dangerous, with the Asians actually having it as a condiment on the table, like our love of salt & pepper, it's probably best to imbibe these refinements in small doses; but Mr. Wong does look the healthiest out of all the restaurant owners!

Chip shop on the market placeMantles Eatery on the market place doesn't just sell fish and meat pies, there are vegetarian options - mushrooms, peas, beans, chips and pineapple fritters my usual fayre. Open at lunch times and for tea time dinners, the underground restaurant and efficient staff can make an interesting change to the coast. It does serve alcohol as well as the usual tea, coffees and soft drinks, and the constant turn over means it's usually the fastest to move onto 'new potatoes' as the season progresses. I sometimes enjoy their 'English' curry sauce, which to me is more appetising and nourishing than the ethnic paint strippers. Seating 26, it's quite popular with older clientele who've come coastwards for fresh fish, relatively early closing fitting in with exhausting holiday schedules. Across from it, in the old banqueting suite, is a new Indian. Nothing but good reports about their food and service so far. Other 'Take Outs' include pizza and kebabs, the Mermaid chippy on South St, and other Chineses on the High St and market.
  The Thai Dining Room on West St do some very competitively priced take-out meals. With the addition of a couple of tables, and a bring your own bottle policy, it's been known to host occasional parties and small office doos.
American looking frontage
The latest licensed restaurant is  The Redwood up at Crowders Gardens near Thimbleby. Reachable by the No.6 and nearly the No.10 bus, it brings another   dimension to a shopping trip, with the Centre stocking Cottontrader clothes, books, games, etc.etc...

Surrounding Country Pubs

There are many country pubs without websites, and most can be found from a google map search for LN9 pubs, they're scattered in most of the smaller villes, so hikers may have to 'rough it' with beer if they're not careful:

  Pub at Hagworthingham Village

   Fenland CAMRA 

Search Local Area For Hygiene..
Food Standards 5* Rating

Little george whacking big dragons tail and being roasted animation