13 : The Kings Arms, Wakefield

The Heath, Wakefield WF1 5SL
The interior of this village pub is spectacular and well worth finding your way to Health Common for. Their ability to serve a good pint of beer is also pretty good so there are no excuses. A pub has been located next to the large village green at Heath Common since 1841. But the building is a hundred years older than that, having previously been a row of cottages. It is a perfect setting for a pub : the open green surrounded by grand houses puts you in mind of the Home Counties rather than West Yorkshire. However, if you train your binoculars on the gaps between the trees at the far side of the village you will catch glimpses of Wakefied town centre. 

If the external aspect of the pub is splendid, the inside is nothing but superb. Successive landlords and the brewery (this is the only pub owned by Wakefield brewer, HB Clark) have managed to walk that most difficult of lines between pickling the place in aspic and tarting it up. There is wood and stone everywhere and both appear genuinely worn rather than distressed. When you enter there is a minute bar to the right of the main door whereas across the central corridor is a slightly larger room which, on my visit, has a real coke fire burning away. A restaurant and a larger bar have been grafted onto the original pub over recent years but whoever was responsible for the work was careful to leave the original lay-out virtually undisturbed. 

During my visit I could not see any of Clark's own beers on offer which was a pity. But the pint of Landlord I did enjoy had been kept (and served) to perfection. In order to sample the Clark's beer I will have to make a return journey which will take no effort at all. A delightful spot to enjoy a pint of very good beer : what a traditional English pub is all about.

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