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The King's Ditch, Tamworth

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published September 12th 2015
Small Is Beautiful When It Comes To This Micro-pub
Public houses come in all shapes and sizes.

But The King's Ditch in Tamworth has to be one of the more unusual pubs in the entire Midlands region.

The King's Ditch, Tamworth, micro-pub
The King's Ditch used to be a cycle shop

For The King's Ditch has been converted from a former bicycle shop on the edge of Tamworth town centre and, in doing so, became Tamworth's first and only micro-pub.

Following renovation work the pub, in Lower Gungate, Tamworth, opened for business on 27 November 2014, specialising in mostly local ales and ciders.

The King's Ditch was the brainchild of three men, Dave Barnfield, Ade Smith and Ged Fisher, after Ged visited several micro-pubs in Kent.

The King's Ditch, Tamworth
The 'bar' area in the single downstairs room

The premises were duly found in June 2014 before being fitted out as a pub, complete with having a number of benches specially built to go with the tables and chairs.

It retains an almost small shop feel it, perhaps more reminiscent of the old style ale house, but there is certainly a genuine friendly atmosphere inside.

The King's Ditch, Tamworth
The lounge and bar all in one

In keeping with its size, The King's Ditch has a single ground floor room with a small drinking area upstairs.

Real ale patrons will appreciate that there are no fruit machines, televisions or music. Nor does the pub sell draught lager, spirits or alcopops, although wine and soft drinks are available.#

The King's Ditch, Tamworth
TV screen showing its beer barrels

There IS a screen in the downstairs room, but almost uniquely - it only shows the rows of barrels of real ale next door.

The King's Ditch continually stocks between four and six gravity-served ales straight from the cask, and these are complemented by up to 16 real ciders.

Since the pub opened it has featured just over 200 different real ales.

The King's Ditch, Tamworth
The single frontage of The King's Ditch

On my visit, in early September, I chose Starless Stout from the Nene Valley brewery in Northamptonshire, a deliciously smooth oat stout costing 2.90 a pint. My drinking companion opted for a pint of Head Hunter amber ale from the Sperrin Brewery in North Warwickshire at 2.80.

Incidentally, customers can also take home their favourite beer or cider for 25p a pint or 50p for a carton.

The King's Ditch, which is named after a medieval ditch and bank that was still identified on maps in the 19th century, is closed on Mondays but open from 4pm Tues-Thurs, and from 12 noon Fri - Sun.
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Why? You'll Be Hard Pressed To Find Another Pub Like This
When: Open daily except Mondays
Phone: 07989 805828
Where: 51 Lower Gungate, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7AS
Cost: Pint of ale from 2.70
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