Having once been the cause of a loveable group of eccentrics real ale is now very much mainstream. Although most York pubs will have at least one or two ready to go on tap, if you consider yourself something of a connossieur – or just enjoy a decent pint! – we’ve put together a list of some of the best places in York to enjoy a good ale.

Fancy a pub crawl with an educational twist? Check out this Beer Tasting and Pub Tour.

Real ale pubs, Rook and Gaskill, YorkIn Search of a Great Pint…

Walmgate Bar might not be the first stop on the tourist trail but the area around it is a must for the serious ale-drinker. Within 100 yards of the city walls are three excellent drinking spots, The Rook and Gaskill (pictured), The Rose and Crown and The Waggon and Horses (yes, that’s the correct spelling).

A short stroll anti-clockwise along the walls from Walmgate Bar takes you to Fishergate, home to the Phoenix and the Woolpack inns. Aside from the good beer, you’ll find regular jazz nights at The Phoenix and bar billiards and live sport at The Woolpack.

The Phoenix Inn

South Bank boozers

Next up on our list is The Swan, the ever-popular Bishopthorpe Road boozer. It’s a Tetley Heritage pub – if you’re interested in such things – apparently having quite a rare layout.

Old Ebor, real ale in YorkAlthough you’re no longer in tourist territory there are still plenty of pubs per square mile in this more residential area, one of which is The Old Ebor – just round the corner on Nunnery Lane. They always seem to have an interesting selection of draught beer here and they’re open late on a Friday and Saturday night.

Around York Station

Rarely do you find pubs in train stations that are a drinking destination for locals, however the York Tap proves an exception. Previously a model railway museum, the Tap boasts an astonishingly wide range of draught beers, ciders and ales.

Despite being on Micklegate, a short walk from the station, Brigantes is not a ‘trebles-for-singles’ kind of a place. Although in recent years they seem to have developed into more of a food pub they still have a good selection of beer available – and the staff are very knowledgeable about what they have on tap.

The Hop, York

Back in the city centre

Within the city centre itself The Duke of York and The Hop are well worth a visit. The Duke of York is a Leeds Brewery pub and although it looks ancient it was until quite recently an estate agents.

The Hop is a front for the Ossett Brewery who seem to specialise in producing the most excellent pale ales. Despite being brewery pubs, both have rotating guest beers.

Real ale pubs York - Volunteer ArmsIf you fancy a walk…

The final two pubs on our list are a little out the way and to find them you will have to cross the railway at Holgate Bridge (there is another route out along the back of the station but it’s a bit more tricky to navigate).

Owned by the same team who run The Swan and The Woolpack Inn, The Volunteer Arms has the same winning formula. A nice quiet place to have a pint during the week, it gets more lively on a Friday and Saturday with regular music nights.

The Fox, Holgate York

The second Ossett Brewery pub we’ve recommended is The Fox. The large beer garden and beautifully presented interior – as well as the quality beer – make this pub a great place to drink.

Use the icon on the top left of the map to find the pubs or click on the place markers