The Bridge Inn

UK England Welsh Border Herefordshire

The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire HR2 0JW

A tiny camping gem, just 35 acre in size.

There’s a small back road from the Welsh village of Pandy that skirts around the bottom of the Black Mountains, and so unwittingly finds itself in England for a stretch. Just before it heads back for the border at Hay-on-Wye, it slides into Michaelchurch Escley, a sinuous village named after both its church and its brook. At one of the few turnings-off sits the deftliest of hidden pubs, the Bridge Inn. The demarcation here is clear: campervans and caravans are corralled by the riverside, while a grassy terrace plays host to the two-man tents. The top terrace – a sunny circle bounded by trees – accommodates the family-sized dwellings. In summer, children play in the stream by the inn’s eponymous bridge, while their parents sit out in the beer garden pretending to keep an eye on them. The pub, a low-beamed inn of indeterminate age, was once a place where drovers slaked their thirst before taking their herds or flocks across the river. Today it still serves locally brewed real ales, and meals that use locally sourced produce wherever possible. A large folder in the pub bulges with scores of local walks – if you did one a day you’d be here all summer – urging hikers up to Hergest Ridge, the Devil’s Pulpit, Arthur’s Stone and beyond. The cycling is pretty good here too, with plenty of very minor roads wending their way from somnolent village to somnolent village, before surprising the patient pedaller with huge open vistas of Herefordshire hills.

The Owner Says

Reviews

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★★★★★

Excellent.....

Aug 28, 2014 by Fortedeimarmi

We stayed at The Bridge Inn for three nights recently, midweek. We were camping and had a lovely pitch up on the terrace. There were a few other tents there whilst we were staying,and a couple of caravans and motorhomes.

It is not a large camp site, but is a campsite attached to a pub(and a very good pub it is too!!). There are pitches for 6 caravans or motorhomes, with electric hook-ups and a further 10 allocated pitches for tents, and facilities for overflow camping in a nearby field should it be needed. Dogs are welcome and there are very few rules and regulations, that you find on so many sites these days.

The toilets and showers have recently been refurbished to a high standard and are kept clean and tidy. There is plenty of hot water and good washing up facilities in a large sink outside the toilet and showers.

It is an idyllic place to stay, with the Escley Brook running alongside the pub and campsite, with plenty of places for children to get back to nature and have fun playing in an environment not spoilt by the usual children's playground!

The pub is a real gem too! A real country pub where locals and tourists are all welcome. It serves really excellent home-cooked food, without being pretentious in any way, with good real ales,local ciders and an excellent wine list. Then all you have to do is walk a few yards back to your tent or caravan!!

This place is a real gem and speaking to some of the other people camping, we learnt that people love it so much that they return time after time because it is such a friendly and welcoming place - pub and campsite.

Should you not wish to camp, there is a Shepherd's Hut, which is very cosy and romantic, on the site, and the owners of the pub have also recently opened a B & B in a lovely 16th Century Farmhouse 100yds from the pub.

★★★★★

The bridge Inn

May 12, 2014 by jon

Stayed at the pub campsite on first weekend in May, looks like the new owners have invested a lot of time and effort sorting out the pub - amazing food (strongly recommend the pie!) – and also at the top of trip advisor and well deserved!

Campsite appears to have been recently refurbished and shower block and toilets are spot on and I would recommend to groups and familaies

The location in next to a lovely little brook and is perfect for anybody who wants to be near to a great pub close to Hay on wye and the black mountains.

All in all, an excellent weekend and we will definitely be returning next year!

★★★★★

Amazing

May 10, 2014 by Lucy

Just returned home after a lovely weekend in the most amazing setting . This campsite is in picture perfect country side next to a small stream. The new owners have just re vamped the shower/toilet blocks to a amazing standard with plenty of hot water and washing up facilitates. Our children aged 7 and 5 loved the site and although there is no play area as such ,they happily spent hours playing in the small stream and exploring the site we also went on some lovely walks. The both nights we stayed we ate in the pub the food is truly amazing and there is a childrens menu . The pub also serves great cask ales and local ciders ,and nothing is to much trouble we were made to feel very welcome and have already booked to return in the school holidays. I can only assume that some of the reviews on here we're written when the pub was under previous owners  please don't be put of by them it is a real little gem .

★★☆☆☆

Very disappointed

Sep 2, 2013 by Sari

This campsite has the potential to be lovely, but as it is, it feels like camping in a pub car park. We camped here on a Friday night, a family of 4 with small children. The cars started arriving at the pub around 7pm and were allowed to park wherever they wanted on the campsite, we even had a few outside our tent. Then from around 10pm they started leaving, most doing a lap of honour around the campsite as they did so. Very noisy.

It is also worth mentioning that some of the details on this listing are incorrect. The cost is £10 per adult, not per couple, and £5 per child, even for under 3's. This meant our nights camping cost £30, which is more than we've ever paid in a campsite before. For this we got very basic toilet and shower facilities with no hot water to wash dishes with, bins that didn't get emptied the whole weekend we were there, a pitch next to a sheer 5 foot drop (not ideal with toddlers), and about 10ft from the door of our tent was another sheer ditch, which was used by the pub to empty fetid waste water in. Nice.

This site also says the campsite has a childrens play area. This is not true, unless you count a decked area at the back of the campsite, totally out of view and again with a 10ft drop. 

The sad thing about this campsite is that you get the impression the owners are not interested in it at all, seeing it simply as a means to make easy money. Similarly the pub food is ridiculously overpriced but that is another story. 

We left a day earlier than planned as we didn't fancy staying to see how a night with a wedding reception in a marquee in the pub garden across the track from the campsite would work out for us, however going by the accounts of family members who stayed on this was an even noisier affair. 

I am sure this campsite is fine if you just want somewhere to crash after a walk or a cycle and dinner and drinks in the pub, but I wouldn't recommend booking here if you are wanting somewhere nice to camp with children. 

★★★☆☆

The Bridge Inn - disappointed :(

May 27, 2013 by Bridget

The setting is amazing, and the facilities very basic. That would have been fine, if we had not felt like we were camping in a pub car park.

The comings and goings were non stop, including into the early hours on our last night when the pub must have had a lock in. 2am with 6 people chatting loudly outside your caravan is not my idea of a tranquil site. :( 

The pub and food was fabulous, and so was the pyder cider, but they need to decide if they are a camp site or not. If they are, then the access needs to be separate, so that the campers are not disturbed. 

On one evening we had at least 8 children playing VERY loudly on the campsite while the Parents ate peacefully in the pub. We were cooking outside, and it was not relaxing. I addition another core Le 2 dogs in their car next to our caravan, and they barked all the way through our meal!! 



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★★★★★

The Bridge Inn

Feb 21, 2012 by Big Tommo

We stopped over night at this pub / campsite last weekend and it was absolutely wonderful. The pub and campsite has only recently re-opened having been shut for many months, but it is situated in a vale, near a small river and is as picturesque a place I have ever camped at. The camp site itself is very good, with all the amenities required and there are some great locations to visit within walking and cycling distance, namely the black mountains, some beautiful villages and castles too. It really is an idyllic area of the country and Herefordshire. Speaking with the owners, a very friendly and polite couple, they have some ambitious plans to make the camping experience even better and as they had only taken over the pub and the grounds a few weeks before Christmas, they have yet to really start on the outside facillities (admittedly, not many people will camp here at this time of year). The pub iteslf was lovely, very welcoming, friendly and with a fantastic selection of local beers and ciders. The food however, was out of this world and was some of the best we have eaten in a long, long time. We fully intended to go somewhere else for lunch on the Saturday, but ended up going back as it had been so good the night before. Lunch was again, fantastic. I would certainly recommend this site / pub to everyone as it has something for everyone and truly is beautiful. Although I can certainly share some of the previous reviewers comments, as they were written before the current owners moved in, I could not reccomend this place more highly and I would imagine it will be even more fantastic come the spring / summer. We will certainly visit it again soon.

★★★★★

The Bridge Inn

Dec 20, 2011 by Glyn

This Ancient Riverside Inn at the foot of the Black Mountains in the Heart of the Golden Valley has recently been lovingly restored and now serves cask conditioned real ale and a selection of local ciders. Great food is available daily from 12noon until 9pm (except Sunday evening and all day Monday). Pool and darts to keep the kids entertained. Refurbishment of the camping area, showers and campsite toilets is planned for late February. Until then ‘rough’ winter camping is available to those who wish to brave it free of charge (note no showers available). Book early for 2012 to avoid disappointment. The Bridge Inn - Eat | Drink | Enjoy Michaelchurch Escley Herefordshire HR2 0JW Tel: 01981510646

★★☆☆☆

The Bridge Inn

Sep 5, 2010 by Zoelyworm

Just got back from two nights camping at The Bridge Inn. Sadly, the site was a bit of a let down despite the beautiful setting and incredible scenery. The site was tiny and well presented but the toilet and shower blocks were pretty rough and the pub was less than welcoming. The children’s play area consists of a trampoline surrounded by broken toys, rubbish and, rather disturbingly, two rabbit hutches overcrowded with bunnies that were clearly not being fed, cleaned out or looked after. No real woodland to speak of although there are some trees behind the campsite with a couple of rope swings for the kids. The pub doesn’t open until 12noon, closes at 3pm, opens again at 6pm and then closes as soon as it’s empty which makes it difficult for you to come and go or pop back for a night cap. The kitchen looked fairly abandoned and the menu was uninspired, we didn’t risk eating there as there only appeared to be children in the kitchen and no adults which was a bit of a worry. Only one real ale on that wasn’t up to much. Pool table, dart board and outdated jukebox which provided some entertainment on the Friday night, didn’t get a look in on Saturday night as the pub closed at 9pm. Lovely friendly pub dog and cat and some really good pubs and walks within an hour’s drive (The Crown at Longtown did an excellent pint of Butty Back and great food, including a full children’s menu at good prices). Heard that the current owners are looking to sell up which could explain why it feels like the business is being run down a bit. Alot of potential, shame the place feels a bit unloved.

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