12 of the best pubs in Milton Keynes according to CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2023

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Six MK breweries also make it into the world famous guide

A series of popular Milton Keynes pubs and bars and six local breweries feature in the 2023 edition of the world famous CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

The annual guide, released by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and on sale now, offers an insight into pubs, bars, clubs and breweries.

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It highlights venues selected by its members "as places to savour good beers from small breweries as well as cask-conditioned lagers and world beers and some pubs are highlighted for serving real ciders too".

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Here are 12 of the MK bars and six breweries that feature in the 50th edition of the guide and what CAMRA said about each of them.

Cock Inn, 35 High Street, Hanslope, MK

CAMRA said: “Popular local whose large single room is used for both drinking and dining. It serves one regular ale alongside a local guest, usually from Vale Brewery. The pleasantly decorated rectangular bar has a real fire at one end and a TV showing BT Sport at the other, with plenty of tables and chairs in between. A new kitchen offers good-quality lunchtime and evening meals.”

Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party, 183 Queensway, Bletchley, MK

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CAMRA aid: “A Wetherspoon outlet that commemorates Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain’s famous World War II codebreakers, with pictures, artefacts and features. The

pub name was used by MI5 agents secretly checking the location’s suitability… A dozen handpumps serve three regular ales and four guests.”

Victoria Inn, Vicarage Road, Bradwell Village, MK

CAMRA said: “A traditional, recently refurbished 17th-century stonebuilt pub whose exposed beams and low ceilings provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The bar’s four handpumps serve regional beers.”

Chequers, 48 Watling Street, Fenny Stratford, MK

CAMRA said: “Small, traditional public house with exposed beams and brickwork. Its focus is on beer from the Vale Brewery, though its four handpumps often feature a guest ale. Entrance is up several steep steps at the front or through a low rear door down a step.”

Blackened Sun Brewery Tap, Unit 3, Stacey Bushes, MK

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CAMRA said: “The Blackened Sun microbrewery’s taproom is on an unpretentious trading estate… Six taps serve the micro’s beers, sometimes including a collaboration brew. All are real ales – naturally conditioned, unfined, unpasteurised and unfiltered. Most are vegan and many are brewed with Belgian yeasts. Bottled house and guest beers are also available, to drink or take away, and growlers can be refilled… Winner of several local CAMRA awards.”

Stony Stratford Conservative Club, High Street, Stony Stratford, MK

CAMRA said: “Private members’ club that admits card-carrying CAMRA members as guests. It offers up to four cask-conditioned ales from Carlsberg’s lists. The lounge/restaurant is open to the public noon-2pm, when food is served. The club hosts regular members’ activities, and occasionally events open to the public.”

Cannon, 50 High Street, Newport Pagnell, MK

CAMRA said: “A busy, family-run free house in the town centre, in a building that dates from the early 19th century. Despite being located at ‘Cannon Corner’ – named after an artillery piece reputedly left after the Civil War – the pub became the Cannon as recently as 1953, though the former-brewery of that name behind the pub dates back further. The single L-shaped bar’s four handpumps serve beers from Marston’s lists.”

Rose & Crown, Silver Street, Newport Pagnell, MK

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CAMRA said: “Two-bar pub in a quiet area, a short walk from the High Street. It has been nicely refurbished by new tenants, with grey panelling, exposed brickwork and wood beams. Four handpumps dispense beers from the Brewpoint family, including Courage and Eagle.”

Nut & Squirrel, 1 Barnsdale Drive, Westcroft, MK

CAMRA said: "Modern open-plan pub with nooks and crannies that give a traditional multi-room feel. Five handpumps serve the house ale and three cask beers from the Ember Inns list. Several craft beers and Old Rosie cider are also on tap.”

Ship Ashore, Granville Square, Willen, MK

CAMRA said: “Drinkers and diners are equally welcome at this smart pub on a residential estate near Willen Lake and its recreational facilities. It has one large bar, with pillars and low walls helping to give an intimate feel. The pub serves Twilighter, the house beer from Black Sheep, plus a changing selection of four real ales, all at reduced prices on Monday and Thursday.”

Wheel, 100 Main Road, Naphill

CAMRA said: “Friendly local with a large garden, opposite the village hall. It has two bar areas plus a rear section that is used for dining. One regular beer is served alongside three changing brews. The pub is a regular in this Guide. Dogs and muddy boots welcome.”

Lamb, 16-20 High Street, Stoke Goldington, MK

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CAMRA said: “Family-run pub in a peaceful village between Milton Keynes and Northampton, offering a warm and friendly welcome. Its main bar has five handpumps, usually serving three ales and a cider. There is also a smaller room beyond, plus a restaurant and large garden. The pub has featured in this Guide for more than 20 consecutive years, and has been local CAMRA Pub of the Year several times.”


Concrete Cow, 59 Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, MK

CAMRA said: “Concrete Cow opened in 2007 on a 5.5-barrel plant. The beers are named after aspects of local history. The brewery supplies pubs, farmers’ markets, local shops and

restaurants. English single malt whisky is also available.”

Hopping Mad, Small House, 6 High Street, Sherington, MK

CAMRA said: “Hopping Mad began brewing again in 2022 after having closed in 2014. Now at a new location it currently brews one beer, which is supplied to one pub, the White Hart in Sherington. There are plans to open a taproom and to brew bottled beer.”

Brewhouse & Kitchen, 7 Savoy Crescent, MK

CAMRA aid: “The brewery was recently christened ’The Upside Down’ in reference to its inverted design. Brewing is done in the round, perhaps a nod to the pub’s location in Milton Keynes’ Theatre District. The brewery’s core beers are named after local heroes, history and place names.”

Bucks Star, 23 Twizel Close, Stonebridge, MK

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CAMRA said: “A solar-powered brewery opened in 2015 using a 10-barrel, purpose-built plant. Only organic malt is used and no sugars or syrups are added. The beers are unfiltered, vegan, and primarily available through Bucks Star’s own zero-waste innovation (Growler Swap). This range of beers are conditioned inside reusable glass growlers, and are available at farmers’ markets locally, and at various London locations.”

Hornes, 19b Station Road, Bow Brickhill, MK

CAMRA said: “A purpose-built, six-barrel brewery established in 2015 and producing a range of beers called Triple Goat after the three goats kept in a paddock at the brewery. A shop was added in 2018.”

Blackened Sun Brewery Tap, Unit 3, Stacey Bushes, MK

See listing above.