The Water Witch in Lancaster

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Customer Service:
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Drinks (Real Ale):
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Dog Friendly:
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Pub description:

Relax at Lancaster’s award winning cask ale house overlooking the canal, with a great pint of real ale or glass of fine wine, before sampling some of the finest produce Lancashire has on offer in our award winning restaurant.

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The Water Witch has an average overall rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 with 47 vote(s) cast.

Contact Details for pub The Water Witch:

The Water Witch
Canal Tow Path
LA11SU  (see map)
+44(0)1524 63828

(Please mention if you phone them!)

Pub reviews for The Water Witch:

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On 30-4-2008 mol said : "The award-winning Waterwitch will re-open on Thursday 8th May 2008 following an extensive refurbishment to the bar and dining areas. This waterside pub will still offer the same great service, cask conditioned ales and locally produced, homecooked food alongside a fantastic wine and malt whisky list We hope to see customers old and new for a drink or too!"

On 19-8-2007 howmuch said : "Even though this is now under the Mitchells chain it seems to have lost none of its charm. Still the best pub to sit outside of and have a pint in the sun! Shame the White Cross is having such an ugly tall building put up in front of it and will no doubt starve it of sun earlier than it used to cause I reckon it will only make more people want to come here to get the last rays with a pint! Never eaten but the menu does look pricy but if the quality is there then no problem I suppose. The range of drinks is fantastic and all the bottles behind the bar are a sight to behold! Still one of my regulars on a night out! Just one thing could you please sort out some of the outside seating since it is getting dangerously worn out!"

On 07-8-2007 enjay said : "I think this is a great pub. The location is excellent (on the canal tow path), the choice of beers is good, the staff ahve been friendly on each visit, and the decor is smart but by no means stuffy. One weekend visit recently the place was straining under 2 private hires (a wedding & a birthday), but even so the kitchen staff still managed to turn out a really decent sandwich for us normal punters. Top place. "

On 24-6-2007 booboo69 said : "i have been in the water witch this weekend, i have been away for some time, it looks the same the only thing i could see that was different is its head office, now not part of c2i but mitchells. the food was v. good more choise of beers and v.good too. i saw some old faces about and some new ones too. i got talking to the manager who was part of the old water witch good to see she is still about runing the best in lancaster . she now has a new kitchen team and from what i had is was good before but now even better the specials that was on was made with a lot of care . good luck to you all i wont be here for a while, keep up the good work. "

On 06-4-2007 redstarbelgrade said : "It's that time of year again, and everyone's piling into the Witch! Cheeseboards all round! So glad to see that the old girl hasn't suffered under Mitchell's. 'Westpennine' must either be a grumpy old sod, or someone with a chip on their shoulder, because that beer's never tasted better! Let's hope for more of the same in t'future."

On 07-3-2007 lancsbird said : "Was in the Waterwitch this week and noticed they are starting to do breakfast at the weekend from the 24th. Can't think of a better way to kick start the weekend, especially if it's as good as the main menu!!! As far as the Mitchells thing goes, it doesn't seem to have made any difference as far as I can tell."

On 02-3-2007 saladtosser said : "Went in the other week, and had a great night, was with the wife, and well looked after by Sam and Geraldine, what a great pair they make! ;0)"

On 13-1-2007 westpennine said : "This once fine hostelry has been sold to Mitchells and the takings have already fallen by half,and after only a few weeks.This will obviously affect beer quality."

On 22-11-2006 big_cm said : "Sorry, that last comment was actually in response to rinkydink. Although jaff, gotta disagree with you about the barstaff, too...they've always seemed okay to me..."

On 21-11-2006 big_cm said : "In response to jaff's comment; I drink regularly in this pub, and have frequently found the staff more than willing to allow customers time to drink up at their leisure. Never once have I been asked to drink up '30 seconds' after time was called. What's this guy on about...?!"

On 08-11-2006 ilovegoths said : "Of course, you may not HAVE to give your customers 30 minutes drinking up time, but if you care as much for you customers as this site seems to indicate, then maybe it's simply respectful? Especially if they're coming a bit further out of the way, and paying a bit more for what they expect to be a all-round better experience. As a customer I think there's nothing worse than a pub that'll happily take your money off you but won't give you time to enjoy your drink. Food for thought methinks."

On 08-11-2006 lancsbird said : "Don't know what jaff is on about - always found the staff at the witch very good!! And no, you aren't entitled to 30 minutes drinking up time since the new licensing laws - they can give you as little or as long as they like as long as they stick to their restricted hours. Always good food and drink and staff as far as I'm concerned!!!"

On 10-10-2006 jaff said : "the pub itself is nice and the beer pleasing, however i've found it let down by the bar staff."

On 31-8-2006 rinkydink said : "I do like this place and the food is indeed scumdidlly - however, what is it with bar staff who ask you if you want a last drink before they close the bar and then at 30 seconds past the bar closing they badger you to finish them and get out - am I wrong in assuming we have 30mins drinking up time? If so I apologise - if not - LET ME FINISH MY DRINK IN PEACE!!!"

On 27-5-2006 angryman said : "The bar slave was right. Snazzy..."

On 27-4-2006 angryman said : "Heard some bar slave talking about new chairs and tables for this place. It needs it - the current chairs came straight from the Farmer's Arms last refurb and the tables look like theyve fallen off a roof. If they'd not spent any of their furniture budget for the past three years they might be able to afford to replace the broken light bulbs in the gents. Beer's nice though, I had a lancaster blonde whilst propping up the bar. Very accommodating the witch's bar staff... "

On 01-4-2006 fattymarsbars said : "Been back again recently. The food is now even better, absolutely out of this world, creative and classic mixed! The service is impeccable and presentation is awesome. Best food in Lancaster without a shadow of a doubt! And more real ale. Heaven, pure and simple. Those long missed sunny days outside can't be far off now...i can't wait! No wonder people keep throwing awards at this place! I echo congratulations to all involved! "

On 15-2-2006 angryman said : "Good pub, calms my anger on cold, frosty days. But what is it with the picture above ?? Was the photographer suffering a break down when he took this. "

On 06-2-2006 bumpngrind said : "A whole hearted round of applause goes to Liz, Glyn, Barry and the team at the Witch. Well done the awards are certainly deserved. In the large extensive market of Lancaster's bigger operators its always good to see homegrown does good. Espescially when they think their promos etc appeal to the nation, get a grip, somethings just need to be kept simple and effective, although the passport looks daunting to read, it isn't and once you get used to it a very easy concept. (i wouldn't have liked to be the one to proof read it though) Haven't been in for a long time, but I'm sure its still up there as the best pub in Lancaster, as the award has certainly proved. (stiff competition from its little sister) keep up the good work folks."

On 05-2-2006 mjc2i said : "Agenda filled comments do not harm as they are as transparrent as they are pathetic. However, winning the Supreme Champion Pub of Great Britain might effect trade. Everyone at the WW is rightly proud and over the moon as well they deserve to be."

On 22-1-2006 pastey said : "I really can't see what jagadars problem with the Water Witch is. I have seen the dog they refer to, it's not malnourished that breed is supposed to be like that. And when ever I've seen it, it's gone straight up to the owners flat, not through kitchens. The food quality in the Witch is superb. When I first moved up to this area I ate in there most weekends before I got myself settled. Yes, it's not cheap, but it's not a fast food joint or a Weatherspoons. I've nothing against either, if that's what you're looking for. But if you want good quality food, good portions and a little unusual, you go to a restaurant, not a McDonalds. And they'll even search the food to one of the tables in the bar if you don't want to sit in a busy restaurant. The beer here is always excellent. The range of ales may not be that exciting as other pubs in the country, but in Lancaster it's definately one of the best, if not the best. The quality is superb and the staff actually know what they're serving. With the draught lagers and other bottled beers there is always something to suit what ever particular taste I have that day. Add all the spirits and you've got a range of over 500 products! I counted. I may have just been incredilby lucky on every single occassion I've visited this pub, and seeing as I live within spitting distance that's quite a few times, and jagadar may just have been very unlucky on the one occassion when they visited. If they've been there several times and still have a problem with it, then I can only guess that it's a personal thing. All in all this is a superb pub that I always include on my pub crawls around Lancaster when friends come up to visit."

On 17-1-2006 fattymarsbars said : "Wow. Been away from Lancaster and my favourite pub for a while. I didn't think this place could get any better. But it has. The owners of here and the Sun seem to get better and better. Malnourished dog? I doubt it! The food is amazing and the portions are immense. No-one (or thing) could starve here. Or go thirsty with their astounding range of drinks. Must get one of those passports...i fancy a holiday for trying some new, obscure drinks! This pub must had the biggest spirit, wine and beer selection ever, yet i'm sure there's even more now! Astounding. If you go to one pub in your life make it the Witch. If you're fasting don't go...the food is too scrumptious to avoid! Can't there be a Water Witch everywhere?? Pretty please. With sugar on top."

On 17-1-2006 tarquin said : "This place is great i've only just moved to lancaster but already this is my local and why not with fantastic food and very freindly and helpful staff. where else in town (apart from the sun) can you get such a wide variey of beer and wines. I would recommened it to anyone."

On 14-1-2006 tinytony said : "Ho ho ho ! What a funny comment below ! I eat at the Waterwitch every couple of weeks or so and I've seen the dog in question. It never goes anywhere near the kitchen but goes straight into the flat above the bar. Heavens - whatever next ?? And the chefs are, with only one exception, exactly the same ladies and gentleman as 2005, 2004 and 2003. I ate there last night and the food was just terrific. All in all it remains the king of Lancaster pubs and, if last night is anything to go by, still hugely popular !"

On 13-1-2006 jagadar said : "I ate here last week and sure enough a dog came through the kitchen. How filthy and unhygeinic. Will never eat here again. You have been warned, it was a sand coloured malnourished looking thing, must have been searching for food, didn't think dogs were allowed in this "fine" establishment. And who is the award winning chef that everyone keeps talking about, i thought he had left, had an awfull experience here. staff disregarded it when i mentioned it, well feck them all!"

On 21-12-2005 talentspotter said : "i agree wit the goth lover this site is about recommmendin pubs and bars not condemmin people, fare enuf the old new guy tried new fings and sure sum didnt work but to try and fail is better then stay the same and become mundane, the witch is still one of if not the best pub in the area and this shud be focused upon we shud be recommendin the what shud be michellin starred food, award winning beer and knowledgeable staff, so if any one wud like my recommendation eat at the witch but be sure to book a table and u will enjoy it i promise as every time ive bin there its bin hectic but fun "

On 19-12-2005 ilovegoths said : "Methinks that the Mr Angry Man is exaggerating a bit! It's not like the Witch ever really went downhill! This website should be about letting people where to go and where to avoid by focusing on the food, drink and atmosphere, and not about anonymously attacking individuals..."

On 19-12-2005 tinytony said : "absolutely fantastic meal at the Waterwitch last night. Food was just wonderful, still the best in Lancaster and arguably the best in the North West. The menu's not pub food, it's top quality restaurant fodder with nothing like it in any pub I know. It's great to have a proper, quality meal with wine and good beer, and not feel that you have to dress in a suit or make a huge occasion of it. This is the place to come for a beer and end up making a proper night of it. Lancaster Brewery beer was a revelation too - makes me almost proud to be a Lancastrian. Top marks !!!"

On 19-12-2005 angryman said : "Pleased they got rid of that talentless,tall fellow - just started to turn the place into the putrid magnolia of a pretentious city bar before he mysteriously vanished. Gone are the brooding, glaring staff of Autumn and back are the good old beer monkeys of now. Glorious, gillybusting, galloping gastropubs. Good to get the old Witch back."

On 30-10-2005 big_cm said : "Really miss this place now I'm back in Durham I DIDN'T DO IT"

On 30-10-2005 samuel_soaper said : "Espescially the men..... .....The exchange rate on the pink pound makes the cherry beer very affordable."

On 29-10-2005 mnorm said : "The greatest pub on earth probably, but don't even think about that Cherry beer. £4.40 a pint? You're having a laugh. Touché about the attractive staff! :D"

On 09-10-2005 loobyloo said : "Just wanted to say that the same day I read an article about Corsica's only real ale brewery, (Pietra) which makes beer flavoured with chestnuts and orange, I went down to the WW and there it was! They've also started the European Passport competition again, which means I'll be drinking all sorts of weird Latvian beer and Icelandic vodka to try to win the flight to Helsinki of which I was so unjustly deprived last year :) "

On 02-10-2005 kate_kelly said : "The gorgeous yummy manager from Sante has just taken over, all those beers, cheeses and him. Mmmmmmmmmm!"

On 23-8-2005 bumpngrind said : "Absolutely awesome, but still room for improvement. Don't doubt that this place can only get better!"

On 28-7-2005 herbert said : "Interesting place to visit, good beers, good food!!!"

On 26-7-2005 samuel_soaper said : "Lovely pub, really pretty. Very Gay friendly!"

On 09-7-2005 tinytony said : "On a hot, sunny day - is there a better pub to waste an afternoon than here ? "

On 03-6-2005 hpower5000 said : "over rated in my opinion!.....although you can taste the beer before you buy this can get somewhat tedious when the pub is packed and the bar staff are busy!!!!.....unless you are a seasoned real ale/strange named lager drinker then avoid....not cheap either!.....but all said the beer is good when you find one you like and its on!!!......never tried food yet but again prices on the high side but it looks very good when it passes you nose end on route to someone else!!!! "

On 17-5-2005 thedrinker said : "when ur good ur good when ur better ur the witch!!! every pub in lancaster should aspire to be it, wiv its worldwide range of drink, so what it if its slighty pricey you always pay more for the best and that is exactly what it is!! luv me xx "

On 09-5-2005 big_cm said : "There is an excess of attractive bar staff at this venue - the only quibble with an otherwise sublime pub. Ginger staff seem to be the flavour of the month."

On 26-4-2005 tinytony said : "This is certainly a lovely pub. I think some of the comments below are valid it is a beautiful pub, it does get very VERY busy, it isnt cheap and it can take a couple of minutes to be served, but then I think back to a few years ago when it was cheap beer, nightly fights and no customers. I prefer this version... "

On 25-4-2005 nigeldunne said : "over priced and understaffed thie is a lovely pub to sit outside in the summer as long as you dont want a clean table or a quick drink."

On 03-3-2005 donp said : "The best pub in Lancaster. Great location, huge range of beers, wines & spirits, v good food, relaxed atmosphere even when busy."

On 26-2-2005 kate_w said : "An institution. You can't knock a pub with great beer and a free jukebox. Quality location and a must for a sunny afternoon."

On 26-1-2005 la0u3064 said : "This is a great pub. Great food, great beer, fantastic choice of drinks. If only people would be patient with the staff when it is busy because we all know we'll get exactly what we want as long as we are patient."

On 16-10-2004 caroljameson said : "Probably the most famous pub or restaurant in Lancaster - I often go on the way back from work (the hospital) and it's always busy. It's become an institution in Lancaster and it seems to be constantly changing - the best pub food you could possibly imagine and one the prettiest bars around."

On 05-9-2004 miko2004 said : "Not going to bother writing too much on the Waterwitch. There were TV cameras from Granada TV when I visited last night - it's in the papers every week, has won a hat full of awards and it's a very lovely pub with great beer, a beautiful location and top dollar food. New toilets too !!"

On 26-7-2004 freechoices said : "Good place to both eat and drink, it is nice to see a city pub that takes as much pride in both its food and beer and tis place does. i would suggest all the managers from the other pubs around the area to go and have a luck! .It might stop the microwave culture."

On 05-7-2004 astle said : "Started off as an excelent pub, however since the opening of it's sister pub the Sun Inn it has gone downhill rapidly. The staff have no concept of serving people in order and take hours over the most simple drink. I no longer frequent this pub!"

On 25-5-2004 howiej said : "a very nice place for a beer, of which there are many good ones to choose. last time i was there it felt unfinished after its makeover, as though theyd run out of money. location is fantastic. "

On 13-2-2004 dale said : "Great pub, always seems 'special' when you're there. Upstairs there is a kitchen that cooks good food, though the inside 'restaurant' seating upstairs is cramped. "

On 17-12-2003 bernard said : "Amazing! I read alot about this pub before finding it, (a bit off the beaten track) but what a find. You only need to see the awards to realise how well they are doing. A must see!"

On 10-12-2003 tinytony said : "what a wonderful find - beautiful location, lovely interior, great beers and top dollar food. Got to be one of the top bars in the North West currently. Need new toilets though !"

More details provided by the pub owner:

Draught ales available :

Flensburger, Fosters, Erdinger, Strongbow, Westons Cider Ice, Framboise, Guinness,

Real ales available :

York Guzzler, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber, Black Sheep Bitter, York Constantine

Directions to the pub :

Internet access :

Pub Events:

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Pub survey:

See a full survey of The Water Witch here.

Page updated : Monday 2nd of March 2015 11:45:35 AM

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