Review: Abbey Inn, Newlay, Leeds

Some say there's a tunnel running from the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey all the way to the Abbey Inn at Newlay. Others claim the pub, which dates from at least 1826, is haunted.

In the past the building has been used to stage inquests and also as a morgue.

Thankfully today, however, it’s a little more lively. It’s an award winning pub, scooping CAMRA’s community pub of the year accolade on more than one occasion and most recently in 2015. Indeed, the pub is even listed by CAMRA as a community asset, meaning the building cannot be sold off or turned into something else without special permission.

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It’s also possibly one of the nicest places you could spend an afternoon, especially on a sunny day. A stone’s throw from the canal, it sits in its own little hollow at the bottom of Pollard Lane, so well away from the roar of traffic. It prides itself on being a real ale pub, frequently changing its selection. Last week, they staged the ‘Leeds in a Glass’ beer festival, featuring beer from Kirkstall Brewery, Leeds Brewery, Ridgeside, Whippet, Northern Monk, North Bar, Sunbeam, Quirky, Burley Street Brewhouse and Wilde Child Brewing Co.

But that was just a preview to the main event, which is their first annual beer and music festival, which will take place from July 1-3, offering over 100 different real ales and ciders with 25 different bands playing throughout.

The event raises money for St George’s Crypt in Leeds and looks set to become one of the biggest calendar events going.

Regular beers here include the likes of Kirkstall Pale, Leeds Pale, New World Pale & Ossett Silver King, plus four guest handpulls in addition to real cider and other craft beers.

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There are also regular events, including quiz nights on Thursdays, music on Sundays and regular live music on Saturdays, featuring local bands.

We dropped in recently one sunny Sunday afternoon after a 30 minute walk along the canal and enjoyed a pint of Kirkstall Pale and Ossett Silver King, both of which went down superbly.

This is a great little pub - small inside but with a large beer garden and outside area, which, because of its location, can extend onto the no-through road which runs down toward the river.

Before the July beer festival, however, there will be a street party on June 11 to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, where children will be encouraged to dress up as kings and queens. There will be face painting and other activities and at night, adults will be invited to dress up as queens. As if that wasn’t enough, there will be another beer festival here in September, then the annual Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night events, capped off by Christmas carols with the Salvation Army around the middle of December.