Gorgeous pub on its own island has beer garden where punters can watch porpoises

By Staff

The Ferry Tavern in Penketh, Warrington is a huge draw for drinkers, thanks to the fact seals can regularly be seen larking around in the muddy shallows, while even porpoises have been known to pop along on occasion

A pub has earned a reputation as an ideal place to sit outside in the sunshine with a pint spotting aquatic mammal life.

The Ferry Tavern in Penketh, Warrington sits on an island strip forged at Fiddlers Ferry when the Sankey Canal was opened in 1762, the first canal of the industrial age. The pub originally opened that same year – and has been providing refreshments for thirsty travellers for the past 250 years.

The glorious setting and large outdoor seating area at the pub is a big draw, thanks in no small part to the showy aquatic animals which congregate in the water ways nearby. Seals can regularly be seen larking around in the muddy shallows, while even porpoises have been known to pop along on occasion.

The pub has won a host of awards in recent years, including as best community pub in 2020, and it regularly features in the CAMRA guide for its range of craft ales.

Andy and Jade live at the pub with their two children Charlie and Jack. Jade grew up in the pub after Jade’s parents first took on the building back in 1992. Andy told Manchester Evening News: “It’s a lovely spot, you take it for granted sometimes the view that we have here. The river has gotten cleaner over the years, and now we get seals, and even porpoises.

“Living where we live it’s all our son Charlie has ever known and the thought of ever leaving breaks his heart – he loves to watch the seals in the river. It’s away from the main road, and just a really nice way to live.”

The popular canal path runs by the pub where plenty of cyclists and walkers stop off along the Trans Pennine trail. Many of them chose to break up a long cycle or hike by stopping off at the pub for a refreshing drink.

Since the couple took over from Jade’s parents in 2005, they’ve been fascinated to retrace the full history of the pub and have managed to establish every licensee back to 1762. Andy said: “The history is incredible here. This used to be the main crossing for the River Mersey, and it’s called The Ferry because the original licensee in 1762 was the ferryman.

“It opened the same year as the canal so it was obviously someone business savvy as it would have been a hive of activity for cargo unloading down here with lots of thirsty workers.”

It’s not just the owners who love the pub either, with locals leaving very positive reviews on TripAdvisor. One wrote: “This pub is an absolute gem of a place. A lovely olde worlde pub with a warm friendly atmosphere. The fish and chips and selection of Real Ales are to die for.”

Another said: “We often walk there and back to experience the great ambience. We have visited for thirty years and have never tired of it.”

If it is good pubs you are after, then the CAMRA historical pubs archive is an excellent resource if you’re looking for a spot to have a drink. The Mirror recently visited two of the three-star rated pubs in one of the UK’s beautiful inn capitals.

Check out more of Daily Mirror’s latest travel stories by signing up to our free weekly newsletter.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *