We have a cheap pint in the old-school Bristol cider pub frozen in time

The Kings Head in Kingswood
The Kings Head in Kingswood

Local legend has it that it used to be known as The Swamp because the dank, soggy carpet in the bar was so soaked in cider and beer that your shoes stuck to it.

Thankfully, there is no need to wear flippers and snorkel these days when visiting The Kings Head. The floor of this Kingswood cider house is now uncarpeted and easy to navigate without old beer lapping at your feet.

But things didn’t get off to a great start. Just after midday and the door of The Kings Head is still firmly closed, much to the concern of the other man waiting outside.

Inside the timeless Kings Head in Kingswood
Inside the timeless Kings Head in Kingswood

When it comes to pub regulars and their daily habits, even a couple of minutes can derail the routine of the day.

Thankfully, the sound of the key turning in the lock soon signifies opening time, which is just as well as there’s also now a delivery man waiting with his boxes of crisps and nuts.

Perched on Two Mile Hill, The Kings Head isn’t the first pub you find as you cross the Bristol border into Kingswood. That honour goes to The Essex on the other side of the road but that was still closed despite it due to open at midday.

The Kings Head is a fine looking building. A detached pub with a Victorian frontage built from what looks like Bath stone, it has three large original sash windows on the upper level, giving it an almost Regency splendour.

The rear of the pub is apparently much older, maybe 18th century or even earlier, which must technically make it one of Kingswood’s oldest pubs.

With its partially frosted windows and heavy burgundy curtains, The Kings Head is also properly and unashamedly old-school. It reminds me of those old pubs that used to have after-hours lock-ins.

The bar has a brick frontage which looks a far more recent addition compared to the rest of the pub. On one wall there is a gallery of curling colour photographs of animated regulars over the years, with a handwritten sign saying ‘Mad House’.

There are also two dartboards, one in the bar and a second in the small, red and white-painted back room with functional furniture and a general look of not having changed a thing since 1973. It’s completely timeless.

Serious cider drinkers can order Black Rat and Thatchers Dry but if beer and lager is more your thing, there’s Courage Best, Foster’s, Stella and Guinness.

My pint of Thatcher’s Gold was only £3.80 but the cheapest drink is the Natch at £2.80 - prices almost as frozen in time as this historic pub itself.

The Kings Head, 284 Two Mile Hill, Kingswood, BS15 1AT.