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The Royal Oak

It is unclear how long there has been a pub on Turnshaw Lane, Ulley, but the oldest part of the Royal Oak, the main bar, dates back 320 years and stands on the site of a well. For many years this room has been decorated in an old-world style with lots of horse brasses and miners lamps hung around. Twenty five years ago the dining room was added, and more recently a family room, known as the Garden room, was opened. Outside, there are several seating areas and a large car park, which gets full in summer. The lawned garden contains a childrenís play area with the usual swings, slide, etc.

The pub is owned by Sam Smithís Brewery, Yorkshireís oldest, and is the only one of their handful of pubs in the Rotherham area to sell the Ďrealí version of Old Brewery Bitter. As usual with Samís, itís sold at the very cheap price of £1.22 a pint, especially considering the type of pub and the area itís in. Itís also a very good pint which explains why the pub has been a consistent entry in the Good Beer Guide.

Having said that, the pub is very food and family orientated, with the exception of the bar. In charge of the food is Liz Bingham, who produces a fine and varied menu for lunch time and evening diners. Though the freshly made pies are a popular choice at £4.50, there are also more exotic dishes like Kiln Smoked Salmon Fillet at £6.75, and a filling Mixed Grill at £7.50, not to mention a specials blackboard, bar snacks and sandwiches. Wheelchair access is available.

The clientele is mixed, ranging from farmers, farm workers and local villagers to business people, mingling with families and walkers, resting after sampling one of the many country walks not far from the pub. I canít think of a better place to take a break whilst out walking in the area, something Iíve done on numerous occasions.

Carol and David Inman have been hosts at the pub now for more than 11 years, and itís never been more popular. Why not give it a try, especially as itís the only chance youíll get to sample real Sam Smiths in the district.
Paul Redfern

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