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Golden Fleece, York

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user reviews of the Golden Fleece, York

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A traditional pub with well kept cask ales and excellent food - the Yorkshire Pudding with beef, mash and gravy is highly recommended; a decent portion size made it great value for money too. Well worth a visit.
alexw - 17 Jan 2017 20:44
Atmospheric old pub that plays up its supposed ghostly connections. Not many in the front bar around noon on a Thursday, though there were many diners out back. My pint of Old Peculiar was 3.80, tasty and a welcome drop in cost after continental & London prices. Service was friendly & efficient.
Queenslander - 31 Aug 2016 22:37
This is an attractive looking Theakston’s pub on the pavement that I've walked past many times but have never been in before. Reputably York's most haunted pub, this is a myth they play on I suspect!

It was raining on my visit so unsurprisingly people headed inside the pub to shield from the weather, both the front bar and the back eating area were heaving, not allowed to sit in the eating area if you are not eating!

4 ales across the hand pumps in the back bar / restaurant area, my pint of Theakston’s Best was good.

As I said above the pub was busy and quite buzzing. Food looked okay but the wife and I were here just for a quick drink.

I may visit again the next time I’m in York.
lezford - 5 May 2016 14:15
Cosy and interesting old pub will cask ale in excellent condition. Ales mainly from Yorkshire brewers including Theakston, Tim Taylor and Skipton. Well worth a visit. 9/10.
wobblybob - 25 Apr 2015 20:55
not a bad pub, beautifull outisde, and the olde worlde theme continues inside. and sensibly they have a doorman who 's job is to count in people when it starts to fill up so i doesnt get impossibly full like some other pubs in york centre.

nice pint of golden pippin, really nice service. although in my opinion there are better places in the centre this one is still worth a visit, maybe to do as part of crawl.

CHELSEA_on_tour - 2 Dec 2013 16:24
Quite a reasonable and interesting pub. Visited for food on a Saturday evening, recomended by the Black Swan who don't do food of a weekend evening. Small front Shambles bar and rear Merchants Bar down a corridor, plus further dining room up some rather uniquely crooked stairs - the whole place seems to slope to one side!

Good pint of Golden Pippin (Copper Dragon Brewery?). Good steak pie; out of cottage pie on the night (told 10 min after ordering) - replacement fish & chips was two pieces, and not small ones! Plus enormous fluffy chips (or maybe deep-fried reformed mash potato planks?). So, good portions.

Menu also contains history and ghost stories, but the place doesn't overdo this (just ignore the skeleton waiting at the rear bar).
shaggyorigin - 2 Jun 2013 21:13
Fantastic pub sat in the small bar at the front lovely pint of hobgoblin on ,Taylors Landlord on and a couple of others on all round friendly pub
lowerbourneshot - 21 Jan 2013 12:58
Definitely a pub for tourists who believe in the hauntings. We found it okay as a drinking pub but the food was awful and the barmaid became rather surly when we dared to point this out. For a pub that boasts 4 chefs including one specialising in vegetarian food, it's truly disappointing.
elllie - 28 Apr 2012 14:29
We visited Sunday evening after completing the York Terror Trail which starts and finishes at this pub. Enjoyed a good pint of Caledonian "Flying Scotsman", noticed Theakston's Old Peculier was also available. We would have liked to spend more time in what seemed a nice, cosy, quirky place but we had a dinner booking to honour elsewhere.
paul_d102 - 23 Apr 2012 20:30
Fortunately, unlike His Lordship below, in our semi-befuddled state, we ignored all the claptrap about hauntings and sallied forth with gusto into the dark and teak-panelled interior of the Golden Fleece. And by and large we ewren't disappointed by the time we left it.

We were met by a very chatty and congenial bar fellow who after considerable discussion with us confirmed, as anyone with half an ounce of common sense and a healthy hatred for Derek Acorah, that the claim to be the most haunted pub in the city is a load of tosh, based on no real evidence whatsoever. It is important that potential visitors to this hostelry realise this because many will otherwise easily dismiss it as being a tawdry tourist trap and assume it holds no substantive merits - worse still one might assume it is 'themed'! Happily it isn't and plays all that nonsense down once inside and enjoying their beer.

The beer range was more slender than many York ale houses, but the Black Bull was supped keenly as it was found to be in decent form (though as a caveat to this I should say that following a day of beer consumption, and having just enjoyed a garlic-fuelled Italian 2-course meal with 2 bottles of fine wine, just how fussy our palates were remains to be seen). The pub was quite quiet on our visit and I suspect it's better for that; a large crowd would soon fill up the limited space and surely mean a less personalised welcome from the bar staff.

Not a bad boozer really - focus on the exterior charms of its architecture and forget the cod ghost stories and you will see its worth.
TWG - 16 Mar 2012 12:15
This pub announces itself thus:-

The Golden Fleece is York's Most Haunted pub, thus one of the England's most haunted sites. Visit the Oldest Inn in York and you can be sure of a friendly atmosphere, quiet surroundings and traditional services.

Is it because the ghosts that haunt this establishment are violent that the services of a bouncer are required on the door? I declined to enter and to my utter delight, discovered The Blue Bell just around the corner.

No visit, no score.

5thearlofwimbourne - 22 Oct 2011 13:51
Son of TheBeerMonster was getting married the following day in North Yorkshire. So I stayed in York. The "must visit" pub was the Golden Fleece. As featured in "Most Haunted".

The bar is delightfully dark and atmospheric. The sloping floor is slightly disorientating, but added to the air of mystery and uncertainty.

We were lucky to bag a window seat to enjoy a great pint of "Old Peculier" - a beer I'd enjoyed many years ago in "Nellies" in Beverley. Then, we imagined Yvette Fielding and her team hunting down ghosts in the gloomy bar.

A grand pub, not pandering too much to the tourists in terms of slickness, that provides good beer, great atmosphere, but unfortunately no ghosts that I could find.

Well worth a visit.

TheBeerMonster - 25 Jul 2011 23:37
Called in here and thought it was over occupied by Nikon carrying tourists. The prices confirmed this with a pint of bitter and pint of Strongbow shandy costing nearly 7.00.
Very dark and dingy in the front bar and very evident that the under-stressed barman could not clear the plates and empty glasses from the tables.
It was quite amusing to hear the two numpties stood at the bar arguing with the barman that the Guinness did not taste right.
TalbotHill - 22 Jul 2011 19:03
Far better this,food and service were superb.
That's better
Lookey - 13 Feb 2011 22:00
Nice beer, loved the Ghost Ale , food was so-so, bar lady was rude and unhelpful, when she mucked up the order
Lookey - 31 Oct 2010 20:28
Popped in twice during my recent visit to York. The first night the pub was rammed and no seats available so I left as not feeling too good. The second visit I managed to get a seat (Saturday late lunchtime), well served pint of Ghost Ale, so so chilli nacho's which were expensive for the portion size! Busy pub with lots of character. Would go again. Didn't see any evidence of ghosts despite the pub being renowned for it!
FloridaM - 5 Oct 2010 17:01
Was very full on the Day we viosited (Sat 30th July) and unable to get served in one room because it was reserved for diners.
Ayresomeangel - 4 Aug 2010 13:28
Describing itself as "one of York's oldest and most haunted inns", the Golden Fleece allegedly dates back to 1503.

Situated in the middle of York's shopping centre, a small attractive looking frontage leads into a bare boarded wood panelled drinkers bar at the front of the pub. A long corridor, the walls of which are decorated with framed ghost memorabilia and tales, leads into a well appointed rear lounge, which was reserved for diners only on my recent visit.

Beers on were Yorkshire Terrier, TT Landlord and Black Sheep. The Yorkshire Terrier - 2.90p - was reasonable.

This is a perfectly adequate pub in a city where decent pubs are not exactly thin on the ground. Unless you've a particular fascination for ghostly tales, ( and if you have, you might want to consider doing Bed and Breakfast !) there's no reason to specifically seek this one out.

JohnBonser - 14 Jul 2010 08:36
My friend and I visiting from Calgary, Canada loved this pub! The service and atmosphere were fantastic! The food (Yorkshire Pudding and beef) were so very delicious! Thank you for your hospitality.
Michaelle - 30 May 2010 16:22
Really like the pub - cosy at the front with a great atmosphere. Just as good, if not better than the last time I was in town. Centurion's Ghost is a lovely ale!
essjaydee - 14 Oct 2009 22:57
Stayed here last week for a couple of days.Although it had an interesting history, i found it to be quite grubby, the bar maid was a bit ignorant, one night we were going out the back to the decking area for a cigerette when we were told that she was closing the back room as it was quiet(no access to the decking area unless you are prepared to walk down the back alley)Toast was burnt at breakfast and always something missing i.e butter, milk.We stayed in the shambles suite and saw and heard absolutely nothing.Dont think i would stay here again
smiler47 - 3 Aug 2009 20:35
Extremely expensive, nice furnishings. Leave this one to the tourists though.
will_s - 5 Feb 2009 17:55
Returned back from this pub In December, spooked out
We stayed in the shambles, The small bed moved in the night with a girl at the end of it, and the large 4 poster saturated itself in smelly excriment during the night, the landlady said in 1604 a body suffered an horific death and the liquids in the body soaked into the bedding and floor, it keeps appearing back with damp feeling coming from the floor to the bed. The girl on the bed that we saw was the 10year old who beheaded her father whilst in bed.. Never will we stay again its spooked us
Peter Worth
goldsacs - 4 Jan 2009 19:30
We returned to York this Feb. and were happy to see the Golden Fleece again and enjoyed some well-kept ales served by friendly staff. I only wish it wasn't 3000 miles away.
fr21555 - 19 Oct 2008 14:12
Had a nice lot of character and a decent ale selection to match. Sat in the front part of the pub and just enjoyed a few pints over the course of a very pleasant afternoon.

Toilets were a real state though - even for pub toilet standard! That said the place is definately worth a visit for a decent pint.
essjaydee - 16 Apr 2008 15:52
A really interesting little pub! Went for lunch the other day and it was really nice. Good choice on the menu. Service was ok, barmaid was a little miserable! The character really makes the visit though.
chrisnnr - 1 Mar 2008 23:57
Nice little pub, if a little grotty. Good food and excellent real ale. Quite a little find right in the centre of York.
doncaosdelanada - 11 Feb 2008 22:09
Probably the best food in a York pub. Nearly always some good drinkable beer (Landlord always on if there's n'owt else), but I usually come mostly to eat.

B+B interesting, and well priced. Does test the size of your equipment when you wake up in the night owing to strange lights in the room...
swcooper - 16 Oct 2007 04:47
Interesting old pub - good beer and historic feel to the place.
Floyd - 3 Oct 2007 20:03
Enjoyed a good pint in this pub by nice friendly staff, they even gave a little bit of history of the pub - apparently the most haunted pub in York ! Didnt see nothing myself but certainly wouldnt have the bottle to stay the night there!
Scousefire - 28 Sep 2007 15:47
Liked the decor & the haunted history of the place. Served a nice pint and is centrally located within York.
mrdruse - 12 Aug 2007 05:10
Not great for selection of beers and slightly expensive, but the food is well worth the price.
slew - 23 Feb 2007 15:30
city.bird - 12 Feb 2007 00:27
Nice pub, deceiving from the outside as it looks tiny but it's soooo long inside! Beers nothing to write home about, only one real ale. The pub has a nice feel, I went in Monday lunchtime and there were plenty of people in who know where to go to get good food. I went back later the same day for dinner as they serve until 7pm. Supposedly haunted but I didnt see any goolies!
Gillybean - 14 Nov 2006 15:30
Not really doing a lot. Bar staff seem uninterested and a little ignorant and the lager i had was flatter than roadkill.
littlewilliebrompton - 13 Jul 2006 03:02
The upstairs monthly lesbian bridge night is always a winner, tourists, especially young americans, are ALWAYS welcome.
anonymous - 26 Mar 2006 14:21
Seemed OK, and quite an "old" pub
TheGP - 20 Dec 2005 18:23
Has the smell of somewhere unloved & uncared for. A pub interested in the daytime trade of tourists ONLY.
daveleetravis - 8 Nov 2005 21:03
We went in the middle of the day, so we didn't an accurate feel for the place when it gets busy, cuz it was empty. Empty and quiet and smokey. Rather depressing. I'd hoped for more from this well talked about establishment. But I'd give it another try at a more appropriate drinking hour.
jaykoivu - 7 Sep 2005 16:29
This city centre historic pub is really fairly nice. They have a good range of beers on, fruit wines and they sell Lindisfarne mead too. They also do quite nice meals and food into the evening.
The setting is wonderful, one of a few pubs claiming to be the oldest in York. There is a small from bar, connected to the larger back bar by a long sloping corridor. Upstairs there are more old-world function rooms, and outback there is a pleasant wooden deck.
However, the bar prices can be a little steep, probably due to its location at the bottom of the shambles, and the regular tourist trade.
alistair_cross - 31 May 2005 13:34
This place is pretty cool. you can fall over before you are even drunk thanks to the crazy bent floor.
but then as it gets late the Chris Camara look-a-like bouncer comes out and tells everyone not to look at him funny before saying he has to take your drink away because its 10 to 9 so drinking up time is over and hes only doing his job. prat.
iainyork - 15 Feb 2005 00:37

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