The Ingham Swan, Ingham, Norfolk, England

the swan inn ingham1The Swan, a 14th century thatched and flint building, is owned by Woodforde’s Brewery and as such you can expect a well-kept pint of Wherry Best Bitter, as well as many of the other cask ales from the full and exquisite range.

Having driven from Yorkshire, and taking three and a half hours in the last stretch from Lincolnshire, mainly in a light misty rain in the pitch dark, which descends sharply at four p.m. in December, I had developed a powerful thirst. I pulled into the parking lot just after the six p.m. pub opening. I went straight in to the bar and ordered a pint of Wherry Best, which I quickly consumed. Deliciously hoppy. I ordered another pint of Wherry cask ale that slid down almost as easily as the first. When I asked for a third pint on the trot, the frowning barmaid interjected–she wanted to know if I wanted to be shown to my room? To which I replied, not until I had finished another pint of Wherry. My car was parked for the night, I reasoned, and my room was only located across the courtyard so no harm could come.

Paul and Jan, the landlord and landlady, who are very friendly, served up fine food and ale. Admirable accommodation was located just across the courtyard in a separate building, a former horse stalls.

Apparently, the farmer who owns the adjoining land has a right of way through the heart of the property and over the courtyard and doesn’t fail to use it at times inconvenient to the pub’s outdoor festivities such as weddings and summer fetes.

Not to be missed for the pub itself, both interior and exterior, the friendly welcome, the fine ale, the excellent food. I’d highly recommend the rack of lamb with rosemary cooked to a deliciously tender medium rare.


Next door at the Anglican church there are two enormous, as in as big as trees, rosemary bushes bracketing a side door to the church. Now if we can only get the lambs to dine on rosemary and garlic as well as lush, green grass.


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