In the past, I’ve written of a few of my favourite watering holes, particularly in Nottinghamshire. Some have been notable for a particular reason such as their history or perhaps their quirkiness. Others have been well, just because I’ve always simply loved the places. The Nags Head at Woodborough easily falls into that parameter.
I’ve always felt close to the village of Woodborough. It’s but a few minutes drive from my home. This is doubtlessly originally because my sister has long and happily resided in the village. I know it very well, and most of it’s nooks and crannies. I also spend an inordinate amount of time there, walking, running and cycling from there and drinking and eating locally. Woodborough and it’s other pretty neighbours of Lambley, Lowdham, Epperstone, Gonalston, Gunthorpe and Hoveringham are just a few of the villages that tend to be my ‘playground’, during the summer months in particular.
It’s reputed that the village once boasted around a dozen pubs in years gone by. Those days are past now and whilst one or two of the buildings still exist where the likes of The Bugle Horn served ale to the obviously thirsty locals, just two pubs, The Four Bells and The Nags Head remain, situated at either end of the village.
Of course it’s many a long year since I first entered ‘The Nags’ for my first pint there. In those days it was a drastically different, much smaller establishment. The interior was cosy, particularly the quite diminutive lounge that I would pop into with friends when passing through Woodborough. It’s a very different place these days but has rode the trends of the pub trade well I always think. On entering from the large car park, what used to be the small original lounge is immediately apparent, but as of many years now a large extension runs off to the left. Immediately to the right of the entrance lies a good-sized bar with games and TV for those interested in such things. That seems to be quite a few people actually and darts nights and the like appear to be perennially popular in there judging by the enthusiastic noises that emanate into the lounge regularly.
A pub is only as good as the people who inhabit it and staff it I always feel. Landlord and landlady, Ken and Michelle guarantee a friendly and cheery welcome. There’s always a little banter, as us Scots like to enjoy, from Ken, a keen Celtic supporter. Absolutely nothing against the historic institution that is the ‘Tic Ken but when are you going to come onside to enjoy the original team in green – Hibernian FC?
If the pleasant, personable and friendly staff in the Nag’s Head aren’t chosen for such laudable virtues one would never know. Almost invariably, in spite of how the busy the trade at the bar gets, the same friendly welcome and service is always afforded. These are very much reasons why my partner and I (and other friends) come back and back to the Nags.
The kitchen at the pub always appears in the depths of industry and a busy ship. I don’t eat here too often but the fact that so many do indicates to me that they’re doing something very right and satisfying people’s needs. Another nice aspect to the pub is that it manages to attract an older clientele among it’s mix of customers. It’s good to see senor folk out enjoying themselves socially with their friends and I believe the safe and friendly environment in the pub encourages this more than practically any pub I know.
The Nags Head week is punctuated by two popular quiz nights on Tuesday and Thursday evenings read expertly by quizmaster, Steve, and a games night on Sunday evenings of ‘sticky thirteens’ card games and an ‘open the box’ feature which always guarantees a smile or two where a hapless competitor can win a bag of nuts (not those expensive cashews mind!), a gallon of beer or maybe even that elusive jackpot. You’ll need to visit on one of those evening to find out what a ‘King for Edgar’ is!
An important point to those nights is that charily is always regarded highly in this pub. The Nags and it’s regulars does some excellent work in raising money for charities and concentrates each year on giving a helping hand to charitable institutions that have a local connection. A year or two ago my sister’s neighbours lost their wonderful young son to the little known condition of Sarcoma. It was extremely heartening to see the support that a local community can give at a time of such sadness. Well done to all concerned.
The Nags Head excels itself during the summer months due to a lovely garden to the rear. It’s a perfect place to relax in the sun, not just for seasoned drinkers but very much for families as Mum and Dad can happily look over their children as they play excitedly on the array of swings, slides and climbing frames for them. It’s idyllic and perfect for families as I am sure my own nephew, his wife and young daughter who live just around the corner would readily agree.
I pass by the way of the Nags Head many times a week generally. During the past few months it resumed as a ‘base’ and a starting point for a run every Sunday for a friend training for the London Marathon and I. It remains a weekly habit and the pub is always a very welcome site on the horizon after our long runs! That Sunday drink inside or outside at The Nags is easily the most enjoyable of the week! I’m just as liable to repeat this procedure, when time permits in the week too. You can tell I like it there eh?
The Nags Head is situated at the eastern end of Main Street in Woodborough just on the sharp bend that takes one on down to Lowdham via the lane of the same name. It’s open throughout the day every day. You’ll be assured of a pleasant social at this happy rural watering hole.
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