The Durham branch area contains many excellent pubs, and the branch makes an effort to support them when we can. Branch meetings are held in pubs around the county, which helps to publicise good pubs – and is a good incentive to come to branch meetings! The branch provides minibus transport for meetings outside the transport hub of Durham City, which allows us to visit pubs without good public transport links. The bus picks up and sets down at Durham Bus Station and various other requested stops along the route, and returns to the city in time for the last buses to Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Bishop Auckland.
For pubs in the city, the branch maintains an information leaflet on pubs which sell real ale. This can be found on the Ale Trail page. Each year, we choose a Pub of the Year, Club of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year. Recent winners can be found on the Awards page. A list of pubs selling real ale within the Durham branch area can be found on the CAMRA whatpub.com website.
Details on the Heritage Pubs in County Durham can be found on CAMRA's Pub Heritage website.
If you would like to share news about or experiences of a pub, good or bad, please contact the Pubs Officer. The Pubs Officer liaises with pubs and clubs in the branch area and brings pub news to branch meetings. They can also look into complaints, helping to ensure genuine issues are treated seriously and false rumours are corrected, to the advantage of both pub and patron. The Pubs Group works with the Pubs Officer to ensure good coverage of all of the pubs in the branch area.
We maintain a database of all of the pubs in the branch and this information is made available to all in CAMRA’s national database whatpub.com. If you would like to help with maintaining the database, please contact the Pubs Officer or the Webmaster or send feedback on missing or incorrect information on particular pubs via whatpub.com.
As well as information on the features and facilities of the pubs in our area we are of course very interested to learn and keep abreast of the quality of the beer being served. If you are a CAMRA member you can help us in this respect by submitting beer scores via whatpub.com when you visit a pub. Its very simple – all you need to do is locate the pub in whatpub.com (after you have logged on with your CAMRA membership number and password) and you will find the ability to record the visit date, brewer and beer and your assessment of quality in the range 0 to 5.
- No cask ale available.
- Poor: Beer that is anything from barely drinkable to drinkable with considerable resentment.
- Average: Competently kept, drinkable pint but doesn’t inspire in any way, not worth moving to another pub but you drink the beer without really noticing.
- Good: Good beer in good form. You may cancel plans to move to the next pub. You want to stay for another pint and may seek out the beer again.
- Very Good: Excellent beer in excellent condition.
- Perfect: Probably the best you are ever likely to find. A seasoned drinker will award this score very rarely.
Scores submitted in this way are invaluable to the branch when evaluating pubs for awards and shortlisting for the Good Beer Guide. If you have a smartphone you will find you can load WhatPub and do the scoring there and then while you are still in the pub if you want!
Durham County Council’s trading standards department can be found here. Their telephone number is 03000 261 016.
The County Council are responsible for planning applications within the Branch area. These can include the building or demolition of pubs and changes of use of existing buildings to or from pubs. Details of all planning applications can be found on the Council website at https://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications/ where you are also able to comment on applications. The Branch has a mailing list which will send a weekly list of newly validated applications at 9am on a Monday (this is a list of all types of planning applications - not just those related to pubs) which can be joined by sending an email to email@example.com
Durham County Council are also responsible for on- and off- license applications within our Branch area. They maintain a list of active applications which can be found on their website, along with details on how to make representations on an application, at https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/2136/Licensing-Act-2003-applications These applications are generally heard by a Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee; details of when these committees meet and their agendas can be found from the Council diary at https://democracy.durham.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx