A 200-year-old ale house standing between Preston Cross and Much Marcle, four miles southwest of Ledbury, The Royal Oak sits on the edge of farmland. The Daffodil Line route passes by the car park, and although there is no formal bus stop or sign, if you ask the driver in advance he will stop as close to the pub as the traffic conditions safely allow.
The much-extended yellow-painted nineteenth-century building has several bars. The timbered main bar has several seating areas, in addition, a separate room known as ‘The Library’ can be used for private functions of up to 30 people. To the rear is a large function room seating up to 100 people, which also has a skittle alley and separate bar, configurable for a variety of functions. The attractive outside patio area has had a makeover, with multi-level decks giving a splendid panoramic view of the fields across to Marcle Ridge with the prominent transmitter tower, especially spectacular at sunset.
Cask ales from regional breweries are well kept, often from Three Tuns Brewery of Bishops Castle. Local ciders are on draft from nearby Weston’s, also a varied list of gins and cocktails. The wine list features mainly Southern Hemisphere wines, all available by the glass. On a recent visit, a beer called ‘The Wonder’ was on the bar, the name of which refers to the landslip which happened three miles away on the slopes of Marcle Ridge. In February 1575, huge amounts of land moved downhill over 3 days, taking mature trees with it. Being aware that the pub’s location means that the majority of customers visit by car, a range of low-alcohol beers and ciders are available with free drinks for the designated driver.
Food ranges from light bites, to pub favourites, substantial salads, and jacket potatoes. On Sunday there is a roast menu. Vegetarian and gluten-sensitive diners have several options. On summer Fridays, the regular menu is extended by pop-up food vendor vans which can feature pizza, burgers, and other street food and sweet options.
The pub is dog-friendly and family oriented – there is a children’s bookshelf in the bar with toys and games and games outside. There is wide step-free ramp access from the rear car park.
The large car park and field can accommodate a range of regular and one-off functions, notably meetings of The Vintage Sports-Car Club, the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club and motor bikers ‘Marcle Meets’. A full programme of events and meetings engages a wider community, with Paint Club, Redtooth Poker League, and themed Family Friendly Quizzes. Other events include murder mystery dinners, tribute bands and, every other Wednesday, folk music. Other performances include comedy nights and unique for the area, regular drag cabaret/comedy nights. Check their web site for a full listing.
If you fancy a longer stay, there are two en-suite rooms with separate entrances and a shepherds hut with bunk beds. Camper vans can stay overnight by arrangement.
Don’t forget that the Daffodil line makes an evening at the Royal Oak possible on Friday and Saturday, with departures for Ledbury at 20.48 and 22.48, and towards Ross-on-Wye at 19.22 and 21.22, so you can enjoy a full meal and still get home safely after enjoying their drinks offer.
Monday & Tuesday Closed
Wednesday – Saturday
Bar 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-23:00, Food 12:00-14:00 & 18:00-21:00
Bar 12:00-16:00, Food 12:00-14:00 (Roasts Only)
A449 Ross Road, Ledbury, HR8 2ND, United Kingdom
Tel: 01531 660300