Surveying Pubs


A vital part of the success of the online guide is getting every pub surveyed and keeping this data up to date. At present, surveyors are asked to complete a Word survey form and email back to If you don't have Word, then any electronic format would be preferred but as a last alternative, please use the PDF survey form and email back.

Important Notes

  1. Please check all fields are correct
  2. When making your changes, please highlight them in a different colour
  3. HQ don’t like the same GBG description year after year so please try and find something new to say – appreciate it’s difficult!
  4. The online descriptions are also needed for the online guide. These can be as verbose/esoteric as you like, stopping short of slander!


Survey notes and assistance

Basic Details

Pub Name Omit ‘Ye’ or ‘The’, use ‘&’, not ‘and’
Address Address including street number but excluding town, county and postcode
Postcode Important this is entered for positioning the pub on the map
Guide Town/Village Section within which the pub will be listed in the guide. This is sometimes different from the postal address town
Directions to pub e.g  ‘400 yds from A304/B296 jct. next to town hall’. Needed when difficult to find or in a large town. Please only include directions if really needed to help find the pub. Needless directions just use up valuable space in the printed GBG
Opening Hours E.g. 11-2.30, 5.30-11; 11-11 Fri & Sat. Do not use the 24 hour clock. Include Sunday hours and mention which days the pub is closed. Don’t forget to ask about seasonal variations (especially important)


Supply STD code, not the local exchange name or number. Check all details in the ’phone book
Email Email is a very handy way for the branch to keep in touch with licensees
Website Only a few pubs have websites but insert where applicable as such sites draw potential customers. Please omit the leading http:// bit, e.g. just
Licensee and start date Very important for us to track the licensees of a pub esp. changes in order to exclude from GBG as well as to alert to possible changes in beer quality etc.
Pub company and start date Equally important is to track the pub owning company. Write Freehouse if owned by the licensee
Photos HOPS can currently only handle one photo but we're keeping all photos sent in, to build a gallery at a later date. So click away! Try and get the pub sign in
Beers Six beers maximum. List them alphabetically by brewery, then in order of strength. If the beers are constantly changing, state ‘Beer range varies’ but please mention in the main description some unusual or rare beers that may be available or which regional beers the landlord likes to focus on (for example). If there are one or two regular beers plus a changing range of others, name the regular beers and add the words ‘guest beers’ at the end. To save space, do not list each brewery’s seasonal beers individually; just add the words ‘seasonal beers’ at the end of the brewery’s entry. Don’t forget the dispense symbol for each beer: [H] [G] [P] or [A] (handpump, gravity, electric pump or air pressure). Any house beers should be mentioned in the main description


Writing a good description is the trickiest part of surveying a pub. Drinking the beer is usually a quite pleasant task. Have a look at some existing entries but ask yourself "What would I like to know about this pub if I was reading this description."

You may find it easier to write a few notes on the paper copy you take to the pub like "Women's darts team" and then use those notes to help you write the longer description later.

NOTE: you only need to fill in the GBG description if you are specifically surveying a pub for inclusion in the GBG.

Online Description Can be as short or as long as you like. Please use normal text characters and refrain from accented characters. NOTE: due to CAMRA policy, the online description a) has to be different to the GBG description and b) must not mention the pub is or has been in the GBG
GBG Description Entries should be up to a maximum of 80 words and not less than 50. It is important to reach the maximum wherever possible: too many short entries will unbalance the Guide and lead to an unsatisfactory design. Do not break words at the end of a line. Please write neatly: unclear handwriting can lead to errors.

Flag Notes

Real fire Real fire during winter months, coal or logs (check for fake fires primed by gas or electricity)
Quiet pub No electronic music, TV or obtrusive games (in at least one bar)
Family room Separate room, whether or not families are allowed elsewhere
Outdoor drinking area Garden or outdoor area for drinking (specify type if not a garden)
Lunchtime meals Bar food only, not separate restaurant menus. Unaccompanied snacks like pies and sandwiches do not count.
Evening meals Ditto
Public bar Separate public bar (not sure what defines a public bar these days!)
Wheelchair access Disabled access – easy access to the pub and WC’s, and considerate staff; check very carefully
Camping Camping facilities (either in pub grounds or within one mile; state if caravans are allowed)
Near railway station Pub near railway station (within half a mile; name the station). List which station
Near underground or tram station Pub near underground, metro or tram station (within half a mile; name the station). List which station
Pub games played Traditional pub games (specify anything unusual)
Outside smoking area Smoking area provided outside for drinkers (specify if heated, covered etc)
Own car park Pub has its own car park
Real draft cider Real cider – not keg – available on draught (name the ciders)
On bus route Bus routes that regularly pass close to pubs
Good Pub Food Considered for inclusion in “Good Pub food”
Beer, Bed & Breakfast Considered for inclusion in “Beer, Bed & Breakfast”
Pubs for Families Considered for inclusion in “Pubs for Families”
Good Cider Guide Considered for inclusion in “Good Cider Guide”
Flagship pub For consideration as a flagship pub online
Function room Function room – state capacity
Free wireless Flag if wireless access is free
Online Guide Yes if pub should be included in the online pub guide
Allow Scoring Yes for all pubs included in the guide
Cellarmanship and dispense
Answer yes if both the following are true. This section is extremely important. Please consider it very carefully and pay particular attention to CAMRA’s internal policy guidelines. If you are in any doubt, please refer to your branch chairman or regional director:
1. Cask Breather/Aspirator/Applied Gas - This pub does not use any carbon dioxide, nitrogen or any gas mixture, contrary to CAMRA recommendations, on any of the beers listed above
2. Misleading Dispense - This pub does not use fake or false hand pumps contrary to CAMRA policy
LocAle Whether a pub regularly stocks a local ale (formal definition to follow)
Waterside Pub is by canal, lake, sea or river – define which in comments
Live music Live music regularly played. Mention in description the type and how often
Child friendly Children are welcome, possibly to a limited area of the pub until a certain time. Mention in description if there are any special facilities for children
Dog friendly Dogs are welcome
TV sports TV sports are frequently played, i.e. TVs are a fixed feature
Newspaper Complimentary newspaper is available
Rural Pub is in a totally rural location, i.e. a typical country pub

Additional Notes

Entries should have descriptions of 80 words maximum and not less than 50 words.

Pub Opening Hours

As a result of the Licensing Act, pubs have the right to extend their hours beyond 11pm. Please check pub hours carefully and detail all opening hours, especially at weekends.

Beer Range

If the ‘Draft Beers’ entry says “beer range varies” please make an effort to mention in the main description types of beers that are often available, e.g. “The landlord focuses on beers from Scottish craft brewers.” If the ‘Draft Beers’ entry says “guest beers” try to give in the description an idea of any regular guest beers. Also, try to mention in the description if the pub has an interesting range of imported bottled beers, such as Belgian specialities.

Pub Features

When carrying out a survey look for unusual features inside and outside the pub, such as windows carrying the motif of a long-defunct brewery or special architectural, design or furnishing features, such as wood panelling, beams, inglenooks, hops above the bar, and old settles.

Historic Pubs

Seek out the history of the pub: some pubs of historic interest often have printed information available. Is the pub near places of interest, such as castles, museums (including transport museums)? Please add any details to the description. National Inventory Pubs: If the pub is on CAMRA’S National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Historic Importance, please include in the description details of the pub’s design and architecture. Consult the National Inventory page of CAMRA’s website ( and the NI pamphlet available from head office.

Pubs Serving Food

When a pub serves food you consider to be of outstanding quality, mention some of the dishes available. It doesn’t have to be haute cuisine. We would like to know when bangers and mash, curry, or fish and chips are exceptional. Mention vegetarian or organic dishes when available. If a pub serves food all day, please mention this in the description.

Special Interest Groups

Does the pub attract special interest groups such as quiz, darts, cricket and football teams? Are dogs welcome? Has the same family run the pub for several decades or more? Please include in the description.

Smoking Ban

A smoking ban in public places is now law. A symbol indicates where a pub has set aside an outside area, possibly covered and heated, for smokers. Please ask about such facilities when carrying out inspections and include details of the area where appropriate.

Bus Symbol

Please make sure that you list the bus routes (up to two) when this symbol is ticked. However, if there are more than two nearby bus routes please include the symbol but DO NOT list the routes as we cannot put these into the Guide due to space constraints.

Disabled Access

When considering whether or not to tick the disabled access ‘Facilities’ box, please check for yourself that there is acceptable wheelchair access to the main parts of the pub and that there are appropriate lavatory facilities for the disabled. Many publicans will say that their pub has disabled facilities but, often, these are not sufficient. It can be very problematic for disabled pubgoers if they visit a pub that is supposed to have disabled access only to discover that they can’t get in easily and that there are no suitable facilities.


If a pub sells real cider, and if you are sure that it is ‘real’, please mention up to two regular real ciders in the description. If you are uncertain whether a cider is ‘real’ or not, consult your local Branch Cider Contact before completing the description or make a note for your GBG Coordinator/Area Organiser/Regional Director to check the description before they submit the entry.