WITH picturesque views of the River Mersey, not much beats a cold drink outside in the sunshine at The Ferry Tavern.

The venue, which won last year’s Best Beer Garden in Warrington, has just done the double and scooped this year’s title as it continues to be the number one destination for a drink and a bite to eat al fresco.

Each week, we will be searching for the best Warrington has to offer in different categories and we’ve given out 17 awards for 2023.

The winners so far:

Best for Hair – Ashleigh Hair and Beauty

Best for Pies – Tomlins Bakery

Best for Nails – Bamboo Hair & Beauty

Best for Roast Dinner – Heaths Kitchen

Best for Cocktails – Dead Eyes

Best for Breakfast -Café Blu

Best for Fitness – Daniel Warburton

Best for Fish and Chips – Fish Net

Best for Tattoos – Danny’s Tattoo

Best for Pizza - Donatello

Best for Pets – Victoria Park Vets

Best Independent Shop or Business – The Phone Whisperer

Best for Dessert – White Lace Bakery

Best for Beauty – Bella You

Best for Kids – TinyTalk Warrington, Newton and Lymm

Best Gym – Ryfields Gym

Voting for Warrington’s Best for Afternoon Tea is currently taking place and we’re also looking for nominations in our latest search - Best for Burgers.

Next on the list was the search for Warrington’s Best Beer Garden and The Ferry Tavern took the latest Best of 2023 crown winning back-to-back awards.

The Ferry Tavern on Station Road has great views of the water

The Ferry Tavern on Station Road has great views of the water

Andy and Jade Mulholland took over at the pumps at the Station Road pub in 2005 with Jade having moved to The Ferry with her family when she was 10 and Andy growing up in Penketh.

Jade’s parents Pat and Terry Maxwell took on the pub in 1992 when it had been closed for two years.

During the time it was closed, there was a fire in the derelict building and it needed a full renovation and refit so that the family could move in.

Pat and Terry retired in 2005 and Jade and Andy decided to take over as licensees.

The couple have continued to build their business with quality cask ales and they have hosted marquee events, classic car shows and Harley Davidson shows at The Ferry.

They established Glastonferry Music Festival, showcasing some of the UK’s best tribute bands and have appeared in Jeremy Paxman’s Great British Rivers docu-series in 2017.

They’ve won awards for their cask ales and community activities and even hosted a sportsman’s dinner with Ricky Hatton just a few weeks after his Las Vegas bout with Floyd Mayweather.

As a community pub they host an annual pickled onion competition in January, watercolour and drawing courses on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Tony Moss, The Great Ferry Bake Off in October, which supported various charities and there are several Morris Dancing evenings throughout the summer.

Andy and Jade Mulholland with their two children after winning their CAMRA award

Andy and Jade Mulholland with their two children after winning their CAMRA award

Jade, who is 40, said: “The Ferry Tavern is in a unique position on the Trans Pennine Trail between the Sankey / St Helens canal and overlooking the River Mersey.

“Being at The Ferry Tavern gives a rural feel with clear views across the estuary.

“As well as having a great outdoor space we also have cosy log fires in the winter adding to that country pub feel.

“When my parents were retiring, we saw it was a great opportunity to continue running an established country pub that they’d build up from scratch.

“As well as The Ferry Tavern, we also own The Manna House in Penketh – an old Victorian school that we renovated in 2016 and opened as a private hire licenced premises.

“We love the hospitality industry as it brings so many challenges and affords us the opportunity to meet so many different people.”

Jade and Andy have hosted outdoor music festivals away from The Ferry including Glastonferry in the Park at Bank Park in the town centre in 2019, CloneFest at Sherdley Park in St Helens in 2018 and 2019, Spike Island – The Resurrection in 2021 and Heaton Park – The Resurrection in 2023.

The Ferry Tavern is the perfect place to watch the sunset

The Ferry Tavern is the perfect place to watch the sunset

But what do regulars at The Ferry Tavern think about the pub and its beer garden? Why did they want it to win our latest title?

One regular said: “The Ferry Tavern has a great view and is a brilliant pub.

“Plus it’s North Cheshire’s CAMRA pub of the year for 2023!”

Jade said: “Being at the heart of a community and meeting so many friendly people is the best thing about being at The Ferry.

“We were made up to be shortlisted for Warrington’s Best Beer Garden again this year.

“We have a very loyal customer base who always give us massive support.

“There’s a great community amongst our customers, which is something we have strived to build over the past 18 years.

“They always show us loyal support when it comes to singing our praises and showing their appreciation.

“We are so grateful for all of their constant endorsement.

“To win the award for the second year running makes us very proud - to receive such recognition is fantastic and it was exciting to share the news with our hard working, dedicated team.

“Having won North Cheshire CAMRA Pub of the Year it certainly feels like 2023 has been our year!”

For more details go to facebook.com/theferrytavern

Crowds flock to Glastonferry each year

Crowds flock to Glastonferry each year