Standing like a TARDIS amidst large Victorian warehouses and modern office blocks, this characterful little pub with tiled walls in striking tones of green and orange holds its own. Venture inside and you will be not be disappointed, for it is a traditional pub through and through. A choice of drinking spaces around an island bar awaits you: the tiled corridor with polished mahogany screen inset with coloured glass; the public bar with antique table football machine, bell pushes on the wall and a long bar counter; the snug (formerly the smoke room) with cast-iron fireplace and entertaining pictures such as the Gay Photographer (a Victorian sheet music cover) and a 1960s jigsaw of a café interior with pop ephemera; and the L-shaped back bar with pool table. All have fixed seating around the walls with well-worn, comfy moquette upholstery. Quality beers are always on tap including Titanic Plum Porter, Timothy Taylor and Brightside.

The name of the pub is a tribute to the now-vanished popularity of the novels of Sir Walter Scott, whose The Peveril of the Peak set in 17th-century Derbyshire was published in 1823, seven years before the first record of the pub. The external tilework and much of the interior décor, however, was installed around 1900. Traditional pubs like this are a dying breed, but 'the Pev' is truly exceptional, for it has been in the hands of the same landlady for nearly 50 years. Nancy Swanick took over in January 1971 and, supported by her son and cellarman Maurice, she has no intention of leaving. No wonder she has attracted a band of loyal supporters. Nancy treats them as her family, and their banter and impromptu sing-songs provide a homely atmosphere. Over the years, she has fought off attempts to take the pub away from her, such as when in the 1980s it was threatened with demolition for a road scheme. Long may she reign.


127 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, UK

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