The Bridge Inn

Welcome to the Bridge Inn at Topsham. Here you will find information about the history of the building, and brewing, how to find us, and our opening hours.

Latest news...

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We are now on Google Maps, just enter "Bridge Inn, Topsham, Exeter" and the wonders of the twenty first Century will be revealed.

In addition, there has been a large amount of interest in the visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and on this page you will find a more complete write-up of the events both leading up to and the day itself.

For accommodation, we have Exbourne, a period bungalow now available for holiday lets.
Click for a downloadable pdf information sheet and booking form for Exbourne.

For more information, see our holiday let page, here

To contact us, email here
Alternatively, you can write to:
The Bridge Inn, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0QQ, UK
or phone us on 01392 873862
Find more about the town of Topsham at

Bridge beerlists now on Facebook

To keep up to date with what is going on at The Bridge, and to find if your favourite beer is on, we now have a Facebook page, set up by John Willis. If you go to the site and click "Like", you will thenceforth automatically receive notification whenever we update it.

Evening meals reach The Bridge!

Chunk pork pie served cold with homemade coleslaw and English mustard.
The perfect accompaniment for a pint, served lunchtimes and 6-8.30pm only, my dear...

We now sell Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream
and Chunks Veggie pasties and Pork Pies.

The Royal Wedding at The Bridge

To see more pictures, click here

Call Caroline on 01392 873862 for details of how to get married in the legendary Pink Pub.

The Bridge celebrates 111 years...

to see more...

They're changing the beer at Buckingham Palace...

111 years and a Royal Invitation

2008 celebrates the 111th year of our family in the Inn. It is unbelievable that 10 years have past since we celebrated ‘101’. In 1998 we were honoured by the Queen’s visit to our home, and we celebrated 101 years by having a special ale brewed by Branscombe Vale Brewery. Some of this was bottled, and we were able to present the Queen with a case to take away with her.

At the end of last year I discussed with Paul and Graham at the brewery the possibility of brewing the same ale, as I wanted to mark the 111th year. The ale was brewed and duly arrived on March 5th.
We had decided that we would like a case of the ‘111’ bottles to go to Buckingham Palace. I wrote to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to see if this would be acceptable. Thus with the Royal family very much in my mind, I was somewhat shocked, when the very next day I received an invitation to an evening reception for the British hospitality Industry from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace. Our letters had crossed in the post! I was absolutely thrilled to accept. We were also delighted to receive a letter to say that the Queen and the Duke would be pleased to accept a case of the ‘111’ ale.

I arranged for the ale to be collected from the Inn and driven door to door to Buckingham Palace. Dave Sugden, the driver from TNT special delivery service, arrived in a van especially washed for the occasion. He was proudly photographed outside the Inn with the case of ale in hand. Four hours later, he excitedly rang me from outside Buckingham Palace to say that the case had been delivered.

A few days later on May 6th it was with much excitement and some anticipation I went to London to attend the evening reception. It was a beautiful warm day, we travelled by train and enjoyed the countryside on the Waterloo line.

On arrival at Buckingham Palace and clutching my entry card, I walked through the magnificent gates and was escorted to the State Rooms to be given my name badge. I was taken aside by a lovely gentleman, Major Richard Maundrell, Equerry-in-Waiting to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

I thought maybe this was for another security check, but to my amazement and delight he informed me that I was to be presented to the Queen, Prince Philip, the Earl of Wessex and the Duke of Kent. I was glad that I had no time to think about it and be even more nervous. I never thought I would ever actually meet the Queen again in my lifetime.

Upon entering the majestic White Drawing Room, I was looked after by Anne Griffiths, the Duke of Edinburgh’s archivist, a charming lady who put me at ease. A small group of those attending were to be presented and
included Gordon Ramsay, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage, the Young Chef of the Year Simon Christey-French from The Square, and a lovely lady, Rosemary Reeves from a B&B, The Grey Cottage in Gloucestershire.
It was such an honour and a privilege to be presented, and to be in the home of the Royal family, in such beautiful surroundings.

Everyone always asks “Did you curtsey to the Queen?” It would be hard not to curtsey to the Queen, as it shows an appreciation of all that she is, it is the most natural thing to do in her presence. After a few words with the Queen, who couldn’t believe 10 years had passed since her visit to the Inn and a few words with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward and the Duke of Kent, they passed down the line and joined the other 300-ish people. We then all mingled, I met many interesting people, all having an association with the hospitality industry. At 8pm, we all made our way home, walking out of the Palace and back into reality.

The hospitality world is one of long hours and hard work and indeed without my family and my loyal, caring staff, the Inn would not survive. The honour of being invited to the Palace is an honour for all who work with me to keep the Inn as it is, it is a shared passion. It is good to know that the industry is appreciated by the Royal family, who after all have their own family business and showed us their very special hospitality, for which I thank them.
The day was truly special and will be one of the most memorable of my life.

111 Celebratory ale; just a few left!

The award winning Bridge Inn at Topsham in Devon is celebrating being run by the same family for 111 years. To mark the occasion, we have had a beer specially brewed and bottled, called, appropriately enough, "111".

Landlady Caroline Cheffers-Heard commissioned Branscombe Vale Brewery to produce the brew. They used Willamette, Cluster, Challenger and Perle hops, with Pale and Crystal Westminster malts to brew this fine red-brown 4.7% bitter.

1500 bottles have been bottled by O'Hanlon's of Whimple, with the label again designed by Caroline's photographer husband Nigel. This continues the tradition started with "101", famously photographed with HM The Queen, and "106" which was produced 5 years later.

Caroline says: "It is very rare for a pub to remain in one family for so long. Indeed, our daughter Riannon and her partner Tom have now moved back to Topsham and we look forward to them continuing the tradition. The Bridge is not so much a pub, more a museum with beer, and we are lucky that so many people share our vision of a truly traditional pub with traditional values."

There are only a limited number of bottles, and when they are gone, that is it FOREVER.

Lucky snap from the riverbank...

History of ale and brewing Caroline has recently been looking at the history of the Inn and English Ale. Any information or sources would be much appreciated.

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