Gin Joint of the Month: The Fence Gate, Burnley

the fence gate lodge burnley

Wheatley Lane Road
Fence, Nr Burnley,
Lancashire, BB12 9EE
01282 618 101

If the festive season is about forgetting the daily grind, there’s no better place to pass these slow, celebratory days than by the warmth of The Fence Gate’s crackling fire. An easy, 15-minute drive from Burnley town centre, The Fence Gate is a Christmas lover’s paradise perched on the edge of Lancashire’s stunning countryside – complete with a cracking gin collection and resident ghost.

Tucked inside a beautiful building of solid stone, supported by stunning wooden beams, The Fence Gate has been recently refurbished to the height of modern comfort and elegance. But even the newest furnishing and fittings have been hand-selected to enhance the Old World charm of this historic spot.

A building has stood on this site, originally named Fence Yate after a nearby deer enclosure dating back to the days of William the Conqueror, since at least 1402. The current building, with a roof of solid stone, dates back to the 17th century. With all of that history, it’s no surprise that The Fence Gate is rumoured to play host to an otherworldly visitor; Horatio, a local man whose part in a shooting accident led to his long-ago execution, is still said to roam the halls.

But it was in the 1980s, when owner Kevin Berkins bought the spot, that The Fence Gate as it’s known and loved today came to be.

the fence gate lodge burnley

“The Fence Gate now consists of two function rooms and a multi-award-winning brasserie,” says Kevin proudly, more than three decades into his illustrious tenure. “Our traditional pub has a log fire welcome, offers cask ales, premium lagers, and – of course – a gin bar!”

In fact, Kevin is something of a gin fiend. He’s known all through the local area for his personal gin collection, which stands at a stunning 1,000 bottles.

He says, “The collection started with what I call antique, ancient and rare gins. The very first bottle I purchases was a 1947 Gilbey’s Orange Gin, which was made in my birth year. Then a 1937 key Geneva Bottled Blankenheym & Nolet.”

While the rarest bottles are kept secret and safe, any visitor to The Fence Gate can partake of Kevin’s constantly rotating bar selection, made up of about 100 bottles.

“At first gin was gin,” Kevin says. “But now we try to balance the books with different styles – the likes of London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom and flavoured gins.”

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon gin – “a light-hearted spirit,” Kevin reckons – or the tonic to a hard day at the office – “that’s when it’s serious” – the sprawling collection at The Fence Gate has you covered. You can even join the ‘over-45’ club.

“Not age,” laughs Kevin as he explains the club’s name. “They don’t drink anything under 45% ABV! I’m the club president, myself.”

While the gin list at The Fence Gate is extensive, it isn’t filled out with mediocre spirits. Kevin’s motto is Qualitas Modum Vitae Est – quality is a way of life. That applies to everything that goes on at The Fence Gate, from the wine and gin selection, to the delicious food, to the newly opened Fence Gate Lodge.

Just a sixty-second walk from the bar and pub, The Fence Gate Lodge was 18 months in the making. But it was worth the wait.

the fence gate lodge burnley

Each of the 17 rooms and six suites are a triumph of design and comfort, and the breakfasts – feasts featuring the Fence Gate Lodge’s award-winning sausages, home-cured, gold medal smoked back bacon and home-smoked salmon – are unmissable. Whether you’re whisking away your favourite gin-lover for a pre-Christmas break or just happen to have overindulged by The Fence Gate’s fire and decided to stay the night, these stunningly stylish rooms (just steps away from a brilliant British breakfast) are where you want to be waking up on a magical winter morning.