The White Bear is in a tiny historic hamlet. It is set almost in the middle of nowhere, just outside Warlingham in a place called Fickleshole. It’s like a secret little haven you stumble across when trying to avoid the M25 crash that has 3-day tail-backs. You’re meandering through country lanes, wondering where the buggery Google Maps is taking you and then all of a sudden, there it is in all its big white beauty with its big white bear welcoming you.
For hundreds of years, locals have said it’s haunted by two resident ghosts. Often people have reported seeing a mysterious solid black shape linger around the bar before moving slowly towards the door and then “poof”, disappears. I reckon that could be the old fellow who sits at the bar on his own every day between 11.30 – 2.30 drinking copious amounts of Guinness and that black shape? That would be his shadow that weirdly disappears when he walks out of the door. That’s what I’m going to believe anyway because I’m terrified of anything supernatural.
Another story claims that on a cold and windy night, with only the light of a lantern, a poacher fled across the baron fields and stumbled across an inn. Fearing that he would be caught trespassing, he fled only to be caught in a man trap. Consequently, for centuries that mantrap was proudly displayed hanging on the wall of the bar to warn others of the man’s fate should anyone else have any similar ideas.
A while back, Surrey Paranormal Hunters carried out an investigation at The White Bear – I just read a couple of these on the website, and it’s now freaked me out!
They claim that they too got the vibes of two spirits, a young girl who was reluctant to have a chat with them, and someone called Tom who kept complaining of a stomach problem – not a great advertisement for a restaurant Tom – couldn’t you just say you had migraine?! Unfortunately, no video evidence was captured, but in my opinion, that’s a good thing, or I would be a tad freaked out venturing to the loo alone.
So, ghost story out of the way, The White Bear has the heart of the countryside surrounding it, yet is minutes away from Biggin Hill Airport – why not enjoy a cycle ride or stompy walk followed by a delicious freshly cooked meal and a pint of ale?
Whether you’re here as crunchy leaves are falling or when there’s not a cloud in the blue sky, you surely won’t be disappointed because The White Bear is stunning both inside and out.
With ample outdoor dining spots on their lovely grounds, including a Burger Shack in the summer months, or inside checking out the fish tank (all of my kids have always been fascinated by this). Plus all the hidden nooks and crannies, including the pictures, hung on the ceiling – this is our favourite room.
So let’s be honest, this little gem of a place comprises lots of small rooms dating back to the 15th and 16th Century when originally the building was several few cottages. Therefore, it goes without saying for a 500-year-old building, if you’re tall, expect to bump your head on the low ceiling and wooden beams, and when you aren’t doing that, you’ll trip on the uneven stones and random steps. Does that put you off? Of course not, this place has too much character to be put off by any of that, and what’s more, the food is excellent, the staff are friendly, and the prices are reasonable, what’s not to love?