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Millay
11-01-2010, 20:59
This topic has nothing to do with the current weather conditions but relates to a long distance pub crawl I undertook on the Saturday after New Year. London Midland trains were offering a Great Escape deal where you could travel anywhere on their network for 10, the weather looked OK so I got myself a ticket. The initial plan was to head for Bletchley and pick up the Marston Vale line to Bedford and spend the day working my way back stopping off at a few stations for a pint or two. However research showed that none of the stations had pubs remotely close to them, and Bletchley was pretty uninspiring, so I looked further along the mainline. Here's how the day finally panned out.

After a bacon sandwich and a mug of tea I caught the 8:01 from Watford Junction to Northampton and changed for a Birmingham train arriving shortly after 10:00, just in time for first orders at the Wellington. It had been a couple of years since my last visit but nothing much had changed, all bar two of the pumps were on and those were soon being pulled through. Not sure if it's a regular offer but the Black Country beers were only 1.70 a pint before 1pm. Usual clientele, I reckon this pub must serve more halves than pints. As I was thirsty after two hours on the train I managed 3 and a half pints in about an hour. Wye Valley HPA, Black Country Pig on the Wall Mild, Slaters Top Totty and York Three Kings (a little like their excellent Centurions Ghost).

No time to hang around though, back to New Street for the 11:33 train, arriving at Northampton at 12:35. I'd lined up the Malt Shovel here, about the only decent pub I could find during my research. To save time, and as I wasn't sure where it was I grabbed a cab from the station. On telling the cabbie what I was up to he told me Northampton was a shite town. "For real ale pubs?" I enquired, "well the whole place really, I'm from Manchester" he said. He did recommend a pub called the Romany but it was too far away to do both. On arriving at the Malt Shovel I realised my usual thorough research had let me down, I usually check for football fixtures but had forgotten Northampton was a big rugby town and the pub was packed with supporters on their way to the game with London Irish. The bar was woefully understaffed but at least they knew it and were remarkably efficient under the circumstances, none of your JDW trainees here. Excellent ale pub and I had an RCH Pitchfork, a Newby Wyke White Squall and the local Frog Island Natterjack.

A fifteen minute walk back to the station and time to grab a sandwich before getting the 14:25 train. Switched trains at Bletchley and took the 45 minute trip on the Marston Vale line to Bedford. Time against me again so I got a cab to the second Wellington of the day. I'd been to this Banks & Taylor pub once before and always intended to go back. An excellent ale house that thanks to the low ceiling and brewery ephemera takes on an almost grotto like feel in the evening. Had a pint of Black Dragon Mild, a Nethergate Old Growler and half of something I can't remember. Was getting towards full time in the FA Cup games now so headed off to the Pilgrims Progess (JDW) to check the scores and have a pint of Ringwood Fortyniner.

At this point my carefully planned timetable went astray as I lost my way on the way to the station. Stopped for a pint of Eagle IPA in a pub called the Ship and picked up a bag of chips (this NY diet is going well) for the walk to the station and the 18:25 train. Bletchley is a godforsaken concrete jungle a bit like Milton Keynes so I just switched to the mainline and headed towards home. Stopped off at Berkhamsted where I had a 30 minute window to find the Rising Sun, a pub that I'd been to twice before - and it was closed both times. This time thankfully it was open and I sunk a pint of the Riser (?) house beer before rushing back to the station.

Arrived back at Watford at 20:15, more or less 12 hours after I left. I reckon I spent as much time on trains as I did in pubs (thank heavens for on-board toilets) but it was a good day and achieved the objective of 'A Pair of Wellingtons and a Shovel'.

Any more long distance train crawlers out there?

hopwas
11-01-2010, 21:21
First of all, welcome to PG!

It was quite amusing to read I must say!

I was never long distance train crawler, mostly on bus transports which can take me to more remote locations which train cannot. I tend to travel around Midlands like our regular forumer, Soup Dragon. I am regular visitor to Wellys in Brum and it is quite amazing real ale pub. Shame you didnt visit The Old Joint Stock, you can exit back door of Wellys and enter The Old Joint Stock back door in few seconds! The Old Joint Stock is most northerly Fuller's pub and transformed from bank to pub.

One thing I ask you, you are JDW lover or hater? Just making sure.. ;)

Anyway hope you enjoy PG forum!

Hoppy (thats my nickname)

Soup Dragon
11-01-2010, 21:38
hi Millay

Good to see you,

you will know me from another place and different nickname - but yes, i was in Welly a couple of saturdays ago - its not my favourite, thats why i still have to review it! OB, whom you will know, perhaps is the choo choo man, though i do use them, or the omnibus on occasion - with so many pubs in the Black Country, we can even walk!

arwkrite
11-01-2010, 21:40
Hello Millay and welcome to P G . See your writing is still up to the same high standard. Lots of names here you will recognize and being an easy going place Conrad, the mod, has little to do but support a football team in Bristol and eat prawn sandwiches. Your south coast tour convinced me a net book was worthwhile. Just wish JDWs internet connection would work more often. Again glad to see you and hope you become one of regular contributors........Arkrite......sorry its now Arwkrite....just don't ask ,lifes to short.:)

Millay
11-01-2010, 21:48
First of all, welcome to PG!

One thing I ask you, you are JDW lover or hater? Just making sure.. ;)



Thanks for the welcome Hoppy. I have been to the Old Joint Stock but didn't have time on this visit. Another favourite Birmingham pub is the Prince of Wales.

As for JDW I'd have to say I'm a lover. I'm a very modest shareholder so have to look after my investment.

Millay
11-01-2010, 21:50
hi Millay

Good to see you,

you will know me from another place and different nickname -

Cheers, I'll have to work that one out, I've recognised a few people.

Millay
11-01-2010, 21:53
Hello Millay and welcome to P G . See your writing is still up to the same high standard. Lots of names here you will recognize and being an easy going place Conrad, the mod, has little to do but support a football team in Bristol and eat prawn sandwiches. Your south coast tour convinced me a net book was worthwhile. Just wish JDWs internet connection would work more often. Again glad to see you and hope you become one of regular contributors........Arkrite......sorry its now Arwkrite....just don't ask ,lifes to short.:)

Cheers Ark...Awk...whatever, I recognised your avatar anyway. Good luck with the net book.

hopwas
11-01-2010, 21:54
Thanks for the welcome Hoppy. I have been to the Old Joint Stock but didn't have time on this visit. Another favourite Birmingham pub is the Prince of Wales.

As for JDW I'd have to say I'm a lover. I'm a very modest shareholder so have to look after my investment.

:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:

I am very proud to say I am biggest JDW fan on this forum :D Our boss here, Conrad HATES JDW!

Oh Prince Of Wales, Cambridge St behind Symphony hall.. I know that pub and cracking pub!

EDIT: wrong place!

Conrad
11-01-2010, 22:20
I am very proud to say I am biggest JDW fan on this forum :D Our boss here, Conrad HATES JDW!
I hope I never have to give a pitch to JDW asking for sponsorship, I am going to have to do some serious talking on that day :D

Hi Millay,

I seem to be one of the last ones in here to welcome you. Not a lot to add to the warm welcome everyone else has extended, just to say myself and Dave M are the administrators of this forum and the PG site, so if you have any problems just ask. Also if you see anything you think would improve the site just let me know as we want to make this site the best we can.

Hope you enjoy your stay

ROBCamra
12-01-2010, 07:23
Cheers, I'll have to work that one out, I've recognised a few people.

Morning sir, that didn't take long after the little hint :cheers:

Soupy has been known to look at an Archive as a clue :whistle:

aleandhearty
12-01-2010, 08:14
Looks like I may be the last one as usual, but welcome to the merry throng Millay. I've paid you one on at the PG bar!

oldboots
12-01-2010, 09:02
Hi Millay good to see you over here and that's a cracking piece to start on.

As Soupy says I am that anorak. I often use trains for crawls, as you say thank god for on board toilets. I don't think I can equal your Brum-Northampton - Bedford exploits but being near the East Coast Main Line does give access to a lot of places, although Edinburgh isn't really a day trip, mores the pity.

Farway
12-01-2010, 13:53
looks like I'm the last to welcome you Millay

I never use trains as nearest station is about an hour away on the bus. However buses I often use, with the old codgers bus pass, unfortunately no toilets on buses thus limited areas before changing buses

One I have in mind is a stopover in Brighton, there is a 700 service from Southsea to Brighton, takes 4 hours, hence the night stopover or else get off at the Pavilion, have a pint & catch next bus back with legs crossed

RogerB
12-01-2010, 14:22
looks like I'm the last to welcome you Millay



None of you will be the last to welcome him. It's gonna be me. :p

Conrad
12-01-2010, 14:27
None of you will be the last to welcome him. It's gonna be me. :p
Come on Dave, about time you welcomed 1 of our posters ;)

Eddie86
12-01-2010, 21:35
Haha - I'm the last! Hang on, not something to be proud of...

Hey Millay, I'm not a great train user but I hope to change that this year, starting with the winter beer fest next week.

arwkrite
13-01-2010, 04:47
Eddie , train travel does not appear to be of the day tripper variety in your area. Always wanted to try that mid Wales but how many of those halts have pubs ? I have to travel to Hereford, Worcester, or Leominster by country bus to reach a station . After wending our way through endless country lanes on uncomfortable buses designed for town use takes the enjoyment out of travel these days. Oh for National Express.

Conrad
13-01-2010, 10:05
Eddie , train travel does not appear to be of the day tripper variety in your area. Always wanted to try that mid Wales but how many of those halts have pubs ? I have to travel to Hereford, Worcester, or Leominster by country bus to reach a station . After wending our way through endless country lanes on uncomfortable buses designed for town use takes the enjoyment out of travel these days. Oh for National Express.
Yeah me and Dave were trying to work out how to train it to Hay-on-Wye and gave up and decided that when we go it will have to be in a car.

runningdog
13-01-2010, 11:20
:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:
I am very proud to say I am biggest JDW fan on this forum

I'm not at all sure you can say that anymore, not now I'm here.
As everyone else has said, Millay, nice to see you here...........:drinkup:

hopwas
13-01-2010, 15:15
Yeah me and Dave were trying to work out how to train it to Hay-on-Wye and gave up and decided that when we go it will have to be in a car.

Went to Hay On Wye in 2005 and 2007. Mecca for bookworms just like me! Pity about pubs and it is rather average for pub crawls.

Millay
13-01-2010, 19:58
Wow, thanks for all the welcome messages, I feel at home already.

Not sure about who's the last to welcome me but looking at these names I appear to be the last 'refugee' to join up .... so far.

Edit : and thankfully now got enough posts to get rid of that Teetotaller tag

Millay
13-01-2010, 20:21
Soupy has been known to look at an Archive as a clue :whistle:
Got it now, thanks



One I have in mind is a stopover in Brighton, there is a 700 service from Southsea to Brighton, takes 4 hours, hence the night stopover or else get off at the Pavilion, have a pint & catch next bus back with legs crossed
Brighton definitely warrants a stopover, too many good pubs for just a day trip. The Travelodge is cheap and well located, it is one of their worst though :eek:



I have to travel to Hereford, Worcester, or Leominster by country bus to reach a station .

Have you done the Severn Valley Railway? I did it a few years ago and remember excellent platform pubs at both ends, plus stopped off at Bewdley and also Arley where there was a pub called The Harbour just down the road from the station.




Hey Millay, I'm not a great train user but I hope to change that this year, starting with the winter beer fest next week.

I was hoping to make a trip myself as I have a couple of days holiday carried over from last year. Not sure I trust this weather though, plus I've left it so late that my diary is starting to fill up with meetings. Might make Manchester for St Paddys Day though.


Thanks again to all

hopwas
13-01-2010, 20:29
Hey Millay..

You stopped off at Bewdley? I wondered where did you go? I asked cos I did pub crawl back in October.

Millay
13-01-2010, 20:37
Hey Millay..

You stopped off at Bewdley? I wondered where did you go? I asked cos I did pub crawl back in October.

That's a challenge to the old memory, it was more than 3 years ago. I think one was called the George. Just looked back through some photos and another was the Cock & Magpie alongside the river.

hopwas
13-01-2010, 20:41
That's a challenge to the old memory, it was more than 3 years ago. I think one was called the George. Just looked back through some photos and another was the Cock & Magpie alongside the river.

By jove! Your memory serves you well! The George is our friend, JDW Outlet and Cock & Magpipe is now trendy and studenty bar.

Millay
13-01-2010, 20:50
By jove! Your memory serves you well! The George is our friend, JDW Outlet and Cock & Magpipe is now trendy and studenty bar.
Things have changed then. I don't remember the George being a JDW, is it a recent acquisition maybe, or possibly I have the wrong pub. I do remember the Cock & Magpie as a bit of a run down place, almost on it's last legs, they must have spent some money on it.

If I've worked out how to do it properly there should be a photo attached. 112

hopwas
13-01-2010, 20:54
Things have changed then. I don't remember the George being a JDW, is it a recent acquisition maybe, or possibly I have the wrong pub. I do remember the Cock & Magpie as a bit of a run down place, almost on it's last legs, they must have spent some money on it.

If I've worked out how to do it properly there should be a photo attached. 112

It has now spunced up and smarted up with wooden floors, tables, chairs.. well pretty everywhere.

The George.. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2600/3740159813_f40208456c.jpg

Eddie86
13-01-2010, 21:36
Eddie , train travel does not appear to be of the day tripper variety in your area. Always wanted to try that mid Wales but how many of those halts have pubs ? I have to travel to Hereford, Worcester, or Leominster by country bus to reach a station . After wending our way through endless country lanes on uncomfortable buses designed for town use takes the enjoyment out of travel these days. Oh for National Express.

I've found that - the pub just outside the Abergavenny train station isn't the greatest for ale - the last time I recall actually having a drink in there it was Guinness. At least Hereford has a couple of good pubs (never a bad pint in the :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy:, Barrels to name 2)


Yeah me and Dave were trying to work out how to train it to Hay-on-Wye and gave up and decided that when we go it will have to be in a car.

Let me know when your planning to come up - I'll book a day off and give you the grand tour, although see below...


Went to Hay On Wye in 2005 and 2007. Mecca for bookworms just like me! Pity about pubs and it is rather average for pub crawls.

I'm a big believer in more good pubs in an area = more trade for all. For example, if every pub in Hay was in the GBG, we'd become a 'mecca' for ale drinkers. 2007 was when we'd just taken over (Nov 06 - your all invited for the 5th anniversary next year!)

I'm looking forward to the next two years - sadly 10HPs doesn't look possible, so we may have to settle for 9, or even 8 :eek::eek: The brewery should be up and running by the end of this year, and this years beer festival already has a few of the rooms booked out for the weekend! (Last weekend in September)

Just recalled - 2007 we would have had 2 ales, or 3 in peak times. This December we had at least 4 on every day!
:cheers::glass:

Oggwyn Trench
14-01-2010, 17:40
The Severn Valley Railway is a cracker for a crawl , The Railwaymans is one of the best pubs anywhere , The King and Castle is good , theres the 2 pubs at Hampton Loade and if your feeling energetic theres 2 pubs in Arley , The Harbour down the hill and Ye Olde New Inn up it , but its a bit of a trek . Then theres all the great pubs in Bridgenorth and Bewdley aint to bad either , can`t comment on Kiddiminster as i`ve not done it yet , another one for the list though i drive through regularly and it looks like Bankss overkill

Millay
14-01-2010, 21:51
The Severn Valley Railway is a cracker for a crawl , The Railwaymans is one of the best pubs anywhere , The King and Castle is good , theres the 2 pubs at Hampton Loade and if your feeling energetic theres 2 pubs in Arley , The Harbour down the hill and Ye Olde New Inn up it , but its a bit of a trek . Then theres all the great pubs in Bridgenorth and Bewdley aint to bad either , can`t comment on Kiddiminster as i`ve not done it yet , another one for the list though i drive through regularly and it looks like Bankss overkill

When I did the SVR I went to the 'down the hill' Harbour Inn at Arley but not the uphill 'bit of a trek' Ye Old New Inn. Did a couple of pubs in Brignorth, apart from the one at the station I remember the Golden Lion, couple of pints of Snecklifter and roast beef rolls watching rugby and chatting to the locals, very friendly pub. I think they may do accommodation if anyone is looking to stay over.

ROBCamra
15-01-2010, 08:38
When I did the SVR I went to the 'down the hill' Harbour Inn at Arley but not the uphill 'bit of a trek' Ye Old New Inn. Did a couple of pubs in Brignorth, apart from the one at the station I remember the Golden Lion, couple of pints of Snecklifter and roast beef rolls watching rugby and chatting to the locals, very friendly pub. I think they may do accommodation if anyone is looking to stay over.

They definitely do accomodation as I've stayed there twice and it's pretty comfortable for a pub.

I couldn't do all the good pubs in one visit. So I did High Town one visit and Low Town on the next. High Town wins overall in my opinion. :cheers:

Jeff at the Lion is a canktankerous old sod with an evil sense of humour at times, but he knows how to keep good ale, I like him!

arwkrite
15-01-2010, 10:42
I visited The George in Bewdly with the mrs last summer. Good pub, the bar is long and narrow with wood paneled walls. Very popular with locals and visitors hence busy in the summer.JDWs have had it for about two years. Great fish and chips in town down by the bridge.

hopwas
15-01-2010, 12:14
Great fish and chips in town down by the bridge.

Oh aye.. Great chippy! Easily one of best Chippy I ever had. I take you are talking about The Merchant by the bridge.. http://www.bewdley.actinet.net/merchantfishbar/main.htm

Conrad
15-01-2010, 12:32
Never been a great fan of fish & chips, they fill a spot, but not my first choice. On my recent holiday to Tenby though went to D Fecci & Son (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?cid=1412033870033965399&q=tenby+chip+shop&hl=en&cd=1&cad=src:pplink&ei=IGtQS42UHM_RjAfE8MWODQ&sig2=VJiqT5gdAz6sA4-TL1Ew4w), my goodness my mouth is watering now just thinking about it, best chips I have ever tasted and the fish just melted in the mouth with a lovely crispy batter. We don't run a chippy review site, but that place almost earned itself a spot on the site. To be honest it deserved it more than the pubs we went in, the Tenby House Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/68146/) was quite good (would have loved it when I was younger), but no real stand out pubs.

hopwas
15-01-2010, 12:39
Never been a great fan of fish & chips, they fill a spot, but not my first choice. On my recent holiday to Tenby though went to D Fecci & Son (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?cid=1412033870033965399&q=tenby+chip+shop&hl=en&cd=1&cad=src:pplink&ei=IGtQS42UHM_RjAfE8MWODQ&sig2=VJiqT5gdAz6sA4-TL1Ew4w), my goodness my mouth is watering now just thinking about it, best chips I have ever tasted and the fish just melted in the mouth with a lovely crispy batter. We don't run a chippy review site, but that place almost earned itself a spot on the site. To be honest it deserved it more than the pubs we went in, the Tenby House Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/68146/) was quite good (would have loved it when I was younger), but no real stand out pubs.

Best fish and chips I ever had goes to The Magpie at Whitby. Ohhh... that curry sauce over Fish & Chips. MMMMMMM. I want go back and order extra large! http://www.magpiecafe.co.uk/

Farway
15-01-2010, 13:47
Best fish & chips I had was in a pub, the Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/41606/ pic of fish & chips on PG [and it is shandy alongside, driving duties that day]

Owned I believe by daughter of General Sir Mike Jackson, who now lives in the village and his chef is is the cook here, or at least she was when I went

hopwas
15-01-2010, 14:28
Best fish & chips I had was in a pub, the Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/41606/ pic of fish & chips on PG [and it is shandy alongside, driving duties that day]

Owned I believe by daughter of General Sir Mike Jackson, who now lives in the village and his chef is is the cook here, or at least she was when I went

Bit bizarre showing fish and chips on PG! Looks very tasty..

I'll think I am going to Fish and Chips later on..

runningdog
15-01-2010, 15:12
We don't run a chippy review site, but that place almost earned itself a spot on the site. To be honest it deserved it more than the pubs we went in

Perhaps we could find a place for 'Zacks Fish and Chips Restaurant' in Newport, Salop. They do a fair, and generous, helping of grub, and will even serve you bitter or lager. The beers nothing special and I have no idea where it comes from but it serves to settle the dust in a way Coke can't manage. Me, I'd give 'em four stars mainly because they're the only place in Newport serving decent grub at ten o'clock on a Sunday night.
Strength to their elbow...:drinkup::drinkup:

arwkrite
15-01-2010, 22:07
Yes Hoppy its the Merchant. Conrad there are so many places serving so-so fish and chips but good ones are thing of beauty. The price of Cod has made cheaper types usual in chip shops but they just ain't the same. Cooking often spoils a good piece of fish. Thick batter which is still soggy when served, overcooked leaving fish like leather and burnt batter. I know you cannot buy really good fish and chips in my town.The one you mention in Tenby I have used and it is excellent. Some on the south west coast are great. Sorry Farway I did not make a note of them. (I do remember those sold at the Spice Island, Portsmouth...Great ) Never been up the north coast and I believe that is my loss.
Cod or Haddock and chips served in fish and chip restaurant with a pot of tea and bread and butter.HHHMMMMMM ! Followed by a stretch of the legs to a good pub and some ale. Heaven.

Millay
17-01-2010, 19:03
The George is our friend, JDW Outlet.

I picked up a copy of the Jan/Feb Wetherspoon News today and there's a full page feature on The George Hotel Bewdley. It seems they are still running it as a hotel and have 20 rooms. 44 a night, not a bad deal for a little stopover.

NB - sorry to drift the thread from Fish & Chips ;)

Eddie86
17-01-2010, 21:14
FACSOTW* coming soon...




*Fish And Chips Shop Of The Week

:p

arwkrite
18-01-2010, 00:19
Its 1.15am and I have the craving but all the chip shops are shut. Tinned salmon, tuna ,sardines just don't cut it.:sick:

Neither do battered Wellingtons .

hopwas
18-01-2010, 09:55
I picked up a copy of the Jan/Feb Wetherspoon News today and there's a full page feature on The George Hotel Bewdley. It seems they are still running it as a hotel and have 20 rooms. 44 a night, not a bad deal for a little stopover.

NB - sorry to drift the thread from Fish & Chips ;)

Just up the hill from George is absolute gem.. The woodcolliers http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/42016/ and their website www.woodcolliers.co.uk. Around 6 real ales on sale and Russian/English food served. Oh look out for their resident Dog, Oliver. He is so adorable and will whimper non stop untill you give him some of your leftover! Check out photo of Oliver from its official website.