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Thread: Derbyshire Wayfarer

  1. #1
    This Space For Hire sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Default Derbyshire Wayfarer

    Following my decision to go to more pubs next year that I have already visited, as a change from my obsessive "ticking" of previously unvisited ones this year (see this thread), I went to six old favourites on Saturday using the super value Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket. As a try out for next year's resolution it was very successful, as I don't recall feeling even a little bit tempted to try one of the many pubs I passed on the way that I have yet to enter.

    I got to the Anglers Rest in Bamford just after 11 - which is this pub's new regular opening time seven days a week. I was interested to see what changes there had been after the pub was saved from closure by a village cooperative. The website suggests there is now an emphasis on local beers, so it was a little disappointing to see two from Cornwall, and one from North Yorkshire, though to be fair that was the Black Sheep Bitter which was the sole real ale before the change. There was a list of forthcoming guest beers, which were all from Sheffield or Derbyshire, but I wouldn't be surprised to find Doom Bar still on the next time I call in. The place looks a lot brighter and fresher, though work is still going on, with what looked to be a cafe-type counter in the room next door, and they are also moving the post office into this larger than average pub, making it a real village facility.

    My train back to Sheffield (11.39) for a connection to Chesterfield was five minutes late, which left me with only 15 minutes to grab a quick half in the Sheffield Tap. Unfortunately there was a crowd in and only two serving, one of whom was pouring two-pint carry outs for a man who seemed intent on taking the entire contents of the pub away with him. After a couple of minutes it occurred to me that even if I got served before my train was due to depart, I would have to glug the beer in about 10 seconds, so I gave it up and went to my platform. Arriving in Chesterfield (12.45), also five minutes late, I had to hurry to Stephenson Place near the crooked spire to get my bus to Duckmanton for the Arkwright Arms (13.05). (Careful readers will have observed that it was now getting on for two hours since my last drink.) This is an excellent roadside pub in Brewers Tudor which regularly serves up to 16 real ales at the weekend, with real ciders and perries, plus not-the-usual-suspect lagers. On this occasion, they had cajoled several breweries into giving them a barrel of beer, which they were selling at £2.50 a pint entirely for charity - each of the 10 real ales had Moustache added to its name for Movember, and even the John Smiths Smooth Crap and the Carling were the same price and for charity. Top effort.

    The bus back into Chesterfield is every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes, and I caught the 13.58 to Derby. A bus into the city centre and another out to Normanton Road got me, after a quick snack from an Indian takeaway, to the Falstaff (15.10 - once again a gap of nearly two hours between drinks). What a cracking pub this is! The display of pump clips on the chimney breast is impressive enough, until it dawns that they are all Falstaff Brewery beers - there are dozens, no scores of them, mostly in themed groups: comedians, authors, mythical beasts, spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Hops, the Good, the Bad and the Drunk), the list goes on. I had the Phoenix, the Arthur Conan Doyle and the William Blake, all very good and very cheap too.

    Next it was another bus back into Derby, and on to the station for the 16.36 train to Burton on Trent. A brisk walk got me to the Coopers Tavern at ten to five. I gave this one of my very rare 10s when I reviewed it a month ago - it's got such a great feel to it and the beer is always top notch. My Joules Pale was served in a Joules glass, which was helpful as the Bass in my other glass (unbranded - boo!) was such a similar colour I could easily have become confused. Apparently the pub was originally a house for one of the brewers, but was then used as a store for ageing barrels of stout. Obviously these needed to be sampled from time to time to see if the beer was ready, so it became an unofficial drinking den for brewery officials, being sarcastically named Coopers until the name stuck and it became a proper pub in 1858.

    I walked on to the Alfred, a Burton Bridge tied house at around six, having a half of their bitter and another of the winter warmer, Old Expensive 6%. This pub is a conversion of two terraced houses, having added bay windows and with the internal walls rearranged somewhat, though the fireplaces, originally in a parlour and dining room, now sit two to a wall, giving the game away. This is a well used local with a good atmosphere and very good beer, well worth the walk from the station - it's probably best to allow 10 minutes for the walk back, just to be sure, though trains are mostly fairly frequent.

    It's only 10 minutes by train back to Derby, where I arrived (again) at about seven o'clock. Being slightly the worse for drink by this time, despite the lengthy gaps between pubs, I overconfidently set out to walk to the Peacock, even though I knew it was the other side of what is to all intents and purposes a motorway running through the north-east of Derby's city centre - not to mention the river. Having successfully talked myself out of a suicidal dash across the road - the idea of swimming the river never occurred to me - I arrived after taking more than 30 minutes over what Google maps had assured me was a 20 minute walk. I decided on a slight change of plan, going for the known route past the Exeter Arms and the Brewery Tap, so that I could be sure of arriving at the station without any close encounters with the Formula 1 racetrack. Therefore I had just a half of Whim Arbor Light at the Peacock, with a further half to follow at whichever of those two took my fancy.

    Approaching the Exeter it was clear that its pub-of-the-year status had attracted a large following, so I gave that a swerve and went into The Brewery Tap, just this once ignoring my policy of not going into a pub at the weekend if there's a bouncer on the door. He was a very friendly and middle-aged bouncer, not in the least aggressive - much like myself and most of the people in the pub at the time of my visit (19.55). I had the very delectable Derby Billy Bonka's Chocolate Brew, which finished off my day very nicely indeed. I made it without accident to the 20.28 train to Sheffield and was home in time for a bite to eat before Match of the Day.

    A great day's Derbyshire Wayfaring.
    Come On You Hatters!

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    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    An entertaining read, SH. I remain mystified by the exponential rise in popularity of Doom Bar. It's not as though we don't have any alternatives, here in the north. Not so sure about the two hour gaps between drinks. I can think of several PuG members who'd be quivering jellies if that was to happen. Not me, obviously.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    And is there some mythical travel ticket which covers all that transport for the price of a pint Will?
    Or at least at a good value price for hop-on-hop-off trains/buses/trams?

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    This Space For Hire sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainman View Post
    And is there some mythical travel ticket which covers all that transport for the price of a pint Will?
    Or at least at a good value price for hop-on-hop-off trains/buses/trams?
    If you follow the link in the text where it says "six old favourites" to the pub crawl on PuG you'll find details of the eponymous ticket. Or to save you time, just click on this one: Derbyshire Wayfarer.

    All those buses and trains would have cost an absolute fortune without this ticket!
    Come On You Hatters!

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    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post

    All those buses and trains would have cost an absolute fortune without this ticket!
    Cheers Will! We love a good transport deal!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I got to the Anglers Rest in Bamford just after 11 - which is this pub's new regular opening time seven days a week. I was interested to see what changes there had been after the pub was saved from closure by a village cooperative.
    This pub was on a Countryfile rerun on "Yesterday" Ch19 Freeview a few weeks ago but the locals hadn't bought it yet, feature on decline of pubs with Bamford as the village they visited. Good to see it was bought by them as at original airing it was only hoped that it would be sold and they could be in a position to purchase it.
    Last edited by bcfczuluarmy; 03-12-2013 at 21:16.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    If you follow the link in the text where it says "six old favourites" to the pub crawl on PuG you'll find details of the eponymous ticket. Or to save you time, just click on this one: Derbyshire Wayfarer.

    All those buses and trains would have cost an absolute fortune without this ticket!
    I often use the Wayfarer ticket,no restrictions on trains from Derby to Sheffield,just jump on anyone that comes along.

    You can even buy these tickets on Trent Barton buses,but only within Derbyshire,i had a great day out doing pubs in Castleton,Edale and Hope all for just over £10 at the time,i only have to walk one bus stop to get from Nottinghamsire to Derbyshire to use this ticket.

    I would have used this ticket for the Leeds meet up,cost for travel from a bus stop very close to where i live to Derby for a train and then a train from Sheffield to Leeds for just over £20 quid and no time restrictions.

    PS Glad you had a good day out Will.

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    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    We did use a wayfarer for the Leeds trip. Cheap day returns Birmingham to Derby, Wayfarer Derby to Sheffield, and cheap day returns Sheffield to Leeds. Beauty is we got one train and saved a fortune, and kind man booked us seats too. Cross country may give us some money back due to the delay we had. They asked for copy tickets which I have scanned and sent off.

    I buy 6 Wayfarers at a time from Matlock by freepost if you send used tickets in to them. Just finished using my £5.55 ones and got new ones at £5.80.
    Alcohol doesn't solve problems .... but then again, neither does milk.

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