I think there was a general consensus that it was about time the North got a summer crawl, so we need to decide whether it's the South in spring (we did Brighton in March 2018) or the Midlands.

And also what constitutes the South and what the Midlands. (Takes cover to avoid torrent of rotten tomatoes and long-past-sell-by-date broccoli.)

Just to get things started, have we ever considered Peterborough? Not sure whether it's south or midlands, but it's very well connected (very quick from London, pretty good from the north, not so good from the west) and has an interesting selection of pubs. On recent visits I've done these: Charters, Palmerston Arms, The Coalheavers Arms, The Woolpack, The Stoneworks, The Bumble Inn, and there's also The Ostrich, The Brewery Tap, Great Northern Hotel (opinions vary about these three), and there's also a 'Spoons, for those who like that sort of thing.

A little further north on the same railway line, and unequivocally in the Midlands, is Newark, which I think has had mentions before on these threads but never quite made it through the polling process. It has the merit of being relatively easy to access for our southern-based friends and, for those who don't find the half mile walk from the station daunting, a fairly compact town centre. And a burgeoning real ale scene. Try these: The Prince Rupert, Just Beer, The Flying Circus, The Ram, The Fox & Crown, The Roaring Meg, The Organ Grinder, The Castle Barge, The Vaults, and of course a 'Spoons.