I've been tipped that Yarm was a good pub town since working with a Teessider in 2008. Having lived in Stockton a year I took a visit. Within two hours and three pubs I was back where I started on Black Sheep pale.
Better are the towns between Preston and Manchester. Leyland, Chorley, Bamber Bridge all small towns with multiple offerings each. Nondescript towns punching above their weight..
Any other comparables?