England visit January 2-7. County Hunting-On Track

I am planning a train journey in early January. Fly in/out of Manchester.
Mission: Visit as many counties as possible, with at least 1 pub in each.
Britrail pass, so no hassle with tickets.
Arriving early Tuesday 2, and first leg is from Manchester airport to Crewe, then:

Wed 3. Birmingham-Nuneaton- Burton On Trent- Derby.

Thurs 4. Leicester-Oakham-Grantham-Nottingham-Sheffield.

Fri 5. Hull-Leeds- York-Darlington-Newcastle.

Sat 6. Hexham-Carlisle-Preston-Liverpool.

Sun 7. Manchester

I would like comments on these stops

  • Does it seem doable?- I`m a bit uncertain of how much traffic I could meet in the busy afternoon hours
  • any pubs I shouldn`t miss?
    -alternative stops/route suggestions is also welcomed
1 Like

WOW. No idea how feasible. But thats pretty insane.

Suspect it is, but it all comes down to your priorities.
I assume youve done all the route planning

BUt things like York are quick easy if you just want YORK at theres a nice bar on platform, but if you take time heading into every town for the best or a few places time can fast dissapear

You should run a thread over the days updating on progress though

I have done some proper planning, have divided the stops in three:

  1. One pub stop only-Fast in/out

  2. Several pubs, stay for 2-4 hours. (Shrewsbury,Burton On Trent,Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool)

  3. Overnight cities, doing a proper crawl.(Worcester,Derby,Sheffield,Newcastle, Manchester)

1 Like

Hey Gunnar, its a real shame i wont be able to meet up & show you Shrewsbury as ill be in Savoire, France on the 2nd! Jeremy (blackhaddock) wouldve met you & shown you the delights of the town as well as pubs very close to the stations in Wellington & Oakengates but he’s in California! I can however advise on where you should go. The (newly opened) ‘Station Hotel’ is opposite Shrews train station and always has Salopian on draft, as well as a good bottle / can selection & some modern craft keg. The Salopian pub 5 mins walk has around 7 cask lines often with small indie breweries you dont see anywhere else, often Welsh, often North Yorkshire. Worth a look. Admiral Benbow is a proper timeworn old pub i wouldnt normally recommend but you should find Shropshire breweries Ludlow & Six Bells. The Three Fishes also tends to have a not too exciting selection but is a nice creaky old pub where you may pick up Shrop breweries like Hobsons & Salopian. Appleyards deli should sort you with some regional train beers from Monty’s, Ludlow, Gwatkins cider (the owner Mike is on here as purpledragons)

Hereford has a much better selection of bars / pubs. Hereford Beer House, Firefly & Beer in Hand (home to the excellent Odyssey brewery) should keep you busy. Worcestor has the Firefly which i think is best option in the town.

Feel free to send me a PM

Not much in Nuneaton so depending on how long you have between trains, there’s either the bar(s) outside the train station or if you have more time the Lord Hop (10 Minute Walk from the train station).

In Grantham Beer Hedz is the furthest from the train station of the three bars (on Rate Beer) about 10 minutes walking. I have only been to Bee Hive in Grantham which was good, not much else to see in Grantham.

I used to work in Burton and for a quick visit I would recommend the Burton Bridge (Brewpub) and Coopers Tavern. You can get a short taxi ride or walk to them in 15 minutes each or so.

For Birmingham it depends what you are looking for specifically.

You might be better getting your Northumberland tick in Hexham or Haltwistle. That would allow you to get a bit more mileage under your belt before the first stop - Wylam is only about 15 minutes out of Newcastle so you could be wasting time because the pub isn’t open early enough. And I think you might have to change trains at Hexham coming from Wylam anyway. National Rail Enquiries site seems to be down at the moment so I can’t check details.

Also, you might need to change at Preston travelling from Carlisle to Liverpool so that could be a better option for the Lancashire tick than Ormskirk.

Got 55 minutes in Nuneaton, I found Crown Inn, close to the station, so would probably have a couple here

1 Like

Grantham for an hour, planning to start at Beer Hedz :sunglasses:

Planning a 2,5 hour stop in Burton, Coopers Tavern and Burton Bridge is on my list

Only 1 hour in Birmingham, prefer traditional old boozer- have Shakespeare on my list, closest to station, is there a better option available close by?

Good point, my initial plan was to fly in/out of Newcastle, and Wylam had survived from there. Will look into Hexham or Haltwistle.
Will also considering stop in Preston, think Ormskirk was in my plan because a railway to Liverpool. My wingman had this suggestion, but the last part of this journey isn`t carved in stone yet,
Thanks for all comments and advice, much appreciated !:beer:

I would probably go for the Post Office Vaults over the Shakesphere. If you had chance to walk an extra 5 minutes the the Wellington would be the best choice.

1 Like

Wellington fits the ‘traditional old boozer’ thing down to a T, more draft options than PO vaults.

1 Like

And he can walk out the back door straight into The Old Joint Stock.


1 Like

Mitch from Odyssey has recently sold the Beer in Hand, Hereford in order that he can use funds to expand the brewery, so not sure what this means for that pub moving forward.

Wow really, that is news to me. Any ideas who bought it?

Not a clue who has purchased it.

I follow Odyssey on Twitter and he posted a message about it last week as I recall.

1 Like

Looking at your plans the following might help

Wed 3rd. It might be easier to do Tamworth for Staffordshire as you can change there for Derby. The Robert Peel or the Spoons (Bole Bridge) are less than 10 mins walk from the station.

Thurs 4th - You can sneak in Peterborough as there are no direct trains from Oakham to Grantham, the Oakham tap is only a few mins walk from the station. That’ll tick Cambridgeshire for you too.

Sat 6th - I’d agree that Hexham is pretty decent for beer, the Wylam tap is right by Wylam station.

Sun 7th - Preston might be easier for a Lancashire tick. There’s a couple of pubs right by the station that would do for a place rate.

Check for engineering works - not all the lines may be open!

1 Like