I´m planning a short trip to U.K. on January 2018. I have a friend living in Leamington Spa and that´s the excuse to finally doing a beer trip around there.
My doubt is about the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival. This festival is precisely the weekend that I will be in England…but my first idea was fly to London not Manchester. I checked the public transport from both cities to Leamington Spa and London is closer (and also I have direct flights from my city while Manchester or Birmingham no)…but a beer festival in Manchester sounds like a good plan. Anyone knows something about this festival?? I visited their web page (http://mancbeerfest.uk/) but there´s not a beer list or much information about the participating breweries.
So…guys what do you think?? Option 1: London (Day 1 - Wed.) - Leamington Spa/Birmingham (Day 2. - Thur.) - Manchester (Day 3 - Friday) - Manchester (Day 4 - Saturday) - Train to London and flight (Day 5 - Sun.). Option 2 London pub-crawl (Day 1 - Wed.) - Leamington Spa/Birmingham (Day 2. - Thur.) - London (Day 3 - Friday) - London (Day 4 - Saturday) - London (Day 5 - Sun.).
There are direct trains to both London or Manchester from Leamington Spa although London is obviously quicker. The Festival in Manchester is very good.
You ought to take in Warwick if you are doing Leamington, much nicer and a visit to the Castle is excellent. Birmingham is well worth it.
Manchester airport is extremely easy to fly into and out of, compared to Heathrow, even taking a connection into consideration. So I use it even when London is on my itinerary. And Manchester has a solid beer scene. So I vote option 3, starting and ending in Manchester.
@Mr_Pink_152 I´m afraid you are right. So I checked the 2017 edition beer list and almost all the breweries would be a new tick for me. I dind´t visited England since many years ago…I´m more concerned about the festival ambiance itself.
@cgarvieuk Yeah. That´s true!! The idea is combining 2 days of festival with 2 days of pub-crawl in Manchester. As I can see in the festival webpage It will be 14 brewery bars…so just with this brewery bars i will be wasted
@imdownthepub Thank you!! Warwick is near Leamington so I can visit the castle. This will report me a couple of pictures to show the family beyond beer
@Travlr I have checked all the options but London is very cheap and reachable from my city. One way flight on Thursday it´s right now from 17 €!! But, I checked again because you are right London Stansted is away from the city and it´s umconfortable doing all the way back from Manchester to London. And there´s another Option 3: London (Thursday) - London (Friday until train to Birmingham. I meet my friend at Birmingham) - Manchester (Saturday - Sunday - Monday) - Flight back to Porto on Tuesday. I think that this option could be the better option to seize my time in England
Manchester is a terrific festival. I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. However (as with most UK festivals), Saturday may not be the best day to go - generally more crowded and with a less beer geeky crowd, plus you may find beers beginning to run out later on.
Whatever you decide, one thing I would suggest is that, if train travel is involved, you book your tickets as early as possible & get an “advance” ticket. That ties you to a particular train - so is no good if you want to retain some flexibility in your travel times - but is invariably far cheaper than buying a ticket on the day.
@chriso My flight arrives to Stansted airport at 18:25. My first idea is book a hotel near Marylebone station, doing some pubs in this neighborhood and then take the train (thank you for your advice about advance tickets, I checked and one advance ticket to Leamington Spa could be 6€) on friday morning.
You are suggesting that maybe is better doing Manchester festival on friday than Birmingham. And maybe doing Birmingham pub-crawl on sunday instead of friday. It sounds good to me but I need to talk with my friend because of his working hours.
Day 4. Sunday 28th January 2018. Visit Manchester city and have a couple of pints on city centre. After lunch, go to Birmingham. Any recommendation about a must place in Birmingham on a sunday afternoon??
Day 5. Monday 29th January 2018. Train to London and spend the day and night there. (I need to check the London places but…there are so many
Day 6. Tuesday 30th January 2018. Visit London city centre, Camden…and drink the last couple of pints before going to Stansted. My plane leaves at 18:50.
Busy days!!! Now i need to book the hotel in Manchester and London.
Cider and International Beer list is ready.
A good range of Belgium and Germany classics. Also, a couple of beers that I want to try, one from Australia (Prancing Pony Black Ale - A 6% Black I.P.A.) and one from the Netherlands (Het Uiltje In Between Agenda’s - Collaboration with Pohjala 7% Black I.P.A.).
Talking about cider and perry the range is 77 ciders and 26 perrys…I´m not a big fan but I see a lot of Wales ciders. Maybe I could give a try but my first idea is to be focused on U.K. and Irish beers.
Let´s wait for the big beer list
The Wellington and The Post Office Vaults are both close to the station and offer the biggest selection of beers. For the ambience include The Old Joint Stock and The Bacchus, again close to the station.
@fatphil1 Thank you. Lot of options in Cambridge! Maypole looks awesome.
@BlackHaddock Thank you very much! Finally I think that we will have only 2 hours in Birmingham so your recomendations near station sounds perfect for us. I was checking a webpage with craft beer events across U.K. in the month of January, and there is one event (Battle of the Brewers - Green Duck vs Burning Soul) at the Paper Duck, a pub located in the surroundings of Birmingham but sadly I think we have not enough time for a visit there.
I´m really excited about the trip. Never been in England for a beer travel, so I´m counting the days