Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Tour of York Pubs - 22nd Mar 19

Another year on from the Hunts Branch train trip to Nottingham, the usual suspects as well as some welcome new comers from within the branch outside (welcome the Norwich and Cambridge branch members who joined us) journeyed to another historic city for 2019’s Branch train trip.

This year we found ourselves in historic York, and on another glorious spring day, the group only scratched the surface of the plethora of amazing pubs that York has to offer. But of the 14 pubs we visited, we certainly found out that York is a truly fabulous city for beer and good pubs.

Arriving early on this sunny Saturday morning, breakfast was on the cards at the JD Wetherspoon pub just a short walk from the train station. At the Punch Bowl, most opted for a beer with breakfast to get things started, a good selection was on offer.

The first scheduled stop after everyone had arrived in town was the York Tap conveniently situated at the train station. Those of us who had fuelled up with breakfast at the Punchbowl wandered back across to the station to meet the other arrivals, and set the programme in motion. The York Tap’s beautiful bar was a fitting start to the day, and those with a keen eye for celebs will have caught a glimpse of James Nesbitt waiting at the station, an early treat. With the huge range of cask and craft beer on offer, we were spoilt for choice at this first stop.

The second official stop was at the Maltings, an airy pub with a good selection of beer on offer. The bouncer eyes the group with caution on our way in… who would blame him… but a quick look at our CAMRA name tags, preparedly provided by our social secretary, was enough to put him at ease.

Across the bridge and a short walk on to pub number 4, we found ourselves in the Lamb & Lion Inn. Pretty much taking over the small bar area, we got ourselves another beer from their modest range of beer, all in prim condition.

Unfortunately the next pub on the list was undergoing refurbishment, so we carried on past the Three Legged Mare to find ourselves slap bang in the centre of York wandering past York Minster. Certainly an impressive sight, we couldn’t resist a couple of photos. But no time to dally, we moved straight onto the next pub; the very traditional Guy Fawkes. Again a modest range of good quality beer, this pub also had lots of character, including some very impressive suites of armour. We couldn’t resist a photo.

Moving onto the sixth pub of the tour, the very cosy House of Trembling Madness. Passing through the bottle shop which was stocked with an incredible selection of beers and up into the attic bar, we were greeted with the vast array of taxidermy animals. The large selection of beers to choice from was also very well received.

After the Madness, we weaved our way through some tight alleys and onto Pivni. This well stocked modern bar had some very interesting beers to keep us happy.

Spreading out a little, the group split between the next 3 closely clustered pubs to reduce crowding them all at once: The Last Drop, Duke of York and Sutlers. With a snap shot of the impressive street performers in between these pubs, they continued to impress with good quality beer.

Moving onto the busy Blue Boar, we luckily found a large alcove and table to accommodate our group. A very stylish pub, with good beer, we lapped up the atmosphere.

Next was the even busier Blue Bell. A small pub, we managed to squeeze some of our group between the 2 bar areas. We all enjoyed one of the excellent quality beers in this cosy pub, but didn’t hang around long so to give up some space for other drinkers.

Continuing onto pub number 13, lucky for us, the Golden Ball. A very well presented pub, with well presented beer. Another wander through the streets took us to the Ackhorne, our penultimate pub in York. Like all the previous this beer didn’t disappoint here either.

The final pub of the York pub tour was the Brigantes. With a small delay to the return train, we had a little extra time to fully enjoy a last beer in this pub before coming full circle back to the train station. Everyone still going strong, this pub was a fitting end to another fabulous Hunts Branch Social.

Although, for some, this wasn’t quite the end. With a bit of spare time between trains at Peterborough, the nearby Brewery Tap offered a perfect opportunity to fit one more quality beer in before the trip came to a complete close. With a vast selection of their Oakham Ales on offer, it would have been a shame not to. But this really was the last stop, and finished off a really enjoyable day for all, full of good beer, great pubs and excellent company.