Thursday, November 24, 2011

Winning Ale plus Best Village Moorings Nominations

  … and the winner of the Herbie Award for Best Pint 2011 (experienced on our travels) is 

UBU from Warwickshire’s Purity Brewing Company. 

Pure UBU - 1 of the 50 Top beers in the World

Try it.

PS Kath recalls that at the Greyhound she had a pint called Innocent or Innocence from the Purity Brewery, and I think she might be right although they don’t show it on their web site.  Whatever it was, it was very very good.

On with the Show

Which places on our travels provided the best overnight stopping place for their visitors.  Naturally we can only comment on those we actually stopped at, and sometimes we stopped in the middle of nowhere.  Here’s a map (sort of):

2011 schematicCognoscenti will be able to name the different coloured waterways, but they’re not too important here.  Place names in red are Cities (as if you didn’t know), in Blue are Towns, and in Grey are Villages.  You can’t expect a village to provide as much as a city for moorers, so we’ll have three separate categories.  Today it’s Villages.

Actually villages do pretty well- often better for moorers than towns.  The ideal place would have well tended and attractive bankside, access to good local shops and good pubs, and local items of interest.  Here we go clockwise from the bottom.

Sonning – nice village, poor moorings – tied to a tree, no grass

Pangbourne – lovely riverside meadow, pleasant village

Thrupp – OK moorings, good tea shop, fair pub, not a lot else

Heyford – not much there except a very close railway

Cropredy – Pretty village, good pub, handy shops

Napton – OK moorings, good pub, tiny shop (by pub)

Braunston – good moorings “round the back”, nice views, good shops (inc renowned butcher), pubs nothing special, but loads of interest for boaters

Curdworth – Moorings in tunnel cutting a bit gloomy, nice village, good pub (Beehive), shop

Hopwas – Pleasant moorings, good pubs, long walk to tiny shop

Alrewas – Pleasant moorings (pretty), shops, another renowned butcher, pubs only fair. National Memorial Arboretum nearby

Shardlow – Decent moorings, lots to see if you like canal architecture, fair pubs

Barrow on Soar – pleasant moorings, selection of shops, didn’t try the pub!!!!

Birstall (suburb of Leicester) attractive moorings, handy shops and bus to Leicester

Kilby – fair moorings, quite good pub

Foxton – plenty of mooring space, good pubs and the locks and inclined plane to look at

Welford – Attractive moorings, reasonable pub, a shop a fair walk away

Crick  - disqualified because it’s our home mooring.

My long preliminary shortlist is Pangbourne, Cropredy, Braunston, Alrewas, Shardlow, Birstall and Welford.  What a tough choice to get down to four!

OK let’s do it.

Cropredy

IMG_9409 (1024x680)

Braunston, (round the back, not yer usual view)

IMG_9606 (1024x666)

Alrewas,

IMG_9849 (1024x683)

and Shardlow.

IMG_9878 (1024x457)

At this stage I don’t have the faintest idea which I will pick or why.  Gut feel I suspect.  I will this time accept guidance!

Result tomorrow.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Impossible choice!

Of the four I think I'd vote for Shardlow though we didn't manage to moor there - but we did enjoy pasing through and we would have moored there if there had been space. We went back by car and had a lovely time exploring the pubs!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Kathryn said...

Don't forget that Pangbourne offers (arguably) the best pies in the world/country at Greens in my humble opinion - a very good reason for mooring overnight there. Kathryn

Dave said...

Pubs at Cropredy - the Red Lion is shut and is reported to have been cleared inside, which will be a considerable blow to many stopping overnight.
Good news is that the Brasenose has been given a new lease of life and seems to be (still) flourishing.

VallyP said...

They all look idyllic, Neil.