… and the winner of the Herbie Award for Best Pint 2011 (experienced on our travels) is
UBU from Warwickshire’s Purity Brewing Company.
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):
Cognoscenti 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.
Braunston, (round the back, not yer usual view)
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!