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Jon

The best waterside pubs

529 posts in this topic

The Badger used to be a fantasic pub, 20 years ago everyone used to aim to stop there for the night.

 

There is a house close by the bridge where you would normally moor for the Badger, there was a fairly convincing but counterfeit BWB sign on his garden wall, instructing 'NO MOORING'. When the somewhat geriatric resident heard a my boat pull up he would appear over his wall and make all kind of insinuations along the lines that boats that moor there tend to get damaged.

 

I remember discouraging him by saying, that peoples noses tend to suffer the same fate as my boat.

 

Let us not get into discussing pubs to avoid, the ever increasing list of those will keep us occupied for ever.

 

John Squeers

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I can vouch for the Bridge at Napton and also the Anchor at High Offley.

The Anchor is known as "Olive's" by those who know - the lady who runs the joint.

It has been in the family for generations I think - look out for travelling boat theatre companies there.

 

Could I also mention the Four Alls Inn just up the lane from Tyrley Locks near Market Drayton.

Not only do they look after our post for us; they also have four Real Ales all the time (the two regulars being Wood's Shropshire Lad and Well's Bombardier).

The food is very good too - with superb carvery on at lunchtimes (including Sunday).

For those who remember the place four or more years ago - it has changed beyond recognition and been totally refitted and done up.

New owners Sharon and Darrell now have the punters really rolling in.

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Has anyone written a book that just looks at Canal Side pubs?

 

There is lots of info in the guides like Nicholson etc, but I wonder if there is a market there? Something like the First Mate guides, but for pubs.

 

Another good book would be playgrounds near the cut, as with 2 smalls, its often a good idea to get them out into the playground for a bit. Often they are very close, but difficult to spot.

 

:rolleyes:

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The problem with pub and restaurant guides is that they are so often out of date as soon as they are published.

 

Anyway you can have you own 'one to five' pub rating system starting with excellent and ending with superb.

 

John Squeers

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Nicholson's used to publish a Real Ale Guide to the canals - I still have my copy but it must be 20 years old. The major problem with it was the speed with which it went out of date. Pubs changed hands or went out of business leading to a number of disappointing lunchtimes and evenings. Sob.gif

 

Many years ago, a friend and I started work on a proposal that, if accepted, would have led to the European Community buying us a narrowboat, paying us to undertake research on behalf of the leisure and brewing industries and funding the production of the definitive guide to pubs and canals. Having recognised that guides quickly went out of date, the EC would, of course, continue the funding for our lifetimes. Unfortunately, we soon recognised that this was pie-in-the-sky and went back to our day jobs. Sob.gif

 

So now, it's cruising and boozing for pleasure!

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If you want a plain old fashioned drinking pub with good beer, then you could do a lot worse then the "Navigation Tavern" on the Calder & Hebble in Mirfield between Shepley Bridge and Ledgard Bridge.

Plenty of nearby moorings and its adjacent to a supermarket too!

:rolleyes:

 

Gary

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I agree with Paul about the Folly Inn at the foot of the Napton flight. My Nicholson guide gives it praise for the wonderful pies, so perhaps we went there with high expectations, but the pies were a big disappointment. This was four years ago, and we have been past since, but eaten elsewhere.

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It seems to me that an online guide is the best bet if it is to be kept up to date - and it should feature the opinions of those boaters who have used it and not perhaps CAMRA or Which? who might only update their review every now and then.

Perhaps we could do it here?

 

If for each new pub, we created a new thread - then we would find the pub we wanted.

Each thread would include the waterway on which the pub was located so that visitors to a waterway wouldn't need to know the pub name to find their beer!

For example:

Shropshire Union - Bridge XX - The Anchor

North Oxford - Bridge XX - The Folly

 

Any discussion on a particular pub would then follow the appropriate thread.

 

Just looking at this thread so far, it would be difficult (without reading all posts) to determine where to stop next weekend.

 

Such would be the sheer size of such a section that Jon might give us a Waterways Pubs section just to keep it seperate from General Boating.

Any other thoughts?

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I think Martin has a very good idea. It would need to be ruthlessly policed and edited by someone to keep it focused.

 

John Squeers

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That is a good idea in principle Martin, but with over 2000 miles of canals and goodness knows how many pubs, the list would be endless taking up I don't know how many pages on the site without the discussions and comments that would inevitably follow.

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I can set up anther forum in a similar vain to the Links Directory. I like the idea.

Leave it with me for the moment, as I've got some coursework to do, but after thats out the way I'll set it up.

 

Jon

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I think thats a fantastic idea, develop the Canal World Discussion Forum for pubs (and maybe childrens playgrounds - not as exciting, but equally necessary so you can goto the pub pmsl).

 

I think it would need to be very carefully edited and updated, not sure that a forum is the best kind of medium for this though - but I am not sure what is the best medium.

 

Its the kind of thing that can get so big that it might need a whole subsite to itself? Maybe running something like postNuke or Xoops or Mambo?

 

Just some thoughts!

 

Cheers (as he opens a Londin Pride)

 

Jools

:B

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QUOTE:

 

"The Badger used to be a fantasic pub, 20 years ago everyone used to aim to stop there for the night.

 

There is a house close by the bridge where you would normally moor for the Badger, there was a fairly convincing but counterfeit BWB sign on his garden wall, instructing 'NO MOORING'. When the somewhat geriatric resident heard a my boat pull up he would appear over his wall and make all kind of insinuations along the lines that boats that moor there tend to get damaged."

 

 

In view of the comments about how quickly a pub guide goes out of date.....

 

Re the Badger at Church Minshull. This seems to change hands with alarming regularity. Last month some friends were in there and after ordering their drinks were told that they couldn't do food as the chef had walked out! They got a couple of rounds of free drinks out of it, but had to survive on a couple of packets of crisps for dinner.

 

A couple of weeks ago it was closed for a while but has now reopened - under new management again.

 

The old boy in the house by the bridge has moved on, I suspect vertically, - the house is currently being stripped out and renovated.

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Can I add (mainly for the food, but the beer was OK as well) The Rowbarge, Woolhampton, Kennet and Avon. Good range of food, lots of fresh fruit and veg included, good portions, reasonably priced.

Must be even nicer (but busier) in summer when you can sit in the garden, eat you meal and watch people getting in a tangle opening the bridge and swerving into the lock!

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I spent a lovely night out in Bradford on Avon recently and found 3 great canalside pubs:

 

The Beehive just off the Marina, little old-fashioned pub with lots of real ales (ale not being my thing but know lots of other people like it)

 

The Canalside (?) my the Lock Inn.

 

The Barge Inn (great name!) and you can have a drint on their canalside garden and watch other boats get stuck in the lock!

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There is a nice pub called the Barge on the K&A at Seend, a few miles west of Devizes.

 

Had a nice meal there with my daughter last time I was in UK.

 

It is positioned between a road bridge and a lock.

 

There is a garden area with tables, I think a childrens area, and a covered 'dinning' deck area slap bang on the waters edge.

 

There are moorings on the opposite bank.

 

Oh I nearly forgot the food was excellent.

Edited by maffi mushkila
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While I'm on the subject I always try to get to The Cross Guns at Avoncliffe right next to the Aquaduct (twice during the last visit to UK).

 

There are a couple of terraces then the 'garden' slopes down to the River Avon which runs under the Aquaduct.

 

The food is good but in the summer season you may have to wait a while, it's very popular. Order your meal at the bar (you get a number) and then select a seat taking care not to sit under a tannoy, it's really annoying. They will call you when it's ready.

 

Access by road is difficult. I usually park in the BR car park in Bradford-on-Avon and walk along the canal (it's about a mile and a half), but you can take the road round to Avoncliffe station and find parking there on the opposite side of the Aquaduct though there is not much space.

 

There are a lot of mooring places which unfortunately seem to be taken up by bridge hoppers. On my last visit there was one fit out being done, a dredger and many boats that looked to me to be abandoned or at best long term unused.

 

This kinda spoiled the route to the pub but the walk was worth it in the end.

Edited by maffi mushkila
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A good pub is the new Inn at Send on the Wey Navigation. Good moorings outside and huge platefuls of food, and a pleasant atmosphere.

 

Another is the Red Lion at Shepperton, on the Thames. They have a wide range of food, and are very friendly. We used to go there for lunch quite frequently, especially when we had guests on board for the day. The mooring though is concrete and has broken its back. No problem when we had a 25ft boat, but I have not been there since we got a 55ft boat.

 

We now go instead to the Kings Head, Church Square, Shepperton. It's a really historic pub with old flagstones dating back hundreds of years. They do a wonderful secret recipe Welsh Rarebit. You can moor on a little known 24 hour EA mooring near the sailing club. The mooring sign is completely hidden from the river by bushes, but it's a floating pontoon with mooring rings.

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Jon If you have no objections I will make a list and post it. Is there a way I can post to all members at the same time to ask for their favourite pubs rather than post to each one individually.
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We liked the Willeymoor Lock Tavern, just by Willeymoor Lock on the Llangollen. Nice old country, canalside pub (peaceful overnight moorings too, just above the lock).

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We liked the Willeymoor Lock Tavern, just by Willeymoor Lock on the Llangollen. Nice old country, canalside pub (peaceful overnight moorings too, just above the lock).

 

Yes that is a pleasant establishment, a nice interior, perfect surroundings and an ideal place to stop, with good food. Its close to the A49 though isn't it? To add to that myself, the Horse and Jockey in Grindley Brook is an excellent pub and in my opinion serves very good food, with a wide range of choice.

We found the Cotton Arms in Wrenbury one of the worst pubs on that stretch when we went in October.

 

The Junction Inn at Norbury and the Beeston Castle are two pubs we particularly like in every sense on the Shropshire Union.

What's the Hartley Arms like at Wheaton Aston? We are planning a first visit there in April.

Edited by Philip
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Willymoor yes very nice. Prefer the Dusty Miller at Wrenbury, lovely food but a bit pricey and limited hours out of season.

 

Also the Waggoners Inn at Whixhall, bridge 43, used to be a miserable landlord but a new guy(Dusty) took over about 6 months ago, really nice pub and proper chips from a chip pan too! All these pubs have good moorings, however you are hardly spoiled for choice really.

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Willymoor yes very nice. Prefer the Dusty Miller at Wrenbury, lovely food but a bit pricey and limited hours out of season.

 

Also the Waggoners Inn at Whixhall, bridge 43, used to be a miserable landlord but a new guy(Dusty) took over about 6 months ago, really nice pub and proper chips from a chip pan too! All these pubs have good moorings, however you are hardly spoiled for choice really.

 

Oh really? I went in the Waggoners about 10 years ago (as we couldn't make the Horse and Jockey at Grindley Brook) and it served very good food, but I seem to remember it being a very unwelcoming, hostile establishment.

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