A.J. Walker


An 8 Pub Preston Trip

On a very sunny Saturday I went for a little trip around Preston. On Sunday my phone flashed up my photos from a year ago from my last visit to Preston. Yep, not by design but there were 364 days between my visits. Spooky!

It's a short train journey from Lime Street at around 55 minutes, so is a handy option to go at short notice - if you are that way inclined.

First up was
The Station, which is probably one to miss out if you're looking for better ales and a nicer vibe. But it is handy for the station (funny that) and I ended up watching twenty minutes or so of the Man Utd v Everton match whilst supping on a Robinson's 'Unicorn' and planning my afternoon (well, replanning - it would mostly be the same as my last trip to the city). The pint would be the cheapest of the day anyway.


Next up, as half time approached in the Everton match (0-0 at the time), was The Old Vic. A nicer option than the Station with a few more beers on. I had a Salopian 'Second Life' which I hadn't seen before. I went to this pub last time and it was busy with footy fans then. This time there were a couple of sizeable groups of people and plenty of couples too. I suspect it is quite lively of an evening. There was some bloke dressed up as a golden Elvis (I think that's what he was, but who knows?).

Third up was the second (and last) of my new pubs: the
Winckley Ale House. I did visit this lovely micro pub last time, but couldn't get a beer as they are card only and I'd lost mine at the time. I still don't like places not taking cash. It's not fair on people who don't have the option (or want to not use that option). But hey ho, it is the world we live in. They had four casks on, including the Cloudwater Chubbles. I chose not to take the Chubble option, because a) it was very pricey and b) it was pretty strong, and therefore not ideal early on in a trip. So I went for a lovely drop from Rivington 'Bounced Right Back' - a 4.2% pale. It was a shame I had to sit indoors as the sun was shining on the few (busy) tables outside.

I walked past Hopwoods and headed straight to the popular
Guild Ale House next. Had two pints there: Bingley 'Juno' and Redwillow 'Sabro Simcoe.' And then headed over the road to their sister pub in the market, The Orchard, where I had another Redwillow - this time a 'Feck Less'.


Five pubs in and I was on the home straight. I decided not to stay out too long though and would miss out the long(ish) walk to the
Vinyl, so next up was the nearby Black Horse. A proper, old, multi-room pub. Had an Anarchy 'Blonde Star' here. Then it was time to head to the last two pubs of my tour of Preston ale establishments: the excellent Plug & Taps, and Plau.

Finally found a place to sit outside, at the
Plug & Taps and chatted to a couple of lads about footy, music and ale (other than cheese and curries that was most conversation groups covered). Had my second Rivington of the day, 'Beach House'.

Then my final pint, before getting back to Liverpool, was a
Mobberley 'Elysium' in a suprisingly quiet Plau.


All in all it had been a good trip on a true blue sky day. Definitely recommend giving Preston a go if you haven't done it for a while.

The pubs I visited were:

The Station
The Old Vic
Winckley Ale House
Guild Ale House
The Orchard
The Black Horse
Plug & Taps

I'll post a map up here shortly.

Map Updates

Been a while since I've updated the Liverpool ale maps, but with the return of the Vines in the last fortnight it was my excuse to update a few of them. As well as the addition of the Vines to the main map I've made some minor adjustments to the suggested crawl maps. Hope somebody finds them useful.

Liverpool Crawl Map 1-600

The Return of the Big House

On Wednesday (28th March ‘23) The Vines on Lime Street, known locally as The Big House, reopened as an ale pub after decades in the real ale wilderness. It is not before time. I always said if I ever won the lottery I’d buy the pub and turn it into an ale pub (obviously with a good landlord - not me). The plan was slightly scuppered by the lottery win never coming off; though perhaps not buying lottery tickets more than about five times a year may not have helped.


Only popped in briefly on Wednesday night to check it out and show my support to it. It’s location - on Lime Street, next to the Adelphi - and its architecture and internals, are sure to make it an attractive place to visit when travelling through Liverpool on a day or night out. It had loads of cask on (all well known national brands - as opposed to any from the north west) at the time of opening. They were all quality big beers. The decor, fixtures & fittings, and the seating etc were all spot on: there’s so much there I’m not going to describe it… just get down and check it out for yourself. You wont be disappointed. There's still stuff to sort like the gents toilets but I expect they'll sort it in good time. Hopefully the pub will grow into its position in the Liverpool ale scene. It certainly should do.


Anyway, now I’m going to have to do something else with my expected lottery win. Perhaps it’s time for the Irish Centre to be reborn…