A.J. Walker



A Shrewsbury Stroll

I didn’t think it was that long ago that I went to Shrewsbury but it was last May and on a damn hot day. A largely greyer colder day this time, but it was dry and there were moments of blue sky. On the train the land all the way from Liverpool to Shrewsbury was wet to the point of flooding in much of Cheshire and Shropshire. It’s been a very wet couple of months after all. Last time I went I visited twelve pubs, which is more than my usual visit crawl. I think eight is about my usual.

There was no planning this time—as usual lately. To be fair when I got up I’d considered going to several other towns, but again with the speed of getting there (I generally aim for 1.5 hours or so each way) it was attractive. As it happened it was almost ballsed up by a Stagecoach driver at the very start, She’d taken over on the bus just past my first stop and got confused about which way to go. She ended up driving back towards Fazakerley Hospital where the bus had just come from. After some shouting from many of the passengers she realised the error or her ways (literally) but had to continue up to the hospital to turn. Suffice to say this accidental diversion meant I missed my train and had to go for a later one… Still I was lucky with the trains I ended up taking and it didn't much impact on my day out.

A Couple of Decent Trips

Taking a few days off work. Been very lucky with the weather for it too. Not got any particular plans for the week. It'll no doubt involve reading and writing. Some guitar strumming (maybe even write a song - we'll see) Maybe some garden stuff. Oh, and some beer goodness. To that end I've had two lovely day trips this weekend letting the train take the strain: on Saturday I went to - the always excellent - Shrewsbury, and on Monday I went to an under visited (for me) Leeds. Sat in the sun a couple of times but mostly took to the shade or the indoors. A suntan will come without me working on it.



It's a small and beautiful city with lots of old building charm. And being Shropshire there is plenty of decent local beers about too. Ended up visiting:

  • Yorkshire House
  • Loggerheads
  • Cromwells
  • Henry Tudor House
  • Nags Head
  • House of Grain
  • Hop & Friar
  • Admiral Benbow
  • Coach & Horses
  • Wheatsheaf
  • Three Fishes
  • Tap & Can

Yeah, I had a very good day out, didn't I!?





On Monday I decided from the many options I was considering to go to Leeds. It's not a place I've been to for beers for many years. It was good to get out there again. And the time on the train (for those without changes) is pretty good from Liverpool. That is, if Bank Holiday cancellations don't hit. And yup, they did. My original train got cancelled. The second too. So I didn't get into Leeds until about 12:30. My return train was the 7pm as the later trains got me back quite late - and there was the fear of later cancellations too. In all then there was just about 6 hours or so to get around some decent (or not) hostelries. It was plenty of time to be fir though. The area I was covering was all very central and close to the train station.

First up was the Head of Steam, which is right next to the station. Started with an Ilkley Pale. I mean a light abv is crucial if you are out for a few hours, innit? Of course this became scuppered with my second pub: the Bankers Cat, just a hundred yards or so up Mill Hill. It's a Thornbridge pub, so Jaipur arrived next then. Predictable,

Just across the road from the Bankers is Tapped. Had a lovely pint of Full Circle 'repeater' there, whilst sat out in the sun. Found out from the barman that the next stout due on ask was to be Neptune Abyss. Nice to hear.

Next up I was sat outside again, but very much in the shade of the alley which hides the Turk's Head/Whitelocks. Sat outside both places (hey it's one and two pubs at the same time). Felt like I was in a Borgen reboot as I sat in-between two tables of Norwegians. Then it was time for another alley hidden pub, the Sam Smiths 'Angel.' Again it was a really short walk to it. Got chatted to a nice local and we went for another pint in the next alley along where the Ship was hiding.

It seems I wouldn't be getting 10,000 steps in. The next place a lot more modern; and less hidden. It was the North Bar, just up the road. Then it was time to head towards the station so I headed for the Brewery Tap just around the corner from the Head of Steam.

Of course it was bound to be painful getting back. It was a Bank Holiday after all. Needless to say illness amongst the rail company staff was very high so more than half the trains were cancelled. Still, I made it home eventually after having had a very good day in Leeds. Won't be as long until I get theee again.

In the end the pubs were:

  • Head of Steam (Mill Hill)
  • Banksers Cat
  • Tapped
  • Turk's Head/Whitelocks
  • Angel
  • Swan
  • North Bar
  • Brewery Tap

A little less extensive than the Shrewsbury trip then.