Explore the Rail Ale Trails of Britain

6 March 2020

What could be better on a crisp sunny day than a trip out to a beautiful real ale pub?

Well, thankfully there are plenty of pubs around the country that can be easily reached by train.

Some of these lines also have their very own rail ale trails, usually brought together by the local community rail partnership and the local branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). Here are some of our favourites:

Crouch Valley, Essex

Just 40 minutes from London Liverpool Street station is Wickford, the start of the Crouch Valley Line.

As well as picturesque river views, historic towns and wildlife reserves, the stations along this line have a host of great village pubs. Not forgetting the tap rooms for the Crouch Vale and Wibbler's Breweries to enjoy.

Crouch Valley Ale Trail

Click here to download a PDF guide to the pubs along the line from Visit Maldon. Find out more from the Maldon & Dengie CAMRA branch here...

Hadrian's Wall and Tyne Valley

Explore the historic Tyne Valley

Running from Newcastle to Carlisle, the Tyne Valley Line not only provides access to those looking to conquer Hadrian's Wall, but also boasts a number of excellent pubs along the way.

The Whistle Stops leaflet, gives you tips for some of the best pubs along the line, but do check for the latest information.

Find out more on the websites of the Tyneside & Northumberland and the Solway CAMRA Branches.

Southern Hampshire

The railway lines that run through the valleys of the rivers Itchen, Test and Avon in Southern Hampshire provide a wide variety of pubs ideal for a refreshing drink after a walk.

Jolly Sailor Bursledon, aprt of the real ale trail

From gastro pubs to historic inns, backstreet boozers to riverside retreats, there's bound to be somewhere to suit the mood.

The Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership have developed a handy Inn Guide that covers an impressive 45 pubs in Salisbury, Winchester, Southampton, and all the towns and villages in between. The guide includes directions from the nearest railway station, useful links and a bit about the history of the pubs. Download your copy here...

South West England

If you're taking a trip to Devon and Cornwall this autumn then you'll be pleased to know, most of their branch lines has its very own rail ale trail guide, developed by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership in conjunction with the local CAMRA branches. The guides include all of the details of the pub and if you collect stamps from 10 or more you can get your own Rail Ale Trail tour t-shirt!

Portsmouth Arms Hotel

An hour outside Exeter on the Tarka Line is the Portsmouth Arms Hotel with its very own railway station just next door, but that's just one of nine pubs on the line all the way to Barnstaple. Please note, most stations on the Tarka Line are request stops and offer limited trains on a Sunday only.

The Maritime Line takes you from the bustling market town of Truro along to the beautiful maritime town of Falmouth.

You'll find some great little pubs along this line, don't forget to get your stamps to win a t-shirt!

Maritime Line

South Cambridgeshire

The Plough, Shepreth

Explore the Rhee Valley Line and discover traditional pubs situated in quaint villages, just a short train journey out of Cambridge.

From a typical English thatched roof pub, overlooking the village green to a pub known for its lively atmosphere with music, comedy and open mic nights, you're sure to enjoy the Rhee Valley Pub Trail.

Thank you to the CAMRA Public Transport Support Group for their knowledge and support in creating this blog.

Join CAMRA here

Logo for CAMRA Campaign for Real Ale

*Please note the information provided in this article is correct at date of publishing. We strongly advise you to check train timetables and opening times before setting off on your adventure to avoid disappointment and please drink responsibly.

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