Explore the Rail Ale Trails of Britain
What could be better on a crisp winter 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.
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.
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!
You'll find some great little pubs along this line, don't forget to get your stamps to win a t-shirt!
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.
*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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