How Pub Crawls Have Turned into 'Ale Trails'

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

How Pub Crawls Have Turned into 'Ale Trails'


Byline: BO WILSON

A PUB crawl usually conjures up visions of a gang of drunken students staggering indiscriminately from one bar to the next. But these are no ordinary pub crawls.

A new guide offers an altogether more upmarket experience, where you can learn a little about London's culture and history - and enjoy an excellent pint on the way.

The Campaign for Real Ale has put together 30 "ale trails" which take in everything from the capital's smallest saloon bar to its oldest Irish pub.

From Fleet Street to St James's, and not forgetting the suburbs, London Pub Walks provides a brief history of the bars it showcases - all of them traditional establishments serving real ale - with details of their architecture, opening hours, nearby transport links and quality of beer.

Maps, photographs and directions to local attractions are also included. The guide has been launched to coincide with Camra's National Pubs Week.

Author Bob Steel said: "The book aims to showcase great ale and great pubs, enabling you to undertake real ale trails in the capital while visiting some of the best pub architecture in London.

"Few London pub guides take you from one pub to the next but I have purposely avoided the term pub crawl for a reason - good beer and good buildings are part of our heritage and not to be rushed."

. London Pub Walks, priced [pounds sterling]8.99, is available from bookshops or www.camra.org.uk (01727 867201)

Four of the best Camra London walks Hampstead and Highgate (about 3 miles) INCLUDES seven pubs and attractions including Kenwood House and Highgate Village.

Start at Hampstead Tube and turn right down High Street, turning briefly into Flask Walk on the left to find The Flask Tavern, right (1). Come out and retrace your steps and continue along Holly Hill to find The Holly Bush (2).

The easiest way to find the next pub is to return down the hill to the main road, following it north and turning right into New End. The Duke of Hamilton (3) is on the left. Next, walk over the heath, turn left and left again into Wells Road, following it until to East Heath Road, and cross. Walk 30 yards down to a track around Highgate Ponds to Highgate West Hill. …

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