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Monday, 20 May 2019

School Trip to Rugby

Another Proper Pub Day Out, this time to the home of 'egg-chasing' and Flashman - a place that I've visited several times via the canal, but obviously failed to find most of the good pubs (as usual!).

Arriving by train, this time, gives a shorter walk to the town centre, but still a bit of an uphill slog for someone as unfit as I am these days! But lo! There was a pub in sight just to keep me going...but it isn't on our list...aaagh!

The magnificent looking Wheeltapper serves as a beacon for those weary walkers from the station...but I resisted and strode on up the road to the right. Onwards to the Seven Stars...and it was well worth it! (and I wasn't the last one to arrive!)
Proudly proclaiming to be the Rugby CAMRA Pub of the Year 2018 and I wouldn't argue against that description. Whilst you will get better internal descriptions from Retired Martin and Beer Leeds and an in depth blow-by-blow account of the beers (and some of my pictures) from Pub Curmudgeon, you'll just get the external shots and whether I liked the place for each pub...Yes in most cases!

As commented elsewhere, I could have stayed here for much longer, but we had a lot of ground to cover (pubwise, if not in terms of distance!). Next was a very short walk away.
I took my photo on departure as the Coors van had moved on by then, but the weather had turned into a re-run of Huddersfield...almost! This was another good pub that, on another occasion, we'd have stayed for more than just one pint.

Our next destination was one of the pubs I'd visited before, but I doubt I could find it again from Martin's 'meandering' route there!
The Merchant's Inn is an interesting place with more pub memorabilia and breweriana than the average ten pubs combined and I've never seen so many pump clips in one place! This was our lunch stop as well. The food was good, so, it's another "Yes" from me!

Then it was the longest walk of the day (almost 10 minutes) away from the town centre to this place.
The Victoria was well worth the walk. We turned left and entered the bar at the pointy end of this classic street corner boozer. My second pint of an Atomic Ales beer - both very pleasant.

It didn't seem long before we were on our feet again and heading for the best pub I'd previously visited in Rugby.
The Squirrel is a very compact pub and, whilst still a very good pub, it wasn't quite as wonderful as I'd remembered it. Possibly because previous visits had been in the dark and The Squirrel was the best pub of the evening, but on this trip we'd already been in three pubs that I'd now rate higher! It's still a "Yes" from me, though!

Now we were headed for micropub territory!
A relatively new addition to the watering holes of Rugby, The Crafty Banker was somewhat better than some other micros I've been in. There seemed to be more space than in many, but with modern d├ęcor. As a pub I'd rate it as OK.

Then it was another micro, which had grown out of the bottle shop next door.
The Rugby Tap Room felt more like a pub than the previous micro, but was also more cramped. Again, I'd rate it as OK, but I expect that it gets quite a lot of trade from tourists come to marvel at Rugby School which was just over the road and the Rugby Museum which is next door.

Then it was another stroll to the final pub that we all made it to.
As I'd had a pint in all the previous seven pubs, I have no recollection of how to find the Half Moon. (But Rugby isn't such a big place that it will remain lost to me!) This was quite a lively little boozer (well, it was about 6pm on a Friday!) and it gets the thumbs up from me!

Our final stop was right in the centre of town, but only me and the assorted 'Mudgies' ventured inside.
The Bull (not sure if I've been there before!) was the place which broke my resistance and I had a half of Carling Punk IPA (as I've been reliably informed!). After confirming England's victory in the cricket, me and the Mudgies headed for the station. (What is the collective noun for a group of Mudgies? A Snug of Mudgies?)

It was quite a trudge back to the station...but at least it was downhill. We walked past the Wheeltapper again, which looked even more magnificent through the haze of 8½ pints!
If we'd known then about the train delays that we were about to experience, we may well have popped in for a swift half...but we didn't and had a longer wait on the platform than anticipated. We all got home at a reasonable hour.

It was an excellent day out and, next time we're passing Rugby on the canal I'll know where to go for the best pubs!


  1. Nope, your memory has let you down. You had a half of Punk IPA in the Bull :D

    I'll let you off.

    1. Of course - how could I forget my first ever taste of Punk IPA? Quite easily is the obvious answer!

    2. After a magnificent 8.5 pints I'm not surprised the memory slips, but I do remember his first Punk!

  2. Love how we all interpret things slightly differently. For instance the Crafty Banker was the one we returned to after having eaten in Spoons, the best beer by far.

    1. Quite right - I go more for the pubs than the beer; I'd happily drink Carling in all of them, but I've been turned to the 'dark side' (more accurately, the 'pale hoppy citrussy side'!) so it's nice to sample different local beers, but I'm no connoisseur!

  3. It's a slippery slope now'll be pulling up into canalside boozers demanding Dead Pony and Punk IPA!! Great stuff as usual and top notch pictures.
    Britain Beermat

    1. Maybe...but as I couldn't remember what I'd drunk (Mudgie with his notes put me right!)it obviously didn't make too much of an impression on, maybe not!