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Tuesday, 19 October 2021

A Saunter Round Sunny Stockport

After an enforced hiatus of 19 months it was time to get back into the saddle and start saving pubs again (or just visiting some decent boozers in convivial company!)

My participation almost didn't happen as a bout of severe toothache overnight nearly derailed my plans. By morning, the pain had subsided somewhat and with a strict 'diet' of painkillers and alcohol, I was sure that I could survive the day!

My first port of call for a Proper Pub Day Out is usually the same - Bournville Café for a decent breakfast to set me up for the journey.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the use of the word 'sunny' in my title and yet this looks decidedly overcast...well, yes, it was a somewhat dull start to the day, but by the time I arrived at Stockport Station the sun was out.

After studying the maps and Google Street View, the walk to our rendezvous pub was shorter and easier than I'd expected!

The Queens Head is a 'larger than it looks from the outside' Sam Smith's establishment. Pub Curmudgeon and Paul Bailey were already there...and have both reported on the day out already (I'm usually last in these matters!). Soon we were joined by Retired Martin, Sheffield Hatter and Leonlen...sadly Paul Mudge was unable to join us owing to a broken foot. Anyway, my pint of Taddy Lager was fine!

Soon it was time to move on to the next pub, but not before a slight detour to see a clock strike noon...except that it didn't...apparently it is still out of commission as the building refurbishment continues!

A stroll through the shopping centre brought us to the Swan with Two Necks.

Our first Robinson's pub of the day...and some of 'the gang' just about to enter. This is another one of those 'bigger on the inside' places with an interesting layout. My Dizzy Blonde was very pleasant.

All too soon it was time to move on to our lunch stop at the Arden Arms.

Despite being a little out of the town centre, the Arden Arms was doing a brisk trade and it was a good job that Pub Curmudgeon had booked a table for us! The food and drinks arrived promptly...well...apart from my pudding which took a bit longer! My Robinson's Hopnik Citra IPA was superb...even though it looked very much like a lager.
Although it looks somewhat unprepossessing from the outside, the Arden Arms is a gem inside and well worth the visit.
Next up was The Railway.
If I hadn't been with people in the know, I'd have walked past without realising there was a pub there. The fact that it has been under threat of closure and demolition for a number of years explains the lack of investment in fancy new signage. Inside it is still a proper pub serving a range of beers...and we're at the stage, now, where I can't remember what I did have to drink! ("Take notes!!" I hear you cry. Well, I did have three pens with me, but all three were knackered!)
I hope it survives as it's a friendly pub and there seemed to be enough derelict shops nearby that deserve to be demolished first! Then it was time to move on the Boar's Head.
Another magnificent Sam Smith's it was another pint of Taddy Lager for me (I'm not a fan of Old Brewery Bitter)
All too quickly, we were off again heading for The Petersgate Tap which I'd passed, but not noticed, on my way from the station several hours earlier!
Inside, it felt more like a pub than do many micros with a fine range of cask ales, craft beer and gins. No doubt I had something hoppy and citrussy, but I have no recollection as to what it was! This was the place where we got 'the gang' back together after various people had gone in different directions at lunchtime (the usual schism - food versus no food on a pub crawl!).
Then it was time for our saunter to turn into an uphill trek, which would have been more of a problem for me in the recent past, but I only required one major sit down on the way (thanks to my twice weekly gym sessions!). Before we got to our destination, there was a chance for a picture of the iconic Robinson's Unicorn Brewery looking magnificent in the late afternoon sunshine (and with a bit of extra editing from me!)
Our ultimate destination, the Sun & Castle wasn't too much further away!
It is a good number of years since I had a pint of Holt's Bitter (2013 - The Volunteer in Sale!) and it tasted pretty much as I remembered although the price was somewhat higher than back then (understandably!). Another lovely pub.

Then it was time to move on again to The Armoury.
By now, my memories are getting pretty vague and, if I hadn't been carrying a camera, I'd probably have forgotten the visit altogether!
And, finally, it was time to move on to our last pub of the day out - Ye Olde Vic (ignoring sound advice, I took the picture after I left for the station by which time the sun had set!)
I have no recollection as to what I drank here, but I do remember there being a gentle discussion of climate change. I also seem to remember saying that, "I'm right, of course!" which in a more sober state I'd never dream of saying as it's the last thing that will win an argument! Hey ho! All good clean fun!
Pub Curmudgeon's interesting and cunning itinerary meant that the station was only just over the road and easily accessible (if you don't go into the car park next door!) With that, I was soon on a train whizzing back to Brum - change at Stoke; change at New Street and change at Kings Norton (oops!)! The last change was unplanned as I dozed off between Selly Oak and Bournville (2 minutes at most!) and only regained consciousness just as the doors were closing!
It was a magnificent day out, aided by the wonderful autumn weather and a superb selection of proper pubs...not a dud amongst them! Thanks again to Pub Curmudgeon for arranging this little saunter!
Where to next? Sheffield Hatter is planning a trip to Belper on Thursday 18th November (which sounds interesting!). Macclesfield has also been mooted by Retired Martin for (possibly) Friday 5th November which is also of interest as I haven't been there since January 2015 (and I don't think that we've ever done it justice!). Unfortunately, this time of year is my busiest time in the run up to Christmas, so I don't know which (if any) I'll be able to make!


  1. Sheffield Hatter is a wise man as Belper is a magnificent pub town...loads of options in relatively close proximity....
    Good write up Pete and a good day was had by all....

    1. Belper looks interesting, but I don't know what time I have between now and Christmas!

  2. A good write-up Pete, and some great photos. I've been having trouble accessing your blog via the link on my own page, but fortunately the link that Martin Taylor provided on his, worked.

    Definitely a magnificent day out, but speaking as the individual who has the furthest to travel, I would be looking for somewhere a lot further south than Macclesfield for the next day out.

    1. It's a tricky one that, but I understand your problem. For me it is all relatively easy to get to from Brum, so I'm happy with North or South!

  3. Late to the comments but a lovely write-up of a great day. Always glad of your cheery company, Pete.