After the critically acclaimed, (well Dave liked it) first in a series of “A week in…” it is time to raid the blogging archives again and bring you the sequel.
I think I might even have convinced Dave that LE67 is a potential holiday destination as Duncan confirmed it never rains in that region of North West Leicestershire.
However, if Cliff Michelmore was around to launch Holiday 20 on the Beeb then even he might be tempted by the next offering.
A week in Willington not only offers a lot more alliteration than its predecessor, but also has the bonus of a train station, a canal with moorings and a bus stop
Yes, that’s right, if Wolves Paul was venturing out of the Black Country he could do far worse than spend a week at Derbyshire’s premier holiday destination and might even tempt Stirchley Pete to bring his boat to Willington.
Forget about the Peak District, Derbyshire Dales or even Pride Park, this is the place to be seen in Derbyshire.
Accommodation is good as you can either jump on a train direct from Brum/Derby/Nottingham or even Cardiff if you want and arrive at Willington and stop at The Dragon.
This decent boozer has nearby accommodation although if you have driven then you can stop at (and I suspect this would be Martin’s choice) the Ibis Budget attached to a service station built in the last 20 years just off the A50.
If you did stop there then I would have to throw in a bit of a red herring to start your week long crawl from Willington
Monday – Willington
Jump out of your bed at the Ibis Budget, pop into the KFC for breakfast and then get in for an early start at the Cherry Tree Farm.
My review of this basically said, it was a carvery new build that was crammed full of kids and pretty much hell on earth for the discerning drinker.
BUT, it opens early and you could get a relatively cheap pint of IPA from Greene King that is always surprisingly good and there won’t be many ankle biters in at that time.
I’d recommend this to warm up with as this is likely to be the longest walk of the day into the village itself about 20 minutes away by foot.
Aim off for a midday arrival and take your pick from three crackers in the village centre. I’d start at The Green Man as it serves Bass and sets the standard.
Live sport on the box, a friendly welcome and plenty of other options for you non Bass aficionados out there (surely an oxymoron) will keep you occupied for a couple of hours.
Switch to The Dragon, which is about 50 yards away and the beer garden backs on to the Trent & Mersey Canal and is fantastic in the summer.
Pete will of course, meet you, and he will treat you to a pint of the excellent homebrew from Boot Brewery.
If you want, you could take a stroll along the towpath and work off the excess before returning to The Rising Sun.
This is a wet led place but has good ale on, a jukebox, pool table and a vibrant atmosphere. You can also go to the chippy over the road and bring it back and eat at The Rising Sun as long as you are drinking.
A relatively early night but a stagger back to your Ibis Budget or The Dragon to finish off your opening day nicely.
Tuesday – Newton Solney/Repton/Milton
From the village centre you can jump on the V3 bus and this will take you towards Burton. However, jump off at Newton Solney for a couple of crackers to start the day off.
The Unicorn Inn serves excellent Bass and, as you can see from these pictures, it is a popular drink.
The Brickmakers Arms, literally over the road, used to be part of the Burton Bridge Brewery Empire but still sells their beer and is a proper cheeseboard, wet led, locals’ boozer.
Lots of nooks and crannies, plenty of acerbic banter and some terrific hanging baskets make it a must visit pub.
Jump back in the V3 and in about five minutes you will be in Repton village centre. There are three or four options but I would plump for The Boot.
Home to The Boot Brewery they have some magnificent beers on…
…with Boot Bitter and Clod Hopper well worth a try.
It’s food led, so probably worth a bite to eat, but still retains a good pub feel and cheap beer at certain times make it more pubby than you would think.
There is then a 25-minute walk (maybe less) to Milton but it is well worth it as The Swan sells the best Bass in Derbyshire (I reckon).
It also happens to be my local and opens at 5pm on a Tuesday so you can fill your boots with Bass in their big beer garden…
…before walking back to Repton.
If you haven’t stopped there all night and The Red Lion is still open whilst you are waiting for the bus back to Willington then it would be rude not to step inside.
It is a decent boozer although started social distancing before it became fashionable and needs a few more punters post covid19.
A bus back to Willington – they run every hour – and day two of your holiday is complete.
Wednesday – Fazeley/Wilnecote
Today is a day to let the train take the strain! Jump on the (unmanned) station and head off to towards Tamworth but get off the rattler at Wilnecote.
The Queens Head is a classic boozer on the main drag and the only one I’ve been to in this Tamworth suburb but great value…
with a big beer garden, bench setting, stained glass windows and it just oozed old skool pubbery.
From there you can either jump on a bus or walk (it’s a decent trek) to Fazeley, which is more Brummie than most authentic Brummie suburbs.
Again, there is a canal and you can arrange to meet Stirchley Pete, as he opens his wallet once more as de facto tour guide!
Three Tuns Inn is arguably the pick of three stonking boozers and it backs on to the canal
whilst the Three Horseshoes sells Bass…
…and is another old skool pub…
tucked away behind the main row of shops.
The Longwood is a short walk out of the centre but to see an estate pub at its finest then you could do far worse than visit here.
Food is also available and that will help before you go straight to Wilnecote station or jump on a bus to Tamworth station and snooze on your way back to Willington.
Three days down, 13 possible pubs, and still four days to go; I suggest you get a decent kip….