Colston Crawford, occasional contributor to this blog and beer columnist for the Derby Evening Telegraph uncovers some absolute gems of pubs in Derbyshire.
One of his genius ideas was to offer up ten ‘off the beaten tracks’ pubs in the Peak District with accompanying walks.
Being a keen walker, nothing to do with pubs of course, I thought I’d utilise the summer holidays to try and tick off a few of these boozers.
However, as all beer bloggers will tell you, the best laid plans don’t always run smoothly and our first attempt saw a shut pub on a Monday evening and when The Wickingman’s favourite haunt – The George in Youlgreave – was also shut on our second jaunt we suspected a bit more research might be needed!
However, Youlgreave, by Peak District standards, is almost a sprawling metropolis with three pubs in the vicinity so we book ended our hike around Lathkill Dale with a visit to 755 – Bulls Head Hotel DE45 1UT.
It was the perfect village pub with a pool table, dartboard, room for drinkers and room for foodies and a really good vibe.
Pre walk, it was buzzing with Hi viz jackets, families, couples and walkers all mixing in and I couldn’t ignore the option of Tetley’s Original on Cask as I can’t remember the last time I saw this.
It was in great nick and confirmed the old adage that if a pub can be bothered to maintain hanging baskets then it can be bothered to clean its pipes.
It was quieter post walk at around 10.30 but just as friendly and the barmaid recognised us from earlier and even our choice of drinks, which was impressive.
A couple of weeks late we set out for a stroll over Stanton Moor and Birchover, which took in 756 – The Flying Childers Inn DE4 2LW.
A few steep hills en route to the Childers but it was well worth the walk as there can’t be many pubs left like this.
Set in the village of Stanton In The Peak, it won the title of “Unspoilt Pub Of The Year” in 2019 and was a finalist last year to give you some idea of just how olde worlde this is.
We arrived just as ten bell ringers had finished their stint so had the opportunity to wait for a while and admire the hops on the ceiling and the locals conversation in the bar.
It also meant the Moonshine (Abbeydale) ran out much to mine and my pal’s amusement as our other walking chum was waxing lyrical about it!
However, Bass was on and in good form so all was good in the world before we started our meander back through Stanton Moor in the moonlight.
It’s good to see villages supporting their local pubs and as this is high season they need to be open to ensure they capitalise on the weather as if their hours are limited now, when are they going to open?
Anyway, there’s probably time for one more before this glorious summer ends and with Colston’s top ten we are spoilt for choice…