Hit the North!

My quest for LOL or Life Outside London continues this weekend with a jaunt to see my brilliant friend Jenny and perhaps visit Liverpool and Manchester and environs.  We may also be hiking around North Wales for a bit as well, depending on the weather & my health.

I’m hoping RedNev will have a few pointers and Darren at blogobeer has suggested The Marble Arch in Manchester.  Any other ideas would be most welcome.

15 Responses

  1. There’s stacks of good drinking in both cities, but I’ll keep my recommends down to:

    Liverpool – Ship & Mitre. Great cask, good bottles (esp German)

    Manc – two tiny bars; 57 Thomas Street, Marble’s othe place in the city and MicroBar, a bar on a market stall in the Arndale

    • Great, I will try these both if I can find them! Thanks!

  2. If you’re going to North Wales, the Queen’s Head in Glanwydden near Llandudno offers good grub, the Penrhyn Arms in Penrhynside is beer and cider and nowt else, up on Snowdonia try the Pen y Gwyryd hotel while Purple Moose beers are pretty good .

    • This is great to know– I’m not sure where we are going exactly yet– but we’ll need to stop for a beer and some grub at some point!

  3. The thing about Manchester is that there can be a bit of a trek between the decent pubs… here’s a quick break-down, depending on where you find yourself:

    Rochdale Road (up from Victoria Station)
    Just down the road from The Marble is The Angel – good selection, well-kept beers. At the end of the road, heading towards town, is the Crown & Kettle (not been in myself yet for some reason, but it’s got a good rep) and if you’re feeling adventurous, the Smithfield Hotel around the corner has a decent selection, but the surroundings aren’t exactly genteel…

    Piccadilly Station
    The Bull’s Head, just across the road junction from the station’s main entrance / taxi rank, usually has three or four ales to choose from, some locals.

    Piccadilly Gardens
    It’s worth wandering round the corner onto Mosley Street (in the direction of Manchester Art Gallery) to The Bank, a Nicholson’s pub that generally keeps its four or five ales well.

    Town Hall / Albert Square
    There’s a big Wetherspoon’s on Princess Street – the Waterhouse – and if you head round the back of that you’ll find the City Arms. One of my favourite pubs – small and could be hammered on a Friday / Saturday night, but a good selection of about 6 ales, usually session bitters. Proper drinking pub.

    Arndale Centre
    The Micro-Bar in the Arndale Market is quite cute. Incredibly small (it’s a market stall) and run by the Boggart Brewery, so there’s usually a couple of theirs on tap and one or two more. Over the road is the English Lounge – usually two or three half-decent ales on tap.

    Deansgate Locks
    The one place that’s definitely worth visiting around here is the Knott Bar, which is owned by the Marble Brewery. They usually have one or two Marbles on and a few guest ales, plus a decent bottle selection.

    Oxford Road
    Depening on how far down Oxford Road you want to go, there are places like the Lass O’Gowrie and the Joshua Brooks which usually have a few ales on. And then if you get down as far as the University there are meant to be some half-decent pubs along there, but they’re a bit far outside my range…

    I’m sure someone like Tandleman could suggest a few more hidden gems, but those should be a half-decent starter-for-ten.

    Hope that helps!

    • Fantastic– thanks, Darren! I hope I can hit at least a few of these!

  4. in addition to Darren:

    Rochdale Road / Victoria
    – Fringe (opposite Smithfield), Belgian style bar, usually 4 or 5 on and usually most are excellent.
    – Wellington – wonderful location (3rd time lucky!) and usually something interesting on.

    – Jolly Angler – the last of Manchester’s truly old-school pubs?
    – Mother Mac – …although Mother Mac’s could stake that claim too.
    – Portland Street has 2 of the smallest beerhouses in town – Grey Horse and the even smaller Circus Tavern. Try ’em both if you can.

    “Northern Quarter” (for want of a better term)
    – Castle (Oldham Road) has Robbies’ range and and some spot on guests (on the way to 57 Thomas Street).

    – Cask, little bar just down from Knott. Couple of pumps and decent foreign selection.

    Oxford Road
    – Britons Protection is possibly the best pubs in Manchester… just try it.
    – Peveril of the Peak is a classic and distinctinve old pub with 3-4 on.

    • I’m clearly going to need more than a couple of days to really do this right! Fantastic– I’ll try to get to at least some of these. Thanks for the list.

  5. You picked a weekend when I’m unavailable! I’m off to Whitby in North Yorkshire for Folk Week on Saturday morning, so Friday will hectic.

    My pub crawl on Dale Street from my blog has a map which includes the Ship & Mitre (10 beers usually on). Also on the map and close to the S&M is the Lion Tavern, a charming little old pub that merits a look and has up to 8 cask beers.

    The Cavern Quarter is close by, and there are two pubs in which the Beatles used to drink: the White Star and the Grapes. The former is better in beer terms.

    There are many great pubs in Liverpool, including the Philharmonic (one of the most impressive pub interiors I know) on Hope Street, but that’s on the other side of town.

    Have fun!

    • Thanks Neville– sorry I’ll miss you. I can’t wait to report back– it seems like there is just too much good beer up there!

  6. If you pass through Sheffield then there’s a bar with a mediocre selection of beers inconveniently located in the station that’s worth a stop off :-;

    • Simon, I have heard of this place…
      Sadly we didn’t make it to half the places I’d hoped to go. I must plan another trip soon!

  7. Sorry for not adding anything, but I’ve been away. Look forward to hearing how you got on.

    • Hi Tandleman– we spent most of our time hiking instead of pubbing– I will have to post soon, as we did have some great beers, but the fantastic suggestions everyone had will have to wait until the next trip!

  8. I hope your visit to the true heart of England went well, Purlygrrrl.

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