Hassrale Trips: Canterbury

Date: Saturday 15th October 1988


I suggest catching the 9:20 AM Dover Western docks service from Victoria to Canterbury East. This train is due to arrive in Canterbury at 10:40. There is an hourly service for any late risers. Trains back to London depart Canterbury East at 21:06 and 22:06 arriving at Victoria at 22:32 and 23:32 respectively. You can also catch a train from Canterbury West at 21:37 which arrives at Charing Cross at 23:14.

The City

Canterbury is one of Britain's most historic cities. It is the seat of the Church of England (which like many Hassrale members is unable to stand). The Cathedral is an impressive piece of architecture containing many works of art and displays of medieval carving and stained glass. The trip is divided into 2 parts, the first round the perimeter of the ancient city walls partly built on Roman foundations, then when hopefully the tourists have gone home a trip through the heart of the city itself.

On leaving the station turn right, turn right again when you reach the main road, on reaching the first roundabout (Canterbury is full of roundabouts) turn right into ld Dover Road, follow this road along past the Cross Keys (a nice Charringtons pub for anyone tempted to fit in a few extra pints and only omitted due to its penchant for sloping tables and breakable glasses) and you will find the Phoenix about 100 yards along from the Cross Keys.

Alternatively a very short cut ...

On leaving the station turn right to take the footpath beside the car park, follow this along until you come to the main road, turn left and you will see the Cross Keys in front of you. Turn right into the Old Dover and the Phoenix is on the left hand side about 100 yards along.

1. The Phoenix - Old Dover Road [11:30]

Beers: Bass, Shepherd Neame, Youngs, Adnams, Abbot (may vary)

A little way from the city but well worth the walk. A one bar pub with a large seating area and in my opinion (as a humble lager drinker) one of the best pubs in Canterbury. The decor is in keeping with the fact that it is on the way to the County Cricket Ground. Also boasts a distinctive stove in an open plan fireplace. Plenty of seating and the food is usually available for those of you who did not have breakfast. Male members of Hassrale should beware the two ladies loos. This pub is in the GBG.

On leaving the Phoenix retrace your steps to the Cross Keys turn right and the Old City of Canterbury is on your left just after the bend in the road.

2. The Old City of Canterbury - Oaten Hill [12:15]

Beers: Fremlins

A friendly but basic one bar public house with a pool table, dartboard and a bat and trap pitch in a small benched garden. This pub seemed extremely quiet even for a Saturday morning.

On leaving the Old City turn left, then turn left again taking the subway to cross the New Dover Road continue following the path of the city wall past St. Augustine's abbey where you will come to the Brewers Delight.

3. The Brewers Delight - Broad Street [13:10]

Beers: Shepherd Neame Master Brew

Small two bar pub with a range of hot and cold snacks. Again a garden area boasting another bat and trap pitch for those who wish to get back to nature. There appeared to be only a few seats left when we got there, so those wishing to eat may wish to arrive a little earlier. This pub also appears in the GBG.

If the back gate is left open in the garden then this offers a convenient short cut to the New Inn which is situated almost directly behind the Brewer's Delight. Otherwise on leaving the Brewer's Delight turn left then left again whereupon you will discover ...

4. The New Inn - Havelock Street [13:55]

Beers: Felifoel, Hook Norton, IPA, Marstons Pedigree, Burton Bridge Porter

This is a pleasant if busy locals pub. Food was limited to a few rolls. A garden offered some seating since the seating in the bar appeared to be taken.

On leaving the New Inn turn right (alternatively if using the garden exit turn left) towards the City walls, upon reaching the main road turn right. The Royal Dragoon is on the corner of Military Road which is the 2nd turning from Havelock Street.

5. The Royal Dragoon - Military Road [14:40]

Beers: Shepherd Neame Master Brew

Another pub which has appeared in the Good Beer Guide. This is a pub with long narrow twin bars. A traditional looking pub with hops on the ceiling and leaves on the floor (or maybe this was the other members of the trial team). Food is sometimes available though this appeared limited to bar snacks. There is a large garden seating area overlooking the dead centre of Canterbury i.e. the graveyard. I am assured by the landlord that this is not what happens to the people who try the food.

On leaving the Royal Dragoon turn left. This brings you back to Broad Street (the main road we have been following), turn right following the path of Broad Street which bends around to the left this leads into St. Radigund Street (does anyone know who St. Radigund was?). Turn left and the Dolphin is on the right.

6. Dolphin - St Radigund Street [....]

Beers: Flowers Original, Pompey Royal

A large traditional style pub which has recently been redecorated. Avril should be avoided if the sign above the door is to be believed. This establishment is a cetologist's delight and although situated off the beaten track was open all afternoon on the trial run. An extensive range of good quality food served until 15:30. Plenty of seating with the garden containing an aviary and rabbits plus lots of additional benches. Back inside please note the round pool table and the old record sale situated on one of the bars.

Now fellow member lies uncertainty, for those that wish to eat there are some good restaurants especially in the High Street although beware that this is a tourist town so some prices may be above the means of a humble Civil Servant. For those who wish to continue to imbibe some places may be open towards the city centre. A likely list is :-

A. Shakespeare Hotel - Butchery Lane

Beers: Shepherd Neame Master Brew

A comfortable one bar pub with a number of alcoves and areas for seating. Food bar serving coffee. Wall coverings reflect the pubs name being mainly portraits of old Billy Waggledagger himself. The muzak did appear to be slightly obtrusive.

B. Cherry Tree - Whitehorse Lane

Beers: Charringtons Bass, IPA

A very small 2 bar watering hole with a friendly landlord. This pub does food in the afternoon and evening. Usual fruit machine and Jukebox etc.

C. Black Griffin - St Peter's Street

Beers: Fremlins

Largish 2 bar public house gets busy due to its location on the High Street but the back bar doesn't get as crowded and offers the chance of grabbing a seat. Does bar snacks.

Meeting up again in the Kentish Cricketers for a 17:30 start (fingers crossed). This pub is in St Peter's Street (The High Street) near the West Gate opposite Caesars.

7. Kentish Cricketers - St Peter's Lane [18:30]

Beers: Shepherd Neame

Another pub devoted to the cricketing theme, but still willing to sell beer as well. Usually quite pleasant in the evening once all the tourists have gone home although it can be a little hectic at lunch time. Stays open to four in the afternoon serving food until 3:30. Reopens at six.

On leaving the Kentish Cricketers turn left along the High Street the 2nd turning to your left is the Friars and 50 yards along the right hand side is ..

8. Canterbury Tales [19:10]

Beers: Courage Directors, Best and John Smiths

This is a smallish one bar pub opposite the Marlow theatre. Very convivial atmosphere and a pleasant landlord. Lots of money on the wall together with signed photos of the stars who have appeared at the Marlow. Including people as famous as Fairport Convention (who?)

One leaving the Canterbury Tales turn right along the Friars into Orange Street the second turning on your right is Palace Street and along here you will find ..

9. The Bell and Crown [19:55]

Beers: Ruddles Best, County, Websters and Trumans Best

A pleasant if cluttered pub with yet another round pool table. Traditionally decorated with animals clutching onto the ceiling and the walls (not us as we were holding onto the floor!) Plenty of seating available.

On leaving the Bell and Crown turn left along Palace Street turn left into King Street and right into Knotts Lane proceed along Knotts Lane and you should emerge in St Radigund Street, on your right should be ..

10. Millers Arms - Mill Lane [20:40]

Beers: Canterbury Ale, Fullers ESB, Bass Charrington's

This is a small very basic pub which attracts some of the worst types of Kentish yuppie and trendy students. You'll be lucky to see a seat, yet alone find one to sit in but then I am biased as it doesn't serve bottled lager, however those among you who like this real ale stuff might find the Canterbury Ale enjoyable.

Survey Details:

Date: 4th June 1988

Team: D. Saffery, J.Wright, E.Featherstone, P.Tiffany, P.Gillett, A.N.Other

Date: 27th August 1988

Team: D.Saffery, J.Wright, C.Smart, H.Ricketts, P.Gillett

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