Hassrale Trips: Emsworth & Havant

Date: Saturday 15th December 1990

Whilst there are probably sufficient pubs in either of these towns to make a trip it was decided to combine the two as they are so close together but in lots of ways different. The decision was to visit Emsworth first as it was the most difficult journey and the town is the more attractive with more pubs open in the afternoon. This creates a little problem with travel which I touch upon later.

1. EMSWORTH

A small town with a considerable number of pubs for its size. Very attractive area right next to the Sussex border (in fact we do cross into Sussex but we need no passports, yet!!). It also lies at the head of Chichester harbour and is famous for its yachting and wildlife. Also has a millpond and a tidal mill as well as some fine Georgian houses. All pubs are alleged to be within 10 minutes of the station.

2. Travel

There are two ways to travel to Emsworth. Firstly and quickest is via Havant and from Waterloo. The other way is via Victoria and through Hove and Shoreham. Whilst the latter route is direct I have stuck with Waterloo and that creates the problem. The trains from Waterloo are at 20 (Semi fast) and 50 (Fast). I recommend the 0950 which arrives at Havant at 1058. The next train to Emsworth is at 1132 so we have a bit of a wait. However there is a pub right next to the station so the wait need not be wasteful. (see Havant section)

3. THE PUBS IN EMSWORTH

(the indication of time in brackets indicate approximate time of leaving pubs).

The start of this trip will be as far away from the station as we will be going. Proceed down North Street to the large roundabout and turn left down the Chichester Road crossing the river Ems and going into Sussex to find on your right:

A. Sussex Brewery - 36 Main Road [1230]

Beers: Hermitage Wyndham Bitter, Hermitage Bitter, Badger Best, Tanglefoot, Marston Border Exhibition and Pedigree. (Beer range may vary and there are other Hermitage beers that may be on sale although rumor has it that the brewery has stopped producing Sussex Pale Ale and Warrior Ale)

Comments: A home brew pub that does also supply to the free trade. The brewery is situated on the side of the pub and garden. You could try the Emsworth cockles while you are here and see your temperature rise. Private room and exclusive outside drinking area at the back. Good quality beer and a very nice and friendly pub.

We now proceed back over the border and take the left fork into Queens Street. On your left is the first of the Gales pubs:

B. Lord Raglan - Queens Street [1305]

Beers: Gales Best BBB, HSB

Comments: One bar pub with real fires and candles. Small friendly dog called Bruno who likes crisps and Civil Servants (raw). Very quiet 16th century pub which closes at 3pm. Shove halfpenny board.

Continue to the end of Queens Street past the Smugglers and turn left into South Street. Just down on the right you will find:

C. Coal Exchange - South Street [1340]

Beers: Gales XXXD, BBB, HSB

Comments: Small pub with tiled frontage and a large garden. The beer was excellent on the trial. Real Fire will be an asset if we go in the winter months. Dogs and disabled are welcomed but I am not so sure about HASSRALE members.

Continue down the same side to:-

D. Bluebell - South Street [1415]

Beers: Gales HSB, Ruddles County

Comments: Very nice but small one bar pub with an equally small garden. Very popular and is open all day. Very close to harbour and the mill pond.

Continue down to the mill pond and turn right following it up until you get on to the main road (Havant Road). Turn left and find on your right and on a junction:

E. Kings Arms - 10 Havant Road [1450]

Beers: Friary Meux Bitter, Burton, King and Barnes Sussex

Still close to the mill pond on the main road. Very quiet and friendly particularly the locals. Bar billiards and shove halfpenny also available.

We are not moving back towards the station so proceed back along the Havant Road until you reach North Street once again. There are a series of pubs up North Street but the first one that we go into is on the right:

F. Milkman Arms - 55 North Street [1520]

Beers: Gales XXXL, BBB, HSB

Comments: Basic one bar pub with real atmosphere. Friendly staff and clientele. A real locals pub and reasonably near to the station. A rare outlet for Gales light mild. A large garden available. Bar billiards and dominoes played.

Continue on towards the station to find:

G. Seagull - North Street [1620]

Beers: Friary Meux Bitter

Comments: Three bar pub with restaurant facilities in the lounge. Juke box. Open all day and seemingly serves food all day as well. Very friendly landlord and wife who offered us a conducted tour of the pub and indicated that the food marked home made is really so as it is cooked as you wait and can take some time. That does not really matter as this is the last pub of the afternoon and there are frequent trains back to Havant.

Well that concludes Emsworth. Some may feel that they have enough to drink for a while and may wish to explore the harbour. The views can be very good and there are delightful walks. For those who wish to continue drinking trains run two an hour into Havant and the first two pubs in that town should be open all day. The first one of these you may already have visited during the gap in the morning so I have included it as the first pub for the evening. It can be missed if you have already visited. I would suggest that the second pub be the meeting pub for the evening trip.

H. Star - 59 North Street

Beers: Gales XXXD, BBB, HSB(?)

One bar pub very close to the station. Comfortable enough but does have a CD Juke Box so can get noisy. Also pool table and lots of machines. Note fish tanks and frogs. There is a garden of sorts. Resident Alsatian and kitten. Not one of my favourite pubs but the beer was nice. Worth the one/two visits.

Continue down North Street ignoring the pubs on the way (it is likely they will be closed anyway). until you come to West Street where you turn right. First turning on your left is Homewell Street where you will find:

J. Robin Hood - Homewell Street [1800]

Beers: Gales XXXD, BBB, HSD 5X

Comments: Probably the best pub in Havant and all the beers are served by gravity. Rather hidden away by the church. Some music but not too intrusive. Can get very full. Garden leads to a rear entrance. Beer a reasonable price too. Open all day and should be a good assembly point.

If we leave by the back door we should be able to get into West Street turn left and then left again into park Road. Just down this road we will find:

K. Dolphin - 7 Park Road [1900]

Beers: Gales BBB, HSB, Dolphin Bitter

Comments: Modern open plan pub with lots of wood and at different levels. A little noisy but fortunately the games machines are in a side room. CD Juke Box but not as bad as it sounds. If you go into the garden the roofs are very interesting.

A little complicated now. Turn left out of the pub and just down on your left is path that runs through to South Street. Turn left to find:

L. Old House at Home - South Street [2000]

Beers: Gales BBB, HSB

Comments: Said to be the oldest residence remaining in Havant as the rest of the town was destroyed by fire and only the church and this building which was formerly a number of 14th century cottages remains. Black and White timbered building right next to the graveyard, you can still see the post for tethering the bear when there was a bear pit in the pub. Has a massive fireplace in the lounge and also has a real fire elsewhere. A nice pub if expensive for the area. Watch out for the low beams.

Now a stagger back to the station is called for. Proceed up South Street, and, surprise surprise, into North Street. This road leads up to the station but there was one other pub we called in on the trial. If you have time then you could as well.

M. Six Bells - 30 North Street [2100]

Beers: Websters Yorkshire Bitter

Comments: Bearing in mind that we did this pub in the afternoon on the trial I would not like to vouch for it. Small pub with CD Juke and television and a considerable number of machines. May get very crowded.

This finalizes the trip and the best train to aim for is the 2121 train from Havant to Waterloo. It is pretty fast and gets into London at 2231. It is probably the last fast train.

This trip was trialled by Dave Saffery and Chris Smart and is a really good trip.

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