This is an opportunity for an awayday to Northampton. I mention, immediately that my reason for making the journey is to watch football, but please don't think that I will be expecting you to join me at the mtch. I'll be leaving the town centre by 2:00 pm and can meet up again later.
For the evening we can break our journey at Berkhamsted, a quite attrctive little town, for a further two or three pubs.
I do not know Northampton at all well, having only passed through and had an hour or so on a couple of occasions. It seems to be a not particularly attractive town, mainly modern soulless architecture but it has a large market square that is one of the largest in the country. There is also a large shopping centre. It is said that Northampton's reputation is built around the shoe making industry, but I think that is a load of old cobblers, if it has no sole that is the last I'll say on the matter.
To get there, trains leave Euston at 54 minutes past the hour and take about 1 hour 20 minutes. I'll be aiming for the 09:54, getting in at 11:10, but the following one will do just as well. You will no doubt be aware that the town has its own brewery, but this is of little comfort to us as its the famous Carlsbery Brewery. This is visible when we wander near the first two pubs on the trip.
My brief recollection of this pub is of a basic boozer, bare floorboards etc. Although a Banks & Taylors house, they are likely to have up to six beers available, but when I spoke to them the other day, they could not be sure what. Pub is open all day
At this point I should add that having little personal knowledge of the town I cannot recommend any particular pubs. However from various Good Beer Guides and a chat with the county CAMRA rep, I have drawn up the following possibilities. I have indicated the appropriate streets on the map, but not the exact locations of the pubs.
I have popped into this one recently. The beer range was not as good as the 1993 GBG. Large dimly lit pub, which looks as if it may be busy at night.
This pub was mentioned to me by the CAMRA rep as being just round the corner from the King Billy
GBG 1993 entry, small town centre local. Should be open all day.
Recommended by the CAMRA rep, but unable to confirm what beers are likely to be on. Seems worth a try.
GBG 1991 entry. Expansive lounge bar, frequented by cosmopolitan clientele, especially office workers. May not remain open all day.
In addition, slightly north-east of the town centre, at Abington Park is the home brew pub of that name. This is one of the Clifton Inns pubs, similar to the Orange Brewery, so it may be worth a visit. However it is right by the Football ground, so it is likely to be busy until 3:00 pm. I do not know if it stays open.
As far as meeting up again, I suggest that we do so at the Brewers Arms from 5:00 pm. (Unless we find a more suitable pub at our lunchtime wanderings). The advantage is that the pub is convenient for the station.
Trains back from Northampton are hourly, at 36 minutes past the hour. If we wish we can then get off at Berkhamsted, for a mini pub crawl. I will bring along details on the day.
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