CAMRA - Take a Tour of Formbys Pubs
Mike Perkins gives us the ideal pub crawl around Formby and Freshfield
The compact area of Formby and Freshfield has some very good pubs well worth a visit, including the CAMRA Award winning Freshfield pub, of which more further below. It is well worth spending an afternoon in a local pub crawl, or in posher language, an ale trail, and public transport can be used if one doesn’t want to walk the whole distance.
A suggested pub tour is now detailed, but you can pick out your own choice of pubs, do it in reverse order, or whatever.
The Grapes outside area
A clockwise tour begins at the Grapes Hotel, a large ex coaching inn at the junction of Ryeground Lane and Green Lane – it’s preferable to purchase a local area Zone Ticket in advance and travel by the 44, 47 or X2 bus from Southport, Crosby or Liverpool, although it is a 10/12 minutes walk from Freshfield station.
The Bay Horse - Toby Carvery
Next pub on the list is the Toby Carvery owned Bay Horse in Church Road, either walking, or by the above mentioned buses. Both pubs have quite a good food menu, but the ales do need investigating, as I haven’t visited for a while.
The Cross House
Large outdoor seating area
A short walk down Church Road to Cross Green will bring you to the Cross House – this busy pub usually has a good choice of real ales, and was formerly known as the Blundell Arms.
The Royal Hotel
The next venue is the Royal Hotel, reached by walking down Liverpool Road towards Little Altcar, or by taking the 47, X2 or 160, 161 (and 165 Sunday only) local Formby buses. The Royal usually has a choice of a few real ales.
Next stop is the Railway Hotel at Formby station, a bit of a walk along Raven Meols Lane or take the 160, 161, 164 or 165 outside the Royal pub, on the same side as the pub as these buses run on a one way anti clockwise circuit. Walk under the road from the Formby station bus stop and the Railway is an excellent pub with locally brewed beers and a choice of good food.
Continuing now to the Pinewoods, a former Higson’s community serving house in Wicks Green, just off Harrington Road – it’s a bit of a walk, but the local 160/1/4/5 will take you from the station to the nearby Harrington Road shops.
Reboard the bus at the same stop (or longish walk) and continue along Harrington Road and Victoria Road to Freshfield Station, where from walk along Argarmeols Road and Gregsons Avenue to the Freshfield in Massams Lane. What haven’t we said about he Freshfield? It’s been our Branch and Regional Merseyside Pub of the Year (POTY) for the last two years, and was runner up in the last four UK pubs last year. It serves 14 real ales, many from independent breweries with a variety of styles, and the food is often quite busy with diners.
The main point, however, is that CAMRA will be making a presentation to the pub as it has again been nominated as our 2015 Pub of the Year in this region. This will be made at around 8pm on Tuesday, May 19th. Also, CAMRA National Executive Director Nik Antona will be making an additional award as Runner Up in the last POTY competition.
Return home by train from Freshfield (every 15 mins) or the last 162 bus (not Sunday) is 6.50pm from the Freshfield (165 on Sunday at 5.32pm).
So do your best to try out some of these pubs, and note that the Formby Local buses 160-164 0nly operate on Monday-Saturday (daytime) and the 165 hourly only on Sunday daytime. Also, the Sunday bus service in general is less frequent and this might influence your choice of day.
To contact CAMRA phone Mike on 01704 573 768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story Source: Southport Visiter