0Another Réal Ale Trail — Wherry Lines Ale Track

There are quite a few Rail Ale Trails now avail­able in the UK, includ­ing the South Pen­nines one I recently wrote about.  I recently had to organ­ise a stag do for a mate, and after look­ing into sev­er­al options I con­cluded the best option would be an Ale Trail in anoth­er part of the coun­try.  The route I worked out has since become anoth­er estab­lished Ale Trail called the Wherry Lines Ale Track

Route

The Wherry Lines route is actu­ally a Y shaped route. Trains leave from Nor­wich, and diverge at Brundall with half going to Lowest­oft and half going to Great Yar­mouth. We took the south­ern half of the route which goes to Lowest­oft. It is prob­ably pos­sible to cov­er both halves of the Y, but we needed time to get back to our hotel to change before a night out in Nor­wich. As a res­ult we didn’t travel all the way to Lowest­oft, but star­ted at Had­dis­coe. I used google maps to cre­ate a cus­tom map with all the details for our trip.  A Wherry Lines Rover can be had for £7.80.

Timetable

The timetable is avail­able from Nation­al Express East Anglia. Trains don’t run on a reg­u­lar time after the hour, so check the timetable for the time of day you’re trav­el­ling.

The pubs

Lowestoft

Oak Tav­ern
Loc­a­tion: 1100m from the plat­form, due north up Raglan Street.
Food: No
Our Thoughts: We didn’t vis­it here as we star­ted in Had­dis­coe for time reas­ons.

Tri­angle
Loc­a­tion: 850m from the plat­form, north and slightly east, up Lon­don Road North
Food: No
Our Thoughts: We didn’t vis­it here as we star­ted in Had­dis­coe for time reas­ons.

Somerleyton

The Duke’s Head
Loc­a­tion: 720m from plat­form, north through wood­land
Food: Yes. A good look­ing selec­tion.
Our Thoughts: We didn’t vis­it here as we star­ted in Had­dis­coe for time reas­ons.

Haddiscoe

bell-inn-st-olavesThe Bell Inn
Loc­a­tion: 1,700m from plat­form. Fol­low the rail­way, then cross it on the large road bridge. Fol­low the main road across the river and the pub is on the right.
Food: Yes. Excel­lent.
Our Thoughts: The Bell Inn was a lovely pub, with excel­lent food and a good selec­tion of Ales. It also has a lovely view of the River Wave­ney. Sev­er­al of us had food which was gen­er­ously por­tioned, high qual­ity, and swiftly delivered.

Reedham

the-ship-reedhamThe Ship
Loc­a­tion: 1,400m from plat­form. Leave the sta­tion, turn right and right again to go back across the rail­way. Fol­low the road south until it turns left. Con­tin­ue to fol­low it until it forks and fol­low the right fork. Fol­low this road along the river and go past the Lord Nel­son on the left.
Food: No
Our Thoughts: We liked The Ship, it had a lovely loc­a­tion next to the River Yare. There were 4 dif­fer­ent ales avail­able. I’m not sure what we had, but no-one had any­thing bad to say about the qual­ity of beer.

the-lord-nelson-reedhamThe Lord Nel­son
Loc­a­tion: 1,150m from plat­form. Leave the sta­tion, turn right and right again to go back across the rail­way. Fol­low Sta­tion Road south until it turns left. Con­tin­ue to fol­low it until it forks and fol­low the right fork. Fol­low this road along the river, the pub is on the left hand side.
Food: Yes, but as it stands we wouldn’t want to try it.
Our Thoughts: The Lord Nel­son was the biggest let down on the ale trail. Des­pite a won­der­ful build­ing, a great loc­a­tion right on the River Yare and being a CAMRA 2011 Good Beer Guide pub, we couldn’t wait to leave. The first prob­lem we encountered was the res­id­ent dog which was releas­ing some ter­rible smells on a reg­u­lar basis. The second prob­lem was a large swarm of blue­bottle flies fly­ing “patrol” in the very centre of the bar area. By far the biggest prob­lem though was the beer. The taste was just below aver­age, but we’ve had worse, but there were large bits of some­thing float­ing in the beer. The glasses also hadn’t been washed prop­erly — mine for example had a lay­er of scum at the bot­tom. Sev­er­al of our party didn’t fin­ish their beer. Hope­fully new man­age­ment will take over this pub with poten­tial soon.

ferry-inn-reedhamFerry Inn
Loc­a­tion: 1,200m from plat­form. Leave the sta­tion, turn right and right again to go back across the rail­way. Fol­low Ferry Road South-West. The pub is by the ferry cross­ing on the right hand side.
Food: Yes. Some people in our party had food here and thor­oughly enjoyed it.
Our Thoughts: A crack­ing pub. The staff were very friendly and the beer was good. There was free darts avail­able which is a nice bonus in an ale pub. Unfor­tu­nately the weath­er took a turn for the worse so we didn’t have an oppor­tun­ity to check out the beer garden.

Cantley

reedcutter-cantleyThe Reed­cut­ter
Loc­a­tion: 260m from the plat­form. Fol­low the signs south.
Food: Yes. We didn’t eat here, but plenty of people were, and they seemed to be very happy with what they got.
Our Thoughts: Anoth­er pub we liked. We stayed here for 2 pints. This is a large pub with din­ing room. It also had a pool table in the bar room. The beer selec­tion was again good. We didn’t eat, but the food looked good.

Brundall

yare-brundallThe Yare
Loc­a­tion: 70m from the plat­form. Dir­ectly across the car park.
Food: Yes
Our Thoughts: We don’t have much to say about this one as we whipped in, sank a pint, and moved on. It had a reas­on­able selec­tion of ales, none of which were bad.

Brundall Gardens

ram-brundallThe Ram
Loc­a­tion: 900m from the plat­form. Fol­low West end Aven­ue due north. At the end, turn right and fol­low Postwick Lane for 700m.
Food: No
Our Thoughts: A slightly dis­ap­point­ing choice. The Ram is more of a lager pub than an Ale pub. There were a couple of stand­ard bit­ters avail­able, but in future I wouldn’t include this on an Ale trail. There was noth­ing espe­cially bad about it, just it didn’t fit in with the oth­er ven­ues chosen.

Great Yarmouth

St John’s Head
Loc­a­tion: 500m from the plat­form. Go south, over the foot­path next to the aban­doned rail bridge and fol­low N Quay south.
Food: No
Our Thoughts: We didn’t vis­it here as we took the Lowest­oft half of the Y shaped route.

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