- a Trans-Pennine railway pub crawl




Well, I devised and first did this trip in 2005. I'm sure this was before the 'official' Ale Trail was conceived. In any case I'd certainly never heard of it and my trip included additional pubs to those on the original Trail. They were pubs I knew having often visited and then moved to live in the area, and I planned it as a day out for me and some ale drinking friends.

We had a good time, we repeated it a couple of times so I thought I'd share it with the world via this site as an enjoyable jaunt for those who appreciate proper ale and good pubs.

Over time I became aware people were doing the trip because of my site, I'd get emails from them or hear talk about it in the pubs. At the same time the official Ale Trail became more established and it began to add some of the pubs on my crawl. But most people doing it were still decent folk, the pubs weren't too busy and all was well.

However in recent years the Trail began to attract huge crowds of people whose sole intention seems to be get p*ssed and act like arrogant morons. Both the pubs and trains became packed with loud, obnoxious idiots from midday until well into the evening. For locals or those visitors who want to enjoy the pubs and the various ale, or even for those just using the train service or living nearby, it's a very unpleasant experience.

So for now I want no more to do with it! If you're an ale drinker and know the pubs then they're all still well worth visiting, but avoid Saturdays... If you are a stag/hen party or other group who just want to get wrecked I suggest you grow up or feck off elsewhere.

But things are changing. The pubs on the trail are realising that while it may have been good for revenue it isn't good for business long term or for their reputation. Local residents are sick of it, while regular customers and would be responsible visitors are being driven away. As of June 2013 the poster below is on display. Some pubs are no longer selling lager on Saturdays. Of course not all lager drinkers cause problems, but I bet 99% of the trouble makers drink lager. And that was the point - it's an ale trail, not a 'get wrecked on a stag do and act like a d*ckhead' trail. Stag parties, fancy dress etc are also banned. Let's hope this message gets through and both my crawl and the Ale Trail can return to what it was.