An Englishman, a Welshman and a (Northern Irishman) plan to walk into every pub in Lancaster this academic year. Will they still be capable of walking out come June?
Bar crawls are as vital to student life as not doing your laundry and ready meals. However, most such events you will come across in your time in Lancaster take place either on campus or through the centre of town but there is a third choice available to you – one that requires only bus ticket and a dream. Hop on a 2A (or a 2) bus from Campus and dismount at every pub you pass and you too can complete the mythical 2A Bar Crawl.
The Bowling Green – 7.5/10
Located about 100 yards from Booths is a rather unassuming pub. Despite its bland interior, the pub otherwise fared well on the beautifully flawed scale we currently use for pubs: lager under £3 and pool tables notched up the points for The Bowling Green. A lack of ales (just two on tap) and interesting wall décor prevented it scoring higher, but a bonus point was awarded after a rather heady pint of ale was topped up at no extra charge. A generous half point was also awarded for live music, giving the pub an above-average score.
Boot & Shoe – 7/10
At the same bus stop which serves the Bowling Green is the Boot & Shoe, Lancaster’s most southerly Mitchell’s pub. The food was varied and smelled amazing, and unlike The Bowling Green, the interior is an interesting and makes the pub a pleasant place to be. Boasting an impressive selection of ales, the Boot & Shoe is also a place you can sit down and catch some sporting action whilst basking in the glorious decoration – mainly the wellington boots pinned on to the walls. A fantastic range of packaged condiments also earned a bonus point – our Welshman was thrilled to discover a sachet of mint sauce – but previous scary service chalks that off again!
Fox & Goose – 7/10
Possibly the least accessible pub (for most) we’ll visit in this series. Tucked away between Hala and Bowerham, the Fox & Goose also boasts unusual interior design with the main bar being cut in half by glass doors. Despite its far out location, the establishment failed to deliver cheap lager. Minus some rather dull wall furniture, all other set criteria were met, including a lovely excited dog very happy to see some lads who clearly were not regulars saw the Fox & Goose soar to another surprisingly high score.
The Bowerham – 5/10
The Bowerham is a recognisable pub, named after the area which it is situated in. Following the purchase of reasonably priced beverages we found ourselves sitting in the blandest pub in Lancaster so far. Walls of magnolia and dull furniture have officially earned this pub the title of ‘The Beige of Pubs’. Despite this, it is still a location you can go and play some pool, catch whatever sport you may be into and even some live music. The spacious interior and varied drink selection also counted in its favour but its lack of a distinctive character definitely contributed to the disappointing score.
The Park – 6/10
We stepped in to the last pub of the evening now easily identifiable due to the presence of a rather large “Go Burrito” sign. Indeed, the Park is now arguably better known for its provision of delicious Mexican food than it is for drinking. It does also offer cheap alcohol, however like The Bowerham before the blandness did make this Pub-Restaurant’s score suffer. The idea of a beer garden for this pub is a few benches on the pavement at the front of the building, but its upper floor is devoted to live music and it is a nice space to see local Lancastrian talent in action. Despite this, things were looking bleak for The Park but nice bonuses for the fact you could purchase a Burrito with your crisp pint brought the score of this establishment up.
With that, the bus turns past the infirmary and into town. Though you could technically continue with stops at Penny Street Bridge Hotel, the New Albert and Ring O’Bells all those fine establishments will be appearing in other, later editions of Around the Town in 50 Pubs!