[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316

ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316 : Next section

ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316

Norwich is a city with many good pubs and a few outstanding ones. The GBG obviously picks these out pretty well, but how to get round them? Well, hopefully this article will provide a few pointers for you. This tour was thoroughly researched by an enthusiastic team of explorers on a recent visit.

If you're arriving by train, The Coach & Horses on Thorpe Road shouldn't be missed. Turn right out of the station and head up the hill. The pub is on the left hand side after a couple of minutes walk. The Chalk Hill Brewery is at the back of the pub, and most of the beer served is from there.

The next stop is a fair trek to the south, to the near end of Hall Road, but the walk is worth it, since we then reach The Billy Bluelight and The King's Arms. The Billy Bluelight is a Woodforde's pub (with guest beer), and the King's Arms is a very pleasant Free House. A word of warning - these first three pubs will be very busy when Norwich FC are at home, as they're all quite near Carrow Road.

After The King's Arms, head down Trafalgar Street and Southwell Road. Turn left on to Grove Road, and then into The Trafford Arms. This is a large open pub, with a good range of beers from near and far.

Leaving the Trafford, head directly over the road on to what is still Grove Road, although it's confusingly gone round a corner. Cross the main road and then go up Brunswick Road. There's a lack of outstanding pubs for a while, but to stave off the thirst you could pop in to The York Tavern on York Street or The Rose Valley on Unthank Road. After that, head up Park Lane, cross the main road and then go up Alexandra Road to The Alexandra - a two-roomed pub with lots to see. Near that is The Belle Vue - worth a visit if there's time.

After that, head up St Philips Road. Cross Dereham Road and go up Nelson Street, directly opposite. At the first junction, we reach the true destination of our journey. The Fat Cat (a Free House or Free Mouse depending where you look) is truly a shrine to ale. Not only does it have a large range of ales on handpump, it also boasts an even larger number of ales (and ciders, Belgians, ...) on gravity. Mere words cannot describe The Fat Cat. Just go and visit.

If you do leave The Fat Cat before closing time, The Nelson is just a bit further up Nelson Street, and is an all round decent pub. Alternatively (or as well) you could head up Dereham Road in to town. The Reindeer is on the right after a few hundred yards. This was previously the Reindeer Brewery before it was Firkinised. It's one of the few ex-Firkins that now sells a good range of ale - it's an Elgoods pub, and has a full range of their beers plus guests. After the Reindeer, carry on in to town to The St Andrew's Tavern. This is a large multi-roomed Adnams pub, with a good range of the Adnams beers and guests. After that, it's probably about time to head to the station. Those still in need of refreshment could do worse than head down Elm Hill to the Fye Bridge, where they will find The Ribs of Beef.

I hope you enjoy the tour!

Bert Kenward


ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA