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Liquor Trails

The British Isles are known for their idyllic natural beauty, quaint villages and rustic charm. But big cities such as London, Dublin and Belfast mean that our small islands possess a cosmopolitan side, as well. In this green and pleasant land, there are some fantastic opportunities for hiking and long distance walking. Ah, the classic British pub walk: a mainstay of our culture and heritage.

It’s certainly true that those who hail from Britain love a tipple—or three! We’re also keen on exploring our nation's delectable countryside. Yet, if we crave a city break, a pub crawl around the urban establishments will do just fine.   

That’s why we’ve created a useful infographic featuring all the best walks in Britain and Ireland, both urban and rural, along with all the boozy stopovers you need to keep you going!

Anyone can use and enjoy our infographic. All the walks featured have child-friendly options and dogs are welcome in most of the pubs. (It’s a good idea to check their pooch-policy before arriving, just to be sure.)

This article serves to supplement our infographic, to provide more information on the walks and locations featured.  

Consult this hiking guide and be inspired to take your next walking holiday in the UK!

<iframe height="100%" src="https://www.blundstone.co.uk/media/wysiwyg/blundstone_liquortrails_new.jpg" width="100%"></iframe> LIQUOR TRAILS

A Walk on the Wild Side

Source: Josh Tilley

About the Trail

Take a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and discover one of Kent’s most charming and pristine wildlife havens on the doorstep of the historic market town of Faversham.

This trail is truly indicative of England’s verdant charm and rustic allure. A source of inspiration for countless artists over the centuries, England's home counties are the jewel in the British crown.  

Visit Faversham, and you’ll be amazed by stunning views across lush pastures, rolling farmland and burnished wetlands, and by an internationally important bird sanctuary—home to a surprising array of life.

Echoes of the area’s maritime history pervade this picturesque and fertile habitat. Bursting with life, the landscape is framed by the sea and the local fishing boats still in operation there.

Rich with wild plants and skies full of birds all year round, this location is a must-see for those with a penchant for unspoiled countryside. Complete this walk to feel the benefits of hiking and fresh air; spending time outdoors is great for the body and soul.  

Your route starts in Fashersham’s bustling Market Place—a myriad of colour and streets lined with centuries-old, half-timbered shops and houses, while the imposing, stilted Guildhall stands stoic sentinel over the scene.

On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays expect to see traders selling their wares. Here, local produce abounds, while tempting tearooms entice you to sit back and survey the setting.     

Along the trail, you’ll encounter a spectacular nature reserve, intriguing creeks meandering their way out of the Swale, and the glistening Oare marshes: a tranquil retreat for walkers, livestock and wildlife alike.   

Highlight: Shepherd Neame Brewery

The Shepherd Neame brewery. Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame has been making beer since 1698. The brewery’s long tradition is evidenced by the enduring appeal of their produce—Kentish ales brimming with character and renowned international lagers. The Shepherd Neame is nestled in the medieval market town of Faversham, and is one brewery worth a visit.

Brighton Craft Beer Walk

Source: Eric Hossinger

About the Trail

Who doesn’t love a good pub crawl? Now, we’re not talking about an uncouth ramble around establishments with little appeal other than their geographical proximity.

No, that would be pointless.

Our idea of a great pub crawl comprises a well planned and considered tour through some of the best pubs the area has to offer. What’s more, a pub crawl doesn’t need to be an excuse to get legless (please drink responsibly), rather it should be a chance to savour and enjoy some of the finest craft beers and ales around.

Brighton, a beautiful seaside resort in the south of England, is the very incarnation of a pub crawl town. After all, it has a larger density of pubs than anywhere else in the UK. Perhaps this is why stag and hen dos flock there to enjoy the vast array of watering holes on offer.

However, we prefer a slightly more civilised route—away from the riff-raff and loutish behaviour. TIP: try having a half-pint in each pub; this will mean you can enjoy the beer and not have to swagger your way home later.

Visit some of the oldest pubs in the area and sample some of their most appealing beers and ciders. Among the best are the Brighton Beer Dispensary and the Seven Stars.

At the Brighton Beer Dispensary, along with a fantastic menu, expect to find an impressive selection of craft beers and ales. Interestingly, there has been a pub on this site since 1886.

The Seven Stars is a craft beer and gin house that has become very popular in recent years.

The building itself was the meeting place that led to the creation of Brighton and Hove FC.

Highlight: The Hand in Hand Pub

The Hand in Hand pub is off the beaten track, so it isn’t full of topless yobs or drunken lasses. Instead, it’s a refined establishment, packed with character and boasting a significant brewing history. This pub is all about ‘mainly beer, mostly beer and nearly always beer’. They’ve been handing out the stuff ‘willy-nilly’ for over 150 years, and have been brewing it since 1989. For those with a taste for all things ‘beery’, the Hand in Hand is essential.  

Leeds Craft Beer Walk

Source: Leon Fishman

About the Trail

The craft beer revolution is fast gaining traction. More and more often, people are forgoing fizzy pints of lager and replacing them with tasty and full-bodied craft beers.

Nowadays, people actually want to taste the beer they’re drinking. And who could blame them?

Cities all over the UK are aware of this and Leeds is no exception. That’s why we’ve featured a Leeds Craft Beer Walk.

With 10 great craft beer venues to visit, all at a maximum distance of 0.3 miles apart, this three-mile walk is a fantastic way not only to get a feel for the city but also to get stuck into some of the best craft beer the UK has to offer.

The Northern Monk Refectory is the first stop on the Leeds craft beer trail.

Boasting 20 taps of high-quality cask and keg beer, you can’t go wrong with this venue. The vibe inside is bohemian—but not too bohemian—and the music is cool but restrained. After spending a few hours in here, you may not want to leave.

After you have finally managed to drag yourself away, check out Bundobust—a unique setup combining the very best of UK and world craft beer, accompanied by an extensive menu of Indian street food style snacks and dishes. While here, be sure to try the Dark Arches IPA: a sweet blend of dark malts which delivers a punchy hop profile resulting in unrivalled pizzazz.  

A little further along the craft beer crawl is Friends of Ham.

Considered by many as a Leeds institution, this establishment has been serving the finest cheeses, meats and, of course, beer for just three years. The bar is often extremely busy, so it may not be a great idea for a group pub crawl. This said, it is worth a visit for the high-quality food, great atmosphere and friendly staff.

Highlight: The Brewery Tap  

Since its opening four years ago, The Brewery Tap has gained a reputation as Leed’s premium brew-pub, offering a splendid selection of site-brewed beers and other Yorkshire ales. What’s more, it’s superbly located—just a stone’s throw from the station.

The venue itself is unique and stylish with a great ambience, and the variety of food and drink on offer is ample.    

Norwich Craft Beer Walk

Source: David Dixon

About the Trail

Residing on the river Wensum in East Anglia, Norwich is a medieval city with a surprising selection of craft beer pubs. With only 0.45 miles between each pub, this liquor trail comprises a leisurely stroll through the city, stopping off at four great venues along the way.

First up, The Norwich Tap House: Norwich’s first craft beer pub specialising in craft beer, artisan spirits, wines and champagnes. This establishment has a chilled out vibe during the day and gets more lively at night.

Next, we have The Mash Tun. Situated directly opposite the place where the iconic Bullards Brewery once stood, The Mash Tun is set in Norwich Lanes. They regularly update their selection of beers, infusions and spirits, so you’ll try something new! But if beer isn’t your thing, check out the Gin Palace upstairs…

The Ten Bells is a recently refurbished venue home to a gin distillery. A short distance from the city centre, the pub has plenty of craft beer and cocktails on offer, all served by friendly staff. This one’s not to be missed on your Norwich craft beer crawl.

Bringing craft beer to North Norwich, The Roseberry is a short walk from the city centre. It has a community feel, hosting pub quizzes and live music nights. This venue is ideally suited for families and children.

Highlight: The Fat Cat Brewery

Founded in 2005 by pub landlord Colin Keatley, The Fat Cat Brewery has won multiple awards and has been represented at the Camra National Beer Festival on two occasions. All of Fat Cat’s beers have feline-themed branding and their names range from the nuanced ‘Hell Cat’ and ‘Fat Cat Bitter’ to the slightly more bonkers ‘Catty McHorse face’ and ‘Mocha Moggy.’ Frankly, with names like that, it’s no wonder this brewery has garnered attention!     

When all’s said and done, The Fat Cat Brewery is paw-sitively claw-some. Don't purr-crastinate, check it out meow.  

Belfast Craft Beer Walk

Source: Nico Kaiser

About the Trail

Among other things, Belfast’s bustling food and drink scene is what makes the city so appealing. Arguably one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK today, Belfast is home to a fantastic array of craft beer establishments.

Thankfully for beer lovers, due to Belfast’s small size, you can visit most of these venues on foot, making this craft beer walk ideally suited to our infographic.

Travelling to Belfast by train? No problem! If you stop at Central Station, you’re already within walking distance of Garrick Bar—a venue which offers an eclectic array of international and Irish craft beers.  

For a slightly more traditional option, your next stop is round the corner at Bittles. This bar has several craft beers both bottled and on keg. The venue’s interior is decorated with Northern Ireland’s most famous sons—from Seamus Heaney to George Best.

After you’ve trifled with the traditional, why not branch out to the post-modern? Boasting ‘dirty, delicious dining’, Bootleggers, on the corner of Ann’s Street, is new to Belfast but has rapidly built up a reputation as something of a ‘hipster hangout’. Here, you can enjoy a great selection of beers, both local and international.   

Highlight: Belfast Beer and Cider Festival

Every autumn, Camra hosts the Belfast Beer and Cider Festival in the magnificent surroundings of the iconic Ulster Hall. Taking place in November, Camra’s festival is Northern Ireland’s most celebrated annual craft beer and cider event.

In its 18th year, the festival takes place this year from 16-18 November. The prices, beer and cider list, nominated charity and more information is due to be released very soon.

To stay in the loop, consult the festival’s Twitter and Facebook pages.  


Craft Beer & Bushmills Tour

Source: Giuseppe Milo

About the Trail

The craft beer movement has taken both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by storm. At least three co-operative breweries have opened, along with many other smaller ‘microbreweries’ producing fantastic ranges of beer.

There really is no better time to visit the island of Ireland and to get a true feel for the excellent beers available.

This trail includes a trip from South to North. Along the way, you’ll encounter some unforgettable scenes and spectacular landscapes.  Furthermore, there is an abundance of UNESCO world heritage sites to see, not least the famous Giant's Causeway, Grianán of Aileach and Newgrange.

Certainly not among the hardest walks in Britain, on this trail you and the whole family can enjoy the breathtaking scenery that Ireland has to offer.   

First up, a trip from the Republic of Ireland to the North has to include a visit to Newgrange: a prehistoric monument in County Meath. Built during the Neolithic period, this site is older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

Now it’s time for the drive ‘up North’...   

The result of a natural volcanic lava flow, the Giant’s Causeway, a World Heritage Site area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, is not to be missed. It is a good idea to get there first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds and take in the natural beauty in relative serenity.  

About an hour’s drive from the Giant’s Causeway lies another unmissable spot—Grianán of Aileach: a circular stone fort thought to have been built in the sixth or seventh century. Possessing a 244-metre vantage point, it makes for a fantastic photo opportunity.

Highlight: Bushmills Distillery

Although these sensational UNESCO sites are absolute must-sees, we believe the best highlight from this particular liquor trail is the Bushmills Irish whiskey distillery.

In the small village of Bushmills, situated on the banks of the river, resides the oldest working distillery in Ireland. For 400 years this is a place where friends and family have worked together for generations to uphold the age-old tradition of handcrafting small batches of fine whiskey. Here, you can complete a distillery walking tour and sample some of the best whiskey Ireland has to offer.  

The Malt Whisky Trail

Source: Valenta

About the Trail:

The Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland is the only trail of its kind in the world. Covering a distance of 74 miles, nowhere else on earth can you visit such a diversity of whisky distilleries—all set against the glorious Speyside landscape.

The trail takes in seven world-famous working distilleries, one historical distillery and the captivating Speyside Cooperage. Often referred to as ‘Malt Whisky Country’, Speyside is renowned the world over for its production of superior whisky. For this reason, it is the perfect place to discover more about the age-old tradition of whisky making.

One of Scotland’s five whisky regions, Speyside is the largest in terms of whisky production. In fact,half of all Scottish distilleries can be found there—it’s a whisky lover’s dream!

Speyside single malts are noted for their elegance and complexity, sometimes with a refined smokiness and a marked peat, but often a fruitiness ranging from ripe pears to sultanas. This trail is the ideal way to a get a real feel for the stunning Scottish countryside while sampling some of these world-famous whisky’s.

A must-visit destination for any whisky aficionado, Speyside is home to breathtaking locations, pioneering individuals and centuries-old traditions. Discover this spectacular region, from its unspoiled beaches to highest mountain peaks, historic towns to fairytale castles. Speyside is about more than just whisky!

Highlight: Glenfiddich Distillery

Nestled in the Valley of the Deer, The Glenfiddich Distillery is an all-year-round attraction. Founded in 1886, the location of the distillery was carefully chosen, due to the abundant supply of fresh water from the mountains nearby. This is what gives Glenfiddich its distinct, earthy and aged aroma—one that imbues the distillery’s many copper tuns, great wooden washbacks and stone walled warehouses.

Glenfiddich is one of the most widely recognised and celebrated Scotches in the world. One thing is certain: their distillery is not to be missed!     

Ben Nevis Distillery Walks

Source: The Carlisle Kid

About the Trail:

When visiting the Ben Nevis Distillery, you can choose from 16 short-distance hiking trails to take in the awe-inspiring scenery. Some of the best mountain walks in the UK, they involve some unforgettable views and magnificent landscapes.

Don’t forget your camera!

One for the mountain trailblazers, the Ring of Steall, Mamores is an absolute classic route in Fort William. Combining the traverse of four Munros and a scramble along narrow, rocky areas, the 4.82-mile route takes in An Gearanach, Stob Coire a Chairn, Am Bodach and then follows the Devils Ridge to Sgurr a’Mhaim.

For a slightly more easy-going walk, but one that is not short of picturesque locations, try the Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge trail. One of the best short walks in Scotland, this 4.83-mile route meanders through the imposing and beautiful Nevis George and leads to the dramatic Steall Falls. In this case, do go chasing waterfalls!

If you are looking for a pleasant forest walk, the River Lundie, Leanachan Forest route, at just 2.92 miles in length, is ideal for you. This enjoyable leg-stretcher will take you through forestry, with an agreeable section of quaint riverside. The down side is: this walk only has glimpses of the mountain scenery as it is mainly in the trees.

While you’re in the area, why not scale Ben Nevis: Britain’s highest mountain? Not as daunting as it seems, there is an easy way up the mountain known as the Tourist Route, which is only 1.63 miles in distance. The route is straightforward, if strenuous, but on the way up you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and, once at the top, you’ll feel a genuine sense of achievement being at the tallest point in the UK.    

Highlight: Ben Nevis Distillery

Discover the ancient art of whisky distilling and enjoy the unique sensation of the Dew of Ben Nevis whisky at the Ben Nevis Distillery. When visiting Fort William, this distillery is a must-see. You can book guided tours around this 178-year-old whisky distillery, meet a giant of a man, Hector McDram and visit the whisky shop and restaurant.

One of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland, it is situated at the foot of Ben Nevis. The imposing mountain provides an impressive backdrop to coexist with this age-old Scottish craft.      

Cuillin Sgurr nan Eag

Source: Martyn Ayre

About the Trail:

Every year, the Isle of Skye attracts thousands of visitors who come to behold its looming peaks, craggy summits and striking natural beauty. This land of virtually untouched and untamed wilderness has inspired countless generations to unearth their inner, intrepid adventurer.  

Whether you are a mountaineering maverick, tenacious trailblazer or gravity-defying daredevil, the rugged land of Skye is the ideal destination for you.

The southernmost peak in the Cuillin, Sgurr nan Eag is one of the more straightforward sections of ridge, but it still requires scrambling know-how. A total of 1885 Walk Highlanders who have climbed Sgurr nan Eag have contributed a sum of 50 public walks reports, including this summit, which you can consult to find the most relevant routes.  

The southern peaks of the Cuillin have the finest sea views in the range. To enjoy them, embark upon some of the best long distance walks in the UK. These hikes aren’t easy, but the remarkable landscapes to be encountered make them well worth it.

Here is a flavour of the Southern Cuillin and Coire Ghrunnda route:

Along the first part of the route, you will see a site that was once an eroded swamp. Following extensive works, there is now an excellently maintained pitched-stone constructed path.

Keeping to the path, climb high up the left side of Coire Ghrunnda. Here you will be bowled over by geological wonders and rocky mountain peaks. Further along, witness a cascading waterfall to reach a moderate scramble up the rocks to the left of the falls. Just beyond, Coire Ghrunnda awaits.

Coire Ghrunnda is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive of all the Cuillin corries; it benefits from being much less visited than Coire Lagan. A little further along the trail, you reach the summit cairn. At 924m, this is the southernmost of the Cuillin Munros. To return, retrace your steps. (Keen scramblers may wish to include Sgurr Dubh Mor in the day’s itinerary.)    

Highlight: Talisker Distillery

A trip to the Isle of Skye simply has to involve a visit to the Talisker Distillery —the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye is set on the shores of Loch Harport with stunning views of the Cuillins. On their website, they explain how ‘producing an alluring, sweet, full-bodied single malt is so easy to enjoy and, like Skye itself, so hard to leave.’

Visit this distillery to gain a real insight into the ancient craft of whisky making in Scotland.    

Ales and Pubs History Walk

Source: traveljunction

About the Trail:

From the Scottish Highlands to the Big Smoke, the UK is never short of interesting liquor trails for you to enjoy. So, whether you are a city-slicker or country-bumpkin, Britain has something for you—we wanted our infographic to reflect this.

Shoreditch, an arty of area of London, sits adjacent to the equally happening neighbourhood of Hoxton. This part of London is where young creatives and trendsetters coalesce around the hip bars and fashionable clubs that surround Shoreditch High Street, Great Eastern Street and Old Street.

The area is home to an eclectic dining scene, featuring everything from trendy chain restaurants and gastro pubs to artisan coffee shops and noodle bars. Also prominent are the zone’s craft beer and ale venues, which boast an impressive beer and ale making tradition.

For this reason, we have included, in our London walks section of the map, an Ales and Pubs History Walk in the area of Shoreditch.

This walk takes you along a mile-long stretch of east London, starting at the Crown and Shuttle pub, stopping off for one at the Brewdog pub and, ambling along Old Bethnal Green Road, you finish at the Redchurch Brewery.

Slowing snaking your way through east London’s contemporary streets, you’ll get a real feel for this area of the city. Along the way, you get to sample a range of local beers and experience the diversity of the country’s brewing industry.

At the end of the walk, you’ll have garnered genuine insight into the importance of beer throughout British history and understand more about its modern-day significance within the British economy today.

The craft beer movement is well and truly in full-swing; Shoreditch and the surrounding area has been instrumental in spearheading its increasing reach. People are waking up to the fact that beer doesn’t have to be bland. Rather, it can be bursting with flavour and hoppy goodness.

Once a drink with limited appeal, craft beer is enjoying a veritable boom. So go on, join the craft beer revolution and embark upon the Ales and Pubs History Walk in Shoreditch!

Highlight: Brewdog  

In recent years, Brewdog has been catapulted into the lofty heights of mass-appeal; the beers from this brewery now line the fridges of most major supermarkets. The Brewdog bar in Shoreditch, located on Bethnal Green road, is ‘part livewire extrovert, and part custodian of antiquity, clad in graceful antique tiles’. This venue can be seen as a metaphor for the both the burgeoning craft beer scene and the ‘unrelenting surge of creativity that fuels this part of east London.’      

Hackney Brewery Trail

Source: Ewan Munro

About the Trail:

Sticking with our London walks, next up we have the Hackney Brewery Trail—a five-mile beer crawl through the happening district of east London. Hackney’s craft beer scene has boomed in recent years, and it now has an ‘ale trail’ of its own.

The route comprises a five-mile stretch taking in eight key brewery taprooms and brewpubs.

Joined by easy-going jaunts through the pretty London Fields Park, Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the trail also includes a visit to four major breweries: Five Points, Redchurch, Pressure Drop and Hackney Brewery.   

The trail commences by Haggerston station and ends at Stratford station (it can also be done in reverse). With just 0.26 miles between each watering hole, we don’t think you'll be thirsty for long!

Completing this trail will give you a flavour of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: the venue where many of the events of the London 2012 Olympics were held. But you'll also encounter the endearing locations of London Fields and Victoria Park—both incredibly well maintained and preserved areas of greenery set amidst an otherwise concrete-clad city.

Visiting these green spaces offers some welcome respite from London’s sometimes stifling and dreary atmosphere. With these vast, open areas, dotted with water features and ponds, you can escape the hustle and bustle—even if it’s just for a while.

Highlight: Tap East

A short walk across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park brings you to the trail’s final spot, Tap East. A haven for beer drinkers among the pandemonium of Westfield shopping centre, this small venue has a lot to offer. They serve several brewed-on-site varieties which come from the large tanks on display and the pub is conveniently located for trains and buses from Stratford station.

For Tap East’s LP Wednesdays, customers are invited to pick out their favourite albums and tell staff what they want to hear. Then, each Wednesday at 7.30 pm, they play one of the suggested albums in full.    

Bermondsey Beer Mile

Source: Bernt Rostad

About the Trail:

Any Londoner with a love of beer knows about the ‘Bermondsey beer mile’. A place with a plethora of microbreweries and craft beer pubs, south London is the ideal spot for beer enthusiasts to meet and discuss their passion—over a pint of course!

Embark upon the Bermondsey beer mile to discover some of the best craft beers in London. With a tiny 0.25 miles between each pub, there is ample opportunity to refresh yourself.

If you’d prefer to be shown the way and receive some added perks, you can book a guided tour for £45.

Here’s a flavour of what to expect:

The meeting point for the tour is the Marquis of Wellington, 21 Druid Street, London, SE1 2HH. The first stop is the Southwark microbrewery Brewery where you’ll get a tour of the equipment and learn more about the brewing process.  

Then it’s a short walk to Anspach & Hobday for tastings (more on this later). Next, you visit Partizan Brewery and then to the EeBria taproom for even more tastings!

The tour concludes with a stop at Fourpure Brewery in South Bermondsey. Here, you receive a tour of the equipment from the brewers, polished off with a can of Fourpure to round off the day.

What’s included in the price?

  • Drinks at Southwark Brewery plus tour and Q&A

  • Tasting at Anspach & Hobday

  • Tasting Partizan Brewery

  • Can on arrival at Fourpure plus tour and Q&A

The maximum group size is 20; please behave responsibly so others can enjoy the tour.

Highlight: Anspach & Hobday

Founded in pursuit of a better beer experience, the Anspach and Hobday brewery was established in the wake of the new wave of contemporary craft beer and inspired by the ‘illustrious brewing heritage of London. Based in an Archway in Bermondsey, just a stone’s throw away from the Shard and Tower Bridge, the brewery is right in the heart of London’s Victorian brewing quarter.

All the beers in the brewery’s range have understated and slick branding with some serious credentials to boot. These award-winning brews certainly pack a punch!   

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these liquor trails; maybe you’ve been inspired to take a walking holiday of your own in the UK.

Perhaps the most obvious reason for the popularity of these hikes, walks and trails is that they combine two enduring British and Irish passions: drinking and walking.

After all, a leisurely jaunt wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local poison—it’s the ideal reward after a challenging hike, wouldn’t you agree?