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Return to Winchester

Published: Aug 31st, 2010 | Author: The Beeralist

Earlier in August I was fortunate to be able to return to Winchester for a pub crawl with some friends. I used to live in the city about 20 years ago and it’s always a pleasure to go back. This time I even got to visit a pub I’d not previously been to, and another that I hadn’t been to for 20 years.

Winchester (like St Albans) has so many good pubs that it’s not possible to include all of them in one itinerary, but we had a go at getting to some of the best ones. I don’t propose to go into a lot of detail since I wrote up a broadly similar pub crawl of Winchester last year, but I just want to mention the ones I got to in case you wish to visit the yourself. I’ve also included links to my own reviews for each of the pubs.

King Alfred Statue, Winchester

King Alfred Statue, Winchester

I arrived in Winchester slightly earlier than my friends and so started with a brief return (after 20 years) visit to the Westgate Inn near to the station, closely followed by the Exchange in Southgate Street which was new to me. On the way to the meeting place I also popped into a much improved St James Tavern on Romsey Road.

The first pub on the actual itinerary was the Fulflood Arms just west of the station – a great community pub in a residential area. After this we strolled into the centre of Winchester for a slightly disappointing experience at the Eclipse by the cathedral. A better experience and some delicious Bowman’s Swift One was given to us by the Old Vine close by. This got our beer of the evening award.

Past the cathedral next to the Wykeham Arms – an ex Gales, now Fullers institution. We were there on the last night before the refurb started so beer selection limited – should be reopening soon.

It was getting dark now but we found our way across the Itchen to the Black Boy up Wharf Hill, on the east of the city for some Flowerpots Bitter and Bowman’s Wallops Wood.

Getting late and some were off to the station, but others returned to the Old Vine for a second opinion on that Swift One. Mmmm!

A night like that always leaves me wanting more of good places, and thinking about the pubs we didn’t get to – like the Hyde Tavern and the Roebuck which are both worth a visit.

Here’s to the next time!

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