UK/US translation update: I read “Day Drinking” referred to in US blogs and social media entries which, as near as I can tell, is known here as “Drinking” or maybe just “Day.” In both countries, “Running” is most often known as “Why the Fuck are You Doing THAT?”
Anyway, every year I do something that I find fun for my birthday. If nothing else, I plan a long run to visit some new pubs and since I don’t have any imagination that’s what happened again this year. First Great Western recently reinstated a line from Swindon to Westbury so I chose that station as a start with an arc to Warminster to take in some countryside I’ve never been to before. Granted, it looks like most of the rest of Wiltshire, but there’s another White Horse on one of the hills and there were some pubs out there, too.
A sexually charged theme permeated the day starting with spotting Slag Lane, then the purilely named Organ Inn (which was, sadly, closed until much later in the day). Later, still, I enjoyed a cider called Happy Slapper at the Ludlow Arms.
After my first beer stop I continued on to Lye’s Green to try the Cross Keys but arrived at 11:20 and couldn’t be asked to wait 10 minutes more. Leaving for the Royal Oak in Corsley Heath, I promptly missed a turn and wound up at the White Hart a mile or so out of the way and which the Viscount Weymouth Estate had repossessed in at once very legalistic and medieval terms:
After the Royal Oak, I enjoyed some quiet, country lanes and not-unreasonably sloppy trails (as indeed the entire day had gone save the trip between the White Hart and the Royal Oak). I noticed I was hungry about the time I spotted this sign:
which I then followed to the Star Fish Bar for some nourishment. This was another good detour as the return took me right past a working, traditional maltings complete with the twin sweet reeks of sprouting grain and coal smoke lingering.
After another pub stop in Warminster, I caught the train back to Westbury but then had a choice of waiting around for 45 minutes for the next Swindon train or dashing into the town and catching the one two hours after that. The obvious choice was to head into town, where I found a tight collection of places to get tight. I chose the Ludlow Arms for no particular reason at all.
The five most recent birthday fiascos are linked below:
2009: Looking for Cock and Trip to (Possibly) Oldest Pub in Britain
2010: London Underround Pub Crawl
2011: London Hash and Bupa 10K
2012: Springsteen and The Specials in Holland
2013: West of Trowbridge Pub Crawl
That’s 52 down, easily 25 more than reasonably expected…all gravy for years now.