Unfortunately pubs like this are fast disappearing from our landscape as the big pubco's treat their estates as properties rather than community resources. The Red Lion is a proper brewery-tenanted public house owned by the local Hook Norton brewery which as well as producing some excellent beers allows its pubs, and publicans, to be individuals.
Here there are no distractions from the serious business of enjoying a couple of beers with convivial company. There are no fruit machines, jukebox or fancy menus just a simple warm welcome, augmented in winter by the open fire and in summer by the suntrap of the wind-sheltered garden.
Even though I was a bit time-limited on this visit, still having several other pubs on my agenda, this was a no-brainer two-pint visit and would have been quite a few more had I been stopping over.
Directions: On the corner of Albion Street and Cattlemarket, just behind the Co-op.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
For the passing through visitor the town's individual little shops, friendly pubs and lively little cafes will be more than enough to keep you happy for a few hours. If staying for a few days though then you might want to check out The Theatre and its associated art gallery.
Chippy's theatre was founded in 1973 when John and Tamara Malcolm, actors with the Royal Shakespeare Company who had moved into the area a couple of years previously, took over the former Salavation Army Citadel on Spring Street.
The theatre was officially opened in 1975 with Tom Baker (of Dr Who fame) doing the honours and initially was used as a cinema and for Sunday jazz performances. The Christmas pantomine was the first of the stage productions and since then the theatre has developed into a multi-functional, all-singing-all-dancing, artistic centre for the town.
Current offerings include drama, dance, live music, comedy and film and of course has continued its Christmas pantomime, staged, strangely enough, every year at about the same time. Recent years have seen the theatre expanding stole-like to embrace the Chequers pub on all three sides as it opened a gallery space and new box office on Goddard's lane.
Address: 2 Spring Street
Directions: Next door to, then behind the Chequers pub, then next door to again.
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel