As part of towpathtreks on going mission to visit the pubs of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal we headed off to Lancashire. The first pub was Crooke Hall Inn in Standish Lower Ground near Wigan. We parked in the large car park behind the pub. On the canal there were a couple of boats on the move. The canal was frozen and the ducks were walking along on the ice.
The Crooke Hall Inn has its back to the canal. In the car park which lies between the pub and the canal is an evil fibre glass tree for the children to play on and to inspire nightmares later.
Unfortunately the pub was having a much needed refurb when we got there so we couldn't comment too much on the decor. The Cooke Hall Inn is an Allgate pub, a local Wigan brewers. It also had Phoenix Hop Sack. The lady at the bar was certainly friendly but the pub hadn't warmed up yet in temperature or atmosphere. I think we will have to go back when it has been done up and maybe on a Thursday evening when they have live folk music.
Next on the list was Waters Edge at Appley Bridge. This is a modern pub with a large carpark. Its on the bankside of the canal with excellent views across the canal and the River Douglas valley. Sadly I think the view is the best thing about the pub. The outside patio area is very nice, and if I had to come back it would be to sit outside in the sunshine. The inside looks like it hasn't been done up for a decade or two. They are obviously proud of their word processor and laminator; there are signs and notices all over the place. The menu is an impressive A3. The highlight of the visit was seeing Carl Baker on the TV playing for Coventry. We left as a horde of children ran to sit at the table next to us. The beer is nothing to write home about. Greene King.
On to the next pub. The Ring O'Bells was shut and for sale so we headed straight off to the Slipway in Burscough. On the way through Burscough the Waterfront looked closed. Also the old canal depot buildings have gone and been replaced with a new development. Hard to judge it by just driving by though.
The Slipway is a one room pub with Thwaites Wainwright on draught amongst others. The match on TV was drawing to a close, so I checked the Southport result and found to my delight we were beating York 4-0.
We ate here, a steak for about a tenner and gammon for about seven quid. The food was good, nothing special. Nice and hot though.
Maybe the best thing about the pub is the PacMan game by the door. Old Skool fun.
Out of today's pubs I think Crooke Hall Inn is the one I would return to.