Tom's Britain - Exploring places of interest and things to do in England, Wales & Scotland

19 August 2015

Have lunch at the Brockweir Inn

Once local farm labourers, watermen and shipwrights could find hospitality in more than 15 inns in the village of Brockweir, a sleepy little place on the eastern banks of the River Wye which was once an industrial port where goods were transferred from seagoing boats onto river barges to continue upstream.  Today, the demise of The Ship, The Severn Trow, The Bristol, The Spout and The Royal Arms mean that only one remains, but it certainly makes up for it with bags of charm. The Brockweir Inn stands proudly on a corner close to both Brockweir's Victorian Moravian Church and the iron road bridge which was opened in 1906 to finally allow residents to visit their neighbours on the other side of the Wye without getting a ferry.

The Brockweir Inn was known as the George Inn in 1793, and had become the New Inn by 1840, before taking its current name around 1994, perhaps because all the competition had died off. Inside, two cosy bars - one with a fire and another with a wood burner - offer a pleasant place for a meal, or a local ale, including regular brews from the Kingstone Brewery, a mile down the road in Tintern.

There is also a nice garden bit at the back and an inspirational Community & Visitor Reading & Games Room upstairs, supported by the Pub is the Hub campaign. When your author dropped in on a recent bike ride it appeared to be thriving, with reasonably-priced and tasty sandwiches and half-pints of Wye Valley Ale providing the sustenance needed to continue southward.

For more, see

12 August 2015

Take tea at Sid's Cafe, Holmfirth

The longest-running sitcom in the world was filmed in the West Yorkshire town of Holmfirth for 37 years until 2010, and told the story of three old boys with a penchant for sexually assaulting ladies with wrinkly tights, and going down hills in a bath. Today, the picturesque town thankfully has more to trade on than its association with Compo, Clegg and Foggy, but some last metaphorical sediment remains from the Last of the Summer Wine. When the BBC crews first showed up in 1973, the building that was to be immortalised as Sid's Cafe was a former fish & chip shop that was being used to store paint, but now it is an honest caff famous for its green gingham curtains and Yorkshire Tea.

Thankfully, in this part of the country tea drinkers will not settle for sky-high prices just because a place has a brush with fame and when your author dropped in on Yorkshire Day a week or so ago, a cup of tea was still less than a pound, the most expensive thing on the menu was only a fiver and every purchase came with a free box of Yorkshire Tea.

For more, see