Saturday, 22 August 2015

White Lion, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

If like me, you choose to stay in Bridgnorth Low Town, you'll certainly want to explore the adjacent higher version, if only because there's a fair bit more up there than below. There are a number of different routes up the hill, some a good deal easier to traverse than others, but all interesting in their own way. I'd recommend the steep but attractive Cartway, resembling a vintage Hovis advert in places, which just happens to pass recently re-opened specialist beer pub the Black Boy, which I'd also recommend. Or the longer though no less attractive Bridgnorth Park route, which passes the famous Severn Valley Railway terminus with its own highly regarded beer emporium the Railwayman's Arms.

Of course no trip to Bridgnorth would be complete without a ride up the Cliff Railway, a fully working relic of a bygone age, and a very reasonably priced alternative to the many admittedly healthier alternatives.

In a sense, all routes lead to the excellent White Lion, located as it is at the southern end of the High Street, and a mere stones-throw from the Cliff Railway top 'station'. Over the course of a long weekend, I managed to poke my nose into almost all of Bridgnorth's pubs, and I can safely say this was one of the very best, if not 'the' best in the town. In fact I almost had an Orwellian 'Moon Under Water' moment when I walked into the bar, such was the friendly welcome and all-round excellence of the pub.

The White Lion is a traditional two-roomer, immaculately maintained throughout, and with the sweetest little beer garden at the rear for sunny Shropshire days and Summer evenings. A pub that just feels 'right' as soon as you step over the threshold. A well judged range of beers, including at least one from the pubs own Hop & Stagger Brewery, and bar snacks appropriate to the business of social drinking rather than a full sit-down meal. There are games too, the rear bar featuring a red-baize'd Bar Billiards Table which is free to play on Mondays.

Propped up on a window ledge you'll also find a good old Shove Ha'penny, on loan to the pub by a regular. In my view Shove Ha'penny is one of the finest accompaniment to social drinking there is, and the cause of many afternoons that got away from me! Not a problem at the White Lion though, there is after all the ever-reliable Cliff Railway to take you home.

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