THE DUKERIES

Yesterday I made an early morning trip to Hazel Grove using a slight variation on one of my many routes (A1/M62 and A14/M1/A50 are least disliked). I don’t use SatNav, but a quick look at Google Maps showed that because of A1 delays a trip from Elkesley to Bolsover, and then through the Peak, would keep me under 3 hours.

Although I know Mansfield and Worksop only too well, the area of Nottinghamshire between these 2 points, bounded by A1 and M1 is largely unexplored England for me. It looked absolutely gorgeous on this sunny morning, with some really attractive villages like Bothamsall and Nether Langwith.

The area, which could probably claim to be part of Sherwood Forest at a push, does contain a few stately homes and posh hotels, but has no obviously tourism industry apart from the wonderful Creswell Crags.   I did go to a music festival (No Direction Home) at Welbeck a few years ago, and was impressed by the facilities there.

Until you get to Bolsover there isn’t a Good Beer Guide pub either (The Fiddlers Rest).  I remember a number of excellent village pubs in this area in the ’90s, particularly the Jug & Glass at Nether Langwith which still does Bed &  Breakfast.

Many of these pubs would have served Mansfield beers, and I saw a number of Mansfield Brewery signs still on display on the A632.  I wonder whether the quality of beers in these old GBG pubs (presumably now Marston brand) is any worse than 15 years ago, or whether they have been superceded in the Guide by the free house close to Chesterfield.  I doubt that this is a real ale desert.

All I brought you back was a nice picture of Stockport from High Underbanks.

FOOTNOTE :  I note there are an astonishing 8 entries for Mansfield (and several new entries in Newark) in the new Beer Guide, which I will need to revisit soon.

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