I will soon be a bigger expert on Huntingdonshire and its pubs than the bloke who (allegedly) drove up and down the A14 in a Ford Cortina collecting last minute entries for the first Good Beer Guide.
It’s a county (of modest pleasures; this is pretty much all I saw on my Thursday walk.
But I can recommend the circular walk from little Eltisley to the Gransdens via Caxton. You won’t see anyone but your internet* will still work.
The two hour walk takes in some attractive moats and farmhouses, and this particularly striking plant that as a market gardener’s son I really ought to be able to identify with more detail.
One of the most striking features of my walk in Germany last month was the complete absence of litter, and back in a scruffier England this was a similarly clutter-free ramble. I doubt the residents of houses like the one below venture into the fields to drop their Stella cans and Big Mac boxes walking back from the services at Caxton.
Back in Eltisley the vast cricket green is one of the most attractive in the county, overlooked by a thatched pavilion and the eponymous pub. A lone chap who’d been sitting outside the pavilion waiting for Saturday’s match against Graveley to start was still there two hours later.
The Eltisley pub looks very lovely in its pale pink, and the interior at least retains a bit of proper seating, even if that does serve as a waiting area for the elderly diners. A few years back this was called the Leeds Arms, served Youngs and was in the Beer Guide. It may have to wait a while for a return, with two Beer Guide pubs a hop away in the Gransdens, but I doubt it or its elderly patrons care about that.
In 1993 John Major eulogised cricket grounds and warm beer and this cosy village near his old constituency embodies the spirit of that still relevant speech.
To be fair, the Wells IPA wasn’t warm, it was just OK. I only get warm beer (and cold welcomes) in London, and even then only north of the Thames.
*I don’t really understand how these things work.