South Cheshire has some of the biggest contrasts between adjacent places anywhere.  Old fashioned Nantwich struggles against craft-capital Crewe, while Sandbach and Holmes Chapel feel a world apart from the salt mining towns on the Weaver and Wheelock rivers.

Middlewich has a pleasant canal network, but it was harder to see the merits of Winsford on a long walk from the station to a rare Guide pub in the town. I know it has an exciting tapestry of roundabouts and Morrisons to the north, but not on this route.

Central Winsford, 5pm

I’d assumed No.4 was in the New Town development, a rival for Skelmersdale in the scary shopping centre stakes, but was actually further along the “High Street”/dual  carriageway.   As in Chester, not the best 40 minutes walk of the year. The beautifully named Bottom Flash was probably the highlight.

Spot the cask

Delamere Road is strictly in Over, but clearly is where Winsfordians come for their takeaways, dog grooming, and beauty treatments.  No. 4 is a wine bar like place, familiar to anyone who’s been in Lymm’s Brewery Tap, though perhaps with lower-end wine sales.  The Phoenix Spotland was good (NBSS 3.5), but it wasn’t very pubby with posing tables throughout.

The Wetherspoons looked horrific from the back, but was one of the friendliest and cleanest Spoons of the year, with a Bragdy California to match (NBSS 3.5).

The walk to Little Budworth (surely a Bill Bryson book title) was gorgeous enough, but the Egerton Arms was something else. It felt different century to Winsford, let alone world.  The pictures below give a slightly confusing picture;

Tell-tale taps on white wall
Proper seats and tables – tick
Outside toilets – tick

Tickety Brew on handpump, craft keg from the wall, a chap dressed straight out of Jeeves and Wooster, outside loos and Belgian-style urinals against the wall.

It was the centre of village life on a balmy Friday, full of locals enjoying a beer and children enjoying the bucolic countryside from a garden with furniture made from beer barrels.

I took against it with a passion.  Why ?  That’s the question for today.


  1. The most obvious crime is the honey pot colour demonstrator things. The flowers on tables are a slightly less serious crime.


      1. As a hayfever sufferer who is also a lowly northern oik, you will understand why I am against flowers in general, let alone in pubs.

        Aside from a bloke visible through a doorway on a stool which looks to high to be a positive, your photographs don’t seem to show any other punters. Were they stood up when the seating in your picture was available.

        I also disagree with the string of fairly lights above the front door.


      2. I didn’t realise you were northern oik or I wouldn’t have been so insensitive about flowers Tom. There were punters standing in the serving area. I couldn’t photograph them. You’ve certainly got more right here.


  2. Poor and/or expensive beer?

    The Spoons is a conversion of a 30s or 50s Greenalls estate-type pub. It is odd that the rear entrance from the car park has been blocked off, although possibly the reason is to control admission. I can see Winsford getting a bit lairy on Friday and Saturday nights.

    Crewe might have a bit of a craft explosion, but the town in general is pretty downmarket.


  3. “Craft explosion” in Crewe strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration , unless I’m missing something / somewhere. There’s Hops & the Borough Arms, plus the bottle shop on Nantwich Road (now with a second branch in Nantwich town centre), can’t think of anywhere else?


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