It’s FA Cup Preliminary Round Weekend, when the big boys come in, and Prescot Cables v Trafford looking the tie of a storm-assisted round.  I’ll be there if my car passes it’s MOT*.

Prescot is a long way in every sense from the western Cotswolds and Cirencester and where I finished my latest excursion.

Despite some furious digging up of roads (still going), central Cirencester’s beauty cannot be diminished, particularly around St John the Baptist.  It’s the colour of the stone that dazzles.  I’ve still never been to the Roman amphitheatre, but I did watch Cirecncester Town play Cinderford  a few years back which is probably comparable.

The town seems to be finally getting the tourist hordes it deserves, with coachloads of Japanese visitors in town, attracted by its 43 coffee shops and branch of New Look. A bit of sun goes a long way on a town of bright flowers and pale colours.


The parks are particularly good, benefitting from the addition of huge bunnies this year.

If all that fails, Cirencester has the ultimate tourist draw next month;


There was a dearth of tourists in the pubs, which are noticeably less pubby year-by-year.  Mirroring Bewdley, Arkell’s Golden Cross is a shadow of the basic boozer I enjoyed a decade ago.IMG_20160817_123221.jpg

Each year see one new entry in the Guide, and the Marlborough Arms looked promising.

The North Cotswold looked good

On the face of it, it’s a cracker. A huge, interesting beer range, brewery memorabilia and proper pub seating.


But as with a few too many beer exhibitions recently (Stroud excepted) the beer wasn’t up to much. Not off, just tired and not cellar cool.  By the time I’d had two sips of a half of the North Cotswold, it just felt too late to start a debate with a young friendly barman who I’d just been happily chatting to. I hope the beer didn’t kill of too many plants.

The pub was late opening, and no-one joined me  for  a lunchtime drink. I’m surprised it hasn’t joined all the other pubs opening at 4pm. The lunchtime drinker is deceased in Cirencester.

* Prescot can call off the welcome party for me.  My car survived its MOT (not that 32,000 miles last year did it much good apparently) but might not survive the expected tornados.

11 thoughts on “CIRENCESTER – NICE PUBS …

  1. I like the “Beer for thirsty humans – Water for thirsty dogs” sign on the front of the Golden Cross.

    Is the fact that pubs have stopped doing good-value, plain sandwiches and rolls a factor in the loss of lunchtime trade, I wonder?


  2. I’ve often thought the the preliminary stages of the cup should be done away with and have everybody starting together in round one. If the numbers don’t quite work out, award byes by fair criteria, say a draw or if that is too much effort by the proportion of letters in the club’s name that can’t be coloured in.

    Going to the pub during working hours is only a disciplinary offence if you get caught. In fact you’ve prompted me to look through my contract and nowhere does it actually specifically prohibit this practice.


    1. I agree Tom. Clubs should play teams with most similar name. So Hull City would play Leicester Tigers. Prescot would play Preston etc. The colouring in is more suitable for Champs League.


    1. Can we resign Jon Parkin, he’s got the body shape for rugby. Though I’d imagine him more playing rugby league than the union that they like in Leicester.


  3. I was in Cirencester today and actually failed to find a pub doing normal lunchtime snacks at a reasonable price, so I ended up having a (very nice) sandwich in Waterstone’s café.

    I had a pint in the Golden Cross which, inside, is a pretty soulless and dreadfully modernised pub. I think it was also the first time I’ve ever been charged £4 for a pint of normal-strength beer (3B), and it wasn’t brilliant either. NBSS 2.5 if I’m being generous.


    1. As you’ve noted before, cafes and sandwich shops are taking pu’s lunchtime business.

      Golden Cross was a fairly basic Arkells pub 15 years ago, poorly modernised. Bet there weren’t many other people on the ale ?


      1. I did actually see one other person buy a different ale in the 25-30 minutes I was there.

        There are a couple of more basic-looking non-food pubs down Cricklade Street to the south of the town centre – the Wheatsheaf and the Brewer’s Arms.


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