I knew I should have sneeked out of Download Festival in June to try a bit more of Castle Donington, but our nanny-state authorities take a dim view on child abandonment in muddy fields.


The main employment in the town remains the reclamation of bodies from the Download mud, of course, which is a useful adjunct to the lace-making trade. On Tuesday lunchtime the Co-op serving the industrial park was busier than the town itself, which was surviving on “ladies who lunch” and beer tourists.


It’s pleasantly hilly, if a little unloved in places. The castle is one for fans of invisible castles, but the church is striking.

St Edward King & Martyr, Castle Donington.JPG

More striking is the volume of Indian restaurants, I counted one per adult population in the High Street alone. And twice as many cafes.

Among a clutch of attractive Victoriana, the Apiary looked worth a visit for its Bass mirror, glitter ball, and solitary unidentifiable handpump, so lets hope it’s next years GBG newbie.


On my previous visit the Chequered Flag had set the standard as the most typical micropub in the world. Its stay in the Guide has been a short one.

As you’ll know, pubs aren’t dropped from the Beer Guide *, they’re just replaced by micropubs with higher average NBSS scores (or more handpumps, depending on your level of scepticism).

Next years lucky recipient of the hordes of Biffy Clyro fans who will descend upon the town’s solitary Beer Guide tick is the Castle Inn . Clearly this isn’t because of wacky décor or a wood-burning pizza oven, though those to be honest are standout features. It really is a classy restaurant, the sort of place you expect in Twickenham, rather than the faded grandeur of Donnington.

What does this remind you of ?

Just as well the beer was unexpectedly good, the Titanic (them again) Stout being rich and gorgeous. The staff were in some debate about my selection, presumably the beer sommelier has been dismissed for failing to order Plum Porter.

A good food pub,  though not quite good enough to excuse the large sign saying  “THIS HOUSE IS BUILT ON LOVE, LAUGHTER AND PROSECCO”.  It actually seemed to be built on sales of Rekorderlig, but never mind.

In Craftwatch news, I spotted Erdinger, Coors, Estrella and London Stout; any craft there ?

Micros and pizza pubs apart, there’s some lovely looking trad pubs left, like the Cross Keys, which even now I’m regretting walking past.

I always rated the Bass in the Jolly Potters, and there’s plenty of gorgeous Marstons signage, at least until they ruin it again.

QUIZ TIME – This is the spiritual home of Ozzy, but what’s the town’s connection with Gordon Sumner ? (Five points)

*This is rubbish

11 thoughts on “DONINGTON AFTER OZZY

  1. At a very obscure remove, did the Scorpions playing Donington in 1986 count as part of the Love at First Sting tour?


      1. Mr. Krushchev opened the local power plant in the 50s. Sting wrote his song “Russians” in the mid 80s. Did Sting protest the coal plant at some point? I believe he was active environmentally at this time and was focused on US\USSR relations.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not know the quiz question,i have never been to download or monsters of rock even though it is not too far from me,i have seen Scorpians live on a couple of occasions inside and dry,i dont see the point in getting wet and muddy to see a few bands play.

    Here is my quiz question,the Castle was originally an Ansells tied house and a right old dump,but what was it originally called before the Castle.
    A pint of my home brew for the correct answer in one of those pubs Martin always talks about in Wythenshawe.


    1. Well Alan, I have an old CAMRA guide to local pubs but it only picked on the better ones. So I had to find out what Mr Winfield said on PubExplorer about the Moira Arms 5 years ago !

      Changed a bit, no Bass now.

      Good question, I’ll think more about the homebrew ;-(


      1. Well done Martin,
        I knew it would not take you long to find out the answer,i think i have done too many online reviews which helps you no end.

        Liked by 1 person

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