Among the items on my To Do list are essential things like “Break into CAMRA HQ and steal the new GBG” and “Bring Mrs RM another beer“.

Lower down the list is “Put NBSS scores onto WhatPub“.  One of the reasons I record scores on this blog is so I can recall them later, but I’ve fallen behind. Quite a bit.

Sadly, it’s becoming just as important to record closures as NBSS scores, particularly in isolated North Wales villages like Cerrigydrudion.

cerrigydrudion 1.PNG

cerrigydrudion 2.PNG

I’ll stand corrected by Pubmeister, but I don’t recall many pubs on the A5 between Llangollen and Capel Curig, bar the Lees house in beautiful Carrog (the Grouse was home of the world’s biggest Cumberland sausage, oddly).

Sadly, despite offering them for free, I’ve still got hundreds of CAMRA branch guides with all the pubs in them, including this Clwyd classic from 1993.



As you’ll see, Tetley and Lees were stalwarts of the North Wales scene, and Lees still runs some pubs in the Beer Guide like this Menai Strait one.

The Queens closed shortly after this Guide came out, but I was looking forward to visiting the White Lion and Saracen’s Head, which seems to have been miraculously revived.

Firstly, the highlights of Cerrigydrudion.

Starting, and ending, with the go karts.


That’s not totally fair.  We found a lamb with its head stuck in the fence.   A long walk up the farm track to advise the owner provided a mildly scary experience (they thought we were from Wrexham, I sense).

We should have known prospects of life were small after walking the mile into the village to be greeted by the radioactive Welsh cake pile,


and a too large graveyard.


But no life at all.

What would have been a vital staging post on the Thomas Telford Way a hundred years ago now seems a bit pointless with Betws and Llangollen ten miles away in either direction.

The last pub in the village was a sad sight.


But the roadside Saracens was even sadder, though the café next door may compensate the bikers.


Oddly despite no pubs, there’s a well-stocked Londis, school, library, occasional cinema and almshouses.


Even a decent information board.

No mention of Julian Cope’s song about the village, I see

You won’t need telling that the Londis even sold the ubiquitous Brew Dog, which tells you something about Ellon’s world domination. We had a bottle while doing the blog (thanks to Newbury Tim for the Redchurch).

Let’s see if the micropub revolution makes it to Conwy.



  1. I think you mean “The A5 between Llangollen and Capel Curig” – it doesn’t go anywhere near Llandudno! 😛

    Until recently, I always though that the village was spelt and pronounced Cerrigydruidon, as in the folk who worship at Stonehenge, but apparently not…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some breweries around Manchester bought up pubs in North Wales because that was where their customers went on holiday, in the days before extensive air travel. I was brought up in Lancashire in the 1960s and North Wales seemed a bit exotic at the time, so I suspect that seeing a familiar name on a pub would be reassuring to a visitor.

    Presumably the Tetley mentioned would have come from Warrington and so been well known to many visitors from the north west.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have got old lees guides and Robinsons guides,they had quite a few along the North Wales coast,me and the wife did two lees tied houses in Abergele plus an Higsons tied house and we found two Robinsons tied houses in Rhyl,the other Robinsons tied house were more isolated so we could not get to them as we always use public transport.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting….we had the queens hotel from 1969 until 1980. The pub was a vibrant centre of the village community. It was a Marstons house and served a great pint. Maybe we had too many lock ins but some wonderful times.

    Liked by 1 person

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