After three days break for “planning”, it was off to Halifax with Curry Charles.
With Charles starting at Dereham, the town that makes Wisbech seem modern, there was always going to be a need for multiple “comfort breaks“.
But there’s nowhere up the A1 that I haven’t stopped a dozen times.
Except Pontefract. Charles became animated at talk of Pontefract cakes and rhubarb, which clearly have different meanings in Norfolk.
No new Guide pubs here since the Greene King diner on the edge of town, and the Carleton is now the only GBG entry in a solid town of 30,000. That makes Castleford look exotic.
Charles was taken with the cobbled streets and stately architecture.
But a walk towards the castle reveals a more mixed picture.
It was tempting just to eat liquorice for lunch, but the sausage rolls and cheesy slices at Pickerings proved the healthier option we craved.
Five minutes to the castle, which was in the process of being redeveloped into a Brewhouse & Kitchen. Probably.
The views weren’t bad, and we could just make out Drax power station.
The town is rather dominated by a giant bus station, which famed Rugby League team Featherstone had come on a day trip to visit.
We had 20 minutes left on the parking (20p), just enough to buy Charles a half in the Spoons, admirably equipped with real fire, dartboard and regulation Old Boys.
Plenty of attractive pubs left in town, but zero obvious craft, apart from at the keg Sam Smiths, of course.
Just enough time to buy the eponymous cakes, find the quaintly named alley,
and buy Charles some emergency clothes for our night in Halifax.