My penultimate pub in West Wales and the deep joy of a real Borders town.


Competing with Kington and Knighton for my Marches affections, and this time emerging victorious, though to be fair I’ve never had a Chinese takeaway from each of them on the same night.

Take down your Radiohead poster and put up a Presteigne one

I couldn’t remember it, though I’d definitely been to the Radnorshire Arms (top) since 1612. It’s been up for sale for a while, and would make a great B******* & P**** or Wetherspoons, but I see that Presteigne is actually half the size of Waterbeach and Tim hasn’t got to ours yet.

Lovers of old timber are spoilt for choice.

Poignant shot
Rare shot of non-twitching curtains
Metered dispense for the Tiny Rebel

The 50th anniversary of the faking of the moon landings were in full swing

Buzz is the giveaway

A joyous walk for anyone interested in pub history. Who can forget the legendary Coinspinner pub chain, where cask quality was decided on the toss of a coin.


The 3rd pub in town is apparently older than Old Mudgie.

But I was focused. The Royal Oak, one of only 687 with that name in Mid Wales, was by far the busiest pub in town, and this year’s GBG winner.

Pubs with locals sitting outside always appeal, but make you very self-conscious about taking innocent photos, as Simon will confirm.

They haven’t seen me yet

There’s an area to the right which I can only describe as “plain”,

Sorry feet I cut off your body

and a slightly less plain area to the left where a couple were debating the bye-election shopping.

None of the staff or customers were born when the Royal Oak was last refurbished.

View to the slightly smarter bit

And that’s my sort of pub. Don’t change what works. There were a couple of bistro type places on the High Street, but they were strictly for the oldies.

Here, the welcome was warm, the Salopian was cool (NBSS 3+), and the barrel of Robinson cider made its siren call.


Eventually someone older than me did pop in, asking how long the Salopian had been on.

It tastes fine to me ! I practically screamed. The gent nodded, nervously, and took my lead.


  1. It is to be regretted, that historians disagree on the origin of the horseshoe, and although some credit the Druids with its invention, there is no hard evidence to support this claim. On the other hand, in eighteen ninety-seven, four bronze horseshoes, with what were apparently nail holes were found, in an Etruscan tomb, and dated at around four hundred BC.

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