More exciting pub towns for when the lockdown ends.

“Andover ?!” “Really?”

Why not ?

Less than 2 hours from Heathrow, you Yanks could possibly do it as a day trip from the States, if you weren’t working on different time zones to us.


Open your mind, relax and float downstream (to the source of the Test)” as Pete Allen once said.

A bit like Newmarket (sorry, Malt), it’s a surprisingly dull picture in a pretty frame.


Nothing wrong with being dull. Dull places make things. What do Lavenham or Lacock make, hmm?


Even the (scary) underpasses from the station to town shout “We make things“.

Andover also remains in my “Good Books” because the folk there seem to walk quite fast, perhaps because if they don’t they’ll be mown down by turbo-charged mobility scooters.

Start your mini crawl at the Angel, open at 9am especially for Stafford Paul.

Old, but not twee
If you can’t beat Spoons….

A working man’s pub (see also:GBG c. 1975), though of course it’s all retirees at 11am.


My request for a half of the Hen prompts a frantic root around by the barmaid, who discards several dimple mugs (clearly recognising a member of the Straight Glass Defence League). ”

There ya go, Darling

Half in a pint pot

No half pint glasses, so a half of Speckly Hen (NBSS4) in a random pint glass. It was wonderful.

But you can see that.

2 good signs

5 minutes walk into the “unimproved” town centre.


It’s a less classy Basingstoke (is that possible? ), a Leigh with a smaller drugs problem.

And a cultural melting pot.

No more so than in the effortlessly pubby Spoons,


and the new Stonegate Guide entry where pork pie hats and table reservations are permitted.

Note fiver on table before all paper money banned in 2020

You could have had a pint in the Angel, Spoons and Redbridge before 9.30 if you drink as efficiently as Paul and I, and complete the 5 on/off GBG entries before noon.

Paul can even get beer from Wolves, whose brewery may be the only one left when normality returns.

White Hart
OK if i put the music on John?

This is the pub where the barmaid asks the Old Boys for permission to put the 80s pop on.

It also served Pedi, and there’s 6X round the corner at the lovely Town Mills to help you complete a nap hand of good or better BBB boozers.

If you’re compelled to leave town, Goodworth Clatford just over the A303 will try to convince you the Clatford Arms is posh.


But it really isn’t.


And you might even get your one decent pint of Flack Manor.

The pub cat’s a bit shy though.


15 thoughts on “ANDOVER – TESTING TIMES

  1. “Note fiver on table before all paper money banned in 2020”
    The Royal Mint is already doing its best to get rid of paper money. The fiver is one of those horrible plastic bills. Then again, they are easier to disinfect than the paper bills, so perhaps they are a sign of the new era we are entering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Weyhill Fair, shown on your map Martin, just to the west of Andover, used to be run by a couple I knew from Maidstone. It was a GBG regular, back in the day, but ill-health forced their retirement from the business.

    The Weyhill was a free-house when my friends had the pub, but it now belongs to Fuller’s.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unlikely Martin, it must have been several years before your visit that my friend retired. Also, it was a free-house, rather than a Fuller’s outlet back then.

        Liked by 1 person

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