Remember folks, this is the ONLY place you’ll find blog posts about unremarkable post-war Cambridge villages and their closed pubs.

On yet another gorgeous sunny day (Matthew wants to know why it always rains in Manchester) I thought I’d do Bar Hill.

Only 13 minutes to Bar Hill, or 30 minutes walk from Boxworth

More 1967 and all that. This was South Cambridge’s attempt at affordable housing for the growing numbers who’d travelled to visit the Tolly Cobbold pubs and decided to stay.

“For several years after their arrival in 1968, Cambridge Consultants were the Industrial Estate’s only resident, others joining them progressively during the early 1970s. The nemesis came downwind from Tesco, when the proliferation of paper bags and tally rolls forced them to move to the Science Park late in 1977.”

I thought it was bigger than Waterbeach, but development seems to have stalled and the population has actually slipped back to 4,000. The transport options are all over the other side of the A14 around the even newer town of Northstowe.

Yes, Bar Hill is the “Tesco Village“, a Tesco now enhanced by Costa, outlet shops and decent chippy.

And a solitary pub offloaded by M&B to Blackrose Pubs to sell all day breakfasts and Doom Bar. You know, a Proper Pub.

The Fox. Gracing a GBG near you. If it moves to Fife.

The local sports club made the Beer Guide in the 2000’s by offering scary guest beers and Adnams in what is otherwise a bit of a GBG desert.

And the multi-denominational church is called “Church“, which I like.


If you DO visit, you’re probably here for the shopping art,

“B” for Bar Hill

or the children’s party opportunities,

James went here in 2011

or on an excursion from the neighbouring villages of Lolworth and Dry Drayton.

Pleasing OS extract

If Bar Hill has one redeeming feature, apart from 99.9p petrol, it’s the woodland walks.

You can follow a gorgeous wooded trail round the boundary,

Springy walk

or be like Theresa May and take the paths through the swaying fields to the posh villages.

Almost cloudless skies

End of the Road, one of the year’s highlights, has just been (inevitably) cancelled. I’ll miss the decorations in the trees, and it was nice of 8 year old Emily to make such an effort in the woods near Dry Drayton, which were at their Springtime best.


I met a Mum with two toddlers, the first of whom said “Thank you” as I frantically ducked for socially distanced cover. That little chap will go far.

Dry Drayton has a pub, dead-end Lolworth has nothing except the inevitable “Best Kept Village 1983” award. And a sign by Gauguin.

Loads going on there

And a pretty church.

All Saints

And a disused phonebox with books by Clarkson and Guscott and Trollope.

Fantasy middle-class library.

Oh, and the rainbow for carers, taking us to a pot of magic money to increase their pay when this is all over. I assume that’s what it means.


NB Bar Hill does have a hotel. If you stay at the Menzies, send us a postcard.


      1. That’s right.
        I can’t remember it ever raining in Sheffield, especially just to t’north where there’s a Brightside railway station.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “the first of whom said “Thank you” as I frantically ducked for socially distanced cover” –Enjoyed this; my wife and I seem always to be the one who are stepping off the path/leaving the sidewalk/crossing the street to make sure we’re leaving a good amount of distance. Always nice when someone says thanks.

    It seems we’re heading toward at least some relaxation of rules. Perhaps that first return to a GBG pub is not as far off as we might have thought a few weeks ago. The question remains though: will your gratitude for being back in a proper pub make you more reluctant to dump a bad pint into the nearest potted plant? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The stepping off the pavement seems to be about fifty-fifty us and them round here, Mark.

      However, I read that making an effort to observe the guidance makes us “virtue signalling, middle class, faux socialists”.

      That’s us told then.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. According to a WHO scientist, the chances of catching the virus from a very brief pass-by of someone, in the open air, are practically zero. (See my comment below, about “programming”).


      2. If that brief pass is a panting, gasping, sweating, infected runner, who engulfs you in a cloud of spray as he rushes past from behind you then I’m not so sure, Paul.

        Face masks for all. Especially for them.

        It’s three years in prison and a £50,000 fine for not wearing one in Qatar. Is science different over there?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Etu,
        What a grand country Britain is.
        Just think what you or I could get up to for three years in prison and a £50,000 fine

        Liked by 2 people

    2. In my experience, the vast majority of people do say “thank-you” when you step aside for them.

      One chap, the other day, made the interesting remark that we will all need “re-programming” once this is over. He may have a point!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Etu, I fully agree with your point about those panting, gasping, sweating, infected runners. I’m currently working on a post about these newcomers to outdoor exercise, and the havoc they are causing, especially on country roads that are slowly returning to near normal levels of traffic.

    Interesting news about Qatar. I passed through the country almost exactly a year ago, on my return journey from China. Not much to comment, on as airports are pretty much the same the world over, but I flew with the country’s national carrier and was very impressed.

    Isn’t a certain football competition due to take place there in two years time?

    ps. I shall be a good citizen later and wear a face-mask, when we head down to Waitrose later, even if it does make me a “virtue signalling, middle class, faux socialist”! (A certain faux professor, by chance?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “And a disused phonebook with books by Clarkson…..”
      Phonebox ?
      And the book – the autobiography of the professional footballer turned pub blogger ?
      I read an interesting story yesterday that Daventry Town FC have converted their pitch into a drive-in cinema :-
      That’ll be a decent quiz question in the post-Covid-19 era ; if there actually is a post-Covid-19 era.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. T’other,Paul,
      As sure as night follows day by the time they get to our age “those panting, gasping, sweating, infected runners” will wish they hadn’t been running.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I suspect that the autobiography of the professional footballer turned pub blogger would be far more interesting than Jeremy Clarkson’s memoirs.

    Liked by 1 person

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