Pubs serving beer again !  Sort of.

Kentish Paul requested this trip out to Swaffham, capital of the, er, North Brecks.


One of the better signs

I had Swaffham down as a town of at least 10,000, with eight pubs, three supermarkets and a lucrative trade in selling fish and chips to pilgrims/gentlefolk on their way to Walsingham and the Thursford Christmas show.

Pebbled chippy

But it’s ANOTHER town of 7,000, plus the 3 million tourists who come to see the Eco-centre that dominates your view of the town from the A47.

Wind turbine powers all the autovacs in Scotland

I walked the bounds, folks.


Actually, I did rather more than the pubs, taking in the marvellous church, named after the 60s popsters.

Church of Peter, Paul & Mary

I also walked New Sporle Road and its medieval “Beware Ducks” sign.

Proper sign
Duck foot path

With an average age of 67.3, it’s no surprise there’s a lack of street art, but the Community Centre is pure art deco.

Art Deco

Your food options are straight forward; fish and chips or Duck Stroganoff.

Swaffham is the centre of the Norfolk Russian mafia

There’s a surprising volume of pub accommodation, none of it making it into my future “Top 100 cheap digs” post.

Here’s the pubs, anyway.  You’re spoilt for choice; NONE of them are in the Beer Guide so there’s a high chance of Doom Bar and GK IPA.

Horse & Groom – best budget B & B bet ?
King’s Arms – obligatory bloke at table waiting for 4/7/20
The Station (there is no station)
Lydney House – former GBG back when BRAPA was cute
The George – the Best Western one
The Greyhound – Has featured in the TV series ‘Kingdom’ as the Startled Duck ?
Red Lion – most recent GBG entry.  Sells Bombardier

Which leaves the White Hart, cheerfully selling cup cakes, coffee and cask from Panther in plastic pint pots with a lid. It must be legal, right ?

I crossed the road and enjoyed a pint of (slightly warm, NBSS 2.5) Panther Porter in the market square as the fish stalls packed up.


Is this the New Normal ?


Is it legal ?

Who cares ?




14 thoughts on “QUAFF ‘EM IN SWAFFHAM

  1. Compelled to check when Swaffham had a station: everywhere above hamlet size (and indeed some of them too) used to have a station. 10th August 1847 – 9th September, 1968. Did each demise of a station guarantee similar headlines to that beloved of local newspapers when “Popular Pub Closes” – generally because it wasn’t popular enough?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just started to read this blog and was pleasantly surprised by this post. I was passing through this area last year and remembered stopping for a bite to eat and drink at the Red Lion (didn’t stay there however). I really liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! I’m originally from Cardiff but was on my way to Norwich and happened to pass through. You’re correct, the town in general was quite pretty


  3. Presumably the pubs who hadn’t thought of doing off-sales/carry-outs, themselves?

    Nice post btw, and thanks for responding to my request about Swaffham. I’m still at work, so will respond properly later this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I mentioned before Martin, I’ve been tempted to book an overnight stay in Swaffham, on visits to Norfolk. The town is also a good breakfast stop following an early departure from Kent, to beat the traffic.

    I’ve noticed over the years, how the town has been expanding to the south – this is especially noticeable when you drive in from Brandon. Your photos show some nice-looking pubs, and I’d be happy to drink in most of them at the moment.

    Son Matthew has memories of a trip to the top of the Eco-Centre tower, when he used to stay with my parents as a child. Decent Waitrose too, just as you turn off the A47 towards the town centre.


  5. It must be all the more disappointing, after waiting through such a long lockdown, only to be served a beer that’s just NBSS 2.5. You must be tempted to say, “Given my sacrifices, I deserve considerably better than this!” 😉

    That sign really is a classic. “Please Drive Slow.” The life you save may be a duck’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I put 0.733 of the low NBSS down to the plastic cup and 0.04 down to the fact I resisted the chips !

      NBSS 2.5 is OK, and there was an ENORMOUS plant pot just ahead I resisted using, despite knowing how much a video of my first “beer tip” for 4 months would delight my readers.

      Liked by 1 person

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