In the summer of 1988 I walked the 7.1 miles from Milton to Barton to meet my then girlfriend (NGSS x)at the end of her bar shift.

I’d just failed my driving test for a fifth time, all the fault of over-zealous no entry signage in Cambridge, and only a fool uses taxis.


Not even sure I was drinking beer back then, but I know I was playing this on my Walkman.

The second cassette wave

I’ve mentioned a lot of Greene King pubs round here that broke away from brewery control so they could sell beer brewed in a garden shed.

The White Horse isn’t one of those. It’s just a neat village all-rounder dodging the GBG for at least 32 years.

Fun packed village notice board

The signs outside say “Under New Management” and “Thai food“, both phrases to sum up South Cambridgeshire nicely,

Only Greene King pubs are allowed to be this colour

Barton is the place you drive through coming home from the south, the place you slam on your brakes as you realise you’re doing 33mph as you approach the camera on the bend.

It’s probably an art installation

With two pubs, an artisan market place ,

Pashmina alert

and a garage that sold imported American “candy”,  I always had it down as having rather more than the 846 souls Wiki owns up to.

But it’s basically a triangle of streets you can walk in 30 minutes, and the housing on the green tells you all you need to know.

More thatch
And more thatched farmhouses

In fact, folk without thatched houses or mustard corduroy are dragged kicking and screaming up the A603 to Potton.

An exemption was made for the weather-boarded house near the church, but I wouldn’t push your luck.

Stood outside St Peter

The village sign is a let down, but the hand-drawn map by the pond reveals Crilley-esque flair.

Note rifle range

And the phone box library contains a guide to the narcotics trade on loan from Bar Hill.

Narcos – the Cambridge edition

I’m trying hard to make it sound essential, but to be frank only a young lad in the first flush of young love would walk 7 miles to Barton.

Don’t walk here in the dark from Grantchester and find yourself on the rifle range.

The Hoops used to be worth a 2.7 mile walk when run by a cheerful Australian who kept an aviary and the best pint of IPA outside of the Free Press.

It’s changed hands twice since then, and another sign promoting Thai food stood outside.

Alternate GK colour

A notable wet-led boozer frequented by characterful farmers, it needs another visit.  One of these days I’ll find that elusive NBSS 4 pint of Greene King’s finest, just like I have found my Doom Bar redemption.


    1. Funny. I thought Barton under Needwood too.

      That weatherboarded house reminds me of Big Pink as in the Band album.

      We’ve all walked inordinate distances to meet girlfriends who we didn’t end up marrying haven’t we? Haven’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You were in top form with this one; if I were to name all my fave lines I’d be quoting every second or third sentence. (Mind you, I think that was actually done by Russ, on occasion.)

    It’s not often you see a map with watercolor illustrations added to it. Crilley-esque? I’ll take it!

    You do seem to be on an ongoing tour of England’s thatched roofs lately. And I’m loving every minute of it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, that was a fine read, Martin.

    The Hoops is a great example of a “Fool and Bladder” pub again – a real Old Fashioned House With An Old Fashioned Fence.

    I haven’t seen those braided basketwork fences in many places though.

    Liked by 1 person

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