One of my favourite parts of the world are old mining towns in the Welsh Valleys running down from the A465.

Blaenavon is the centre-point of the mining tourism, the Big Pit museum the place where you experience the sensation of being a ’70s Welsh miner for free, though it’s closed at the moment.

See the source image

So pre-tick I explored the World Heritage town, which was almost as busy as Newbury the week before.

Never stopped before, but it really is a joy for lovers of colour, chapels and chemists.

Vibration has just arrived in town too; I always assumed it was a nightclub.

I think Tredegar Tracey’s “It’s great, you wobble in places you didn’t know you had” would sell it to me.

I love the effort Welsh towns take to protect their statues of “rugby” players.

There’s some lovely civic architecture,

and a charming belief that there is, somewhere, a “quiet American“. I’ve never met them.

I’d assumed this was a real ale desert, but there’s half a dozen cask entries on What Pub, though it’s this one you’d surely head to first.

The Lion is the GBG newbie, a smartly modernised small hotel in Newport County’s 3rd strip.

I just posted on CAMRA Discourse, bemoaning the death of daytime drinking. The Lion had one cheery lady with a G & T who quickly turned out to be off-duty staff (again).

I have serious reservations about a table so close to the bar (Proper Pub law 326.3),

and it doesn’t feel very “real Blaenavon”, whatever that is, but the deep cut Motown (The Laws of Love by The Volcanos) and pot plants won me over.

And the beer, from what I read as Tomis & Lilford (who ?) had decent lacings.

But I have to tell you, lacings CAN be deceptive.


  1. It’s Tomos and Lilford. I like their beer, but i don’t recommend drinking 6 pints of their seaweed bitter on an empty stomach on your leaving do the night before your kids’ mid-day Christmas concert.


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