May 2023.

The 1st day of May, in fact. Another “mystery tour” for Dad around the back roads of east Cambs.

We were brought to an abrupt halt in Swaffham Bulbeck, a place notable only for its name, by some folk dancing in the streets.

No, not Mick Jagger. Press PLAY now.

And Name That Tune.

Not much of a Morris dancing tradition round here I’d have thought, try Whittlesey, but the folkies were all headed to tiny Reach for the region’s biggest May Day event.

But I can’t bring you a report from Reach, as all the “roads” were closed a mile out, so instead we headed along the Great Drove, a series of pot-holded tracks leading via remote farms to the river Cam.

And then to the Five Miles From Anywhere (No Hurry), a pub with the best name but dullest exterior in pubdom.

This is, famously, the Guide pub I took BRAPA to in 2018 when a bumblebee divebombed my lemonade, and it’s a pub as likely to be in as out of the GBG, unless Ely CAMRA decide not to put any entries at all in as they did post-Covid.

I’m not sure that the (untried) beer range has changed in 20 years, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The staff are friendly, there’s a basic bar for the handful of locals, and it’s not gastro.

The Five Miles is just your classic unfussy riverside dining pub, with the HUGE bonus of serving food from 11am. Which means Dad and I beat the Bank Holiday crowds to the conservatory seats with a view to the canal boats and barges,

and had food in front of us at 11:43. Gentlefolk dining times are a law unto themselves.

The photos don’t do the food justice. Dad had the sea bass (the lesser Bass);

I had scampi. With great chips.

Dad said “it’s the best thing I’ve ever had“, and an 87 year old still enjoying eating out in pubs brings joy to my heart.


  1. It always confuses me that the “Five Miles From Anywhere” patently isn’t five miles from anywhere. Wicken is much closer than 5 miles away, and I reckon that it’s probably less than 5 miles to walk from Chung Hwa to there.


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