A 2.5 mile round trip from the Guided Bus stop at Impington and Histon, taking in 6 pubs including the excellent Red Lion.
The Guided busway stops within sight of the Railway Vue…
The Railway Vue pub has been here since at least 1853, overlooking what was the railway line, now the guided busway. It’s the last remaining pub in Impington, outliving the Chequers and the Black Bull. When visited, the guest beers were Woodfordes Nelsons Revenge and Potton Village Bike, enjoyed in the triangle of beer garden at the front on which the Impington Feast used to be held.
Head north up Station Road to the Boot on the corner at the High Street, less than a mile from the Railway Vue, passing the closed Chequers (c.1765-1910) and Black Bull (c.1843–1980) pubs.
A 17th century building, known as the Boot since at least the 1680s according to a leaflet from the village history society. A small front bar with a fireplace leads to a larger bar and extension. Beers on were Tribute, Bombadier and Wherry, of which we had a swift half in the garden.
In the beer garden is the old brewhouse and a large stone. Legend has it that the Histon Giant, Moses Carter (1801-1860) carried the boulder here as a bet. This feat of strength is shown on the village sign. The stone used to stand on the corner of the road, but is now tucked away behind the fence in the beer garden, knocked off its plinth, with nothing to suggest its history.
Next door to the Boot, the Barley Mow is a large pub that’s been here since at least the 1770s. Refurbishments have removed a sense of its long history, but it’s a pleasant pub with outdoor seating at the front and a beer garden at the back. A Greene King pub, the beers served at the long wooden bar were Abbott, IPA and Sorcerer, of which I had a swift half – it tasted in good nick.
Continue along the High Street to…
Here since c.1840, this freehouse is full of character, a ‘shrine to real ale’ according to the Good Pub Guide, the ceiling and walls are covered in pump clips and breweriana and the outside of the building has repainted advertisements for ‘Lacons Yarmouth Ales’ and ‘well aired beds’.
We visited during the 13th Easter Beer Festival with around 20 ales on and enjoyed some really nice beers, best being a superb Oakham Green Devil IPA and a Windsor & Eton Conqueror black IPA. A great pub that’s hard to leave.
Follow the curve of the road north along Windmill Lane, bearing left as it becomes Church Street.
The King Bill is listed as 17th century coaching inn, with a timber framed interior and a nice enclosed patio beer garden to one side. There was a roaring coal fire in, a good drop of St Austell Tribute – also on were Adnams Broadside, Everards Tiger, Fullers London Pride and GK IPA – but few people. With only 3 others in the place, all drinking Fosters, it felt empty compared to the Red Lion. It’s a nice old pub though, glad to have visited.
Heading back towards the Boot, continuing past it – the village green on the left, the former Green Hill pub, now the Phoenix Chinese restaurant, on the right (the original thatched Green Hill pub burnt down in 1904, was rebuilt and later named the Brook) – to the Rose and Crown, overlooking the village green and pond.
Part of the building dates back to the 16th century, a farmhouse that became an alehouse. Beamed interior with an inglenook hearth, it appears to have been recently refurbished. An Everards pub, beers on were Original and Tiger, of which I had a swift half along with a Marstons EPA. Also on was Fullers London Pride.
Then it’s back to the Guided Bus Stop.