We joined 450 people as they took part in a fundraising pub crawl along Arriva Buses Wales' Sapphire 1 bus route for Nightingale House Hospice on Saturday 23rd September 2017.
Contributor Macauley Pugh spotted an advertisement for The Big Beer Bus Tour from Nightingale House Hospice on a local bus service in Wrexham and shared it with our contributors. I picked up on the event, did a little research and then decided to book our tickets.
In order to book, you had to download a registration form, print it off, fill it out with the relevant details and then send it back to Nightingale House Hospice. This was done shortly after the registration opened, all we had to do now is wait for our bus passes, sponsorship form and event guide to arrive.
Our day started at The Elihu Yale Wetherspoon pub on Regent Street in Wrexham. A typical Wetherspoon pub serving the usual mix of good value ales and a good menu of food. This pub was running two special offers with all real ales being sold at just £1.85 per pint and 20% off the food menu for participants. Bargain!
It was around noon before we left the Wetherspoon pub, we then headed to Wrexham Bus Station on King Street to start our first bus journey of the day. This, of course, was an Arriva Buses Wales Sapphire 1 service bound for Chester, however, we were only doing a short hop to Gresford.
Arriving in Gresford, we visited The Plough, a traditional village style pub. Here you could purchase 2 bottles of cider for £6 – not a bad deal. We spent a short while here before queuing at the bus stop for our next number 1 service towards Chester.
A short hop on another Sapphire 1 bus, we arrived at our next location, The Red Lion in Marford. Once inside we noted that this was quite unusual as there were two rooms, one was more like a function room, and indeed, was being used as intended with Karaoke. This fine establishment was providing 4 ‘Night Bombs’ for £5, of which we obliged before consuming some other wildly concoctions.
Stopping next in for The Golden Lion in Rossett, another traditional style pub with wooden beams, a bookshelf and a used wine bottle rack. There was a good selection of real ales on offer here, so we both tucked into some lovely refreshing ale before joining our next bus on to the Nags Head in Lavister.
Arriving in Lavister, we arrived at the Nags Head, a slightly upmarket establishment, but it certainly didn’t lack any character when it comes to the ambience. By this time, we were seeing familiar faces from the beer crawl and we stopped to have a chat with some of them.
We decided we would have lunch here as it was getting on towards 1pm, a lovely gammon and chips was ordered by both of us, served with a refreshingly cold glass of Amstel to wash it down.
Having stopped to chat to some of the people taking part in the pub crawl as well as donating a few redundant pound coins, we then decided to head straight to Chester as the day was getting on.
Arriving in Chester, our first pub here was The Square Bottle Wetherspoon in the city centre. It’s a stone throw away from where the bus drops you off on Frodsham Street. We took advantage of the same offer that was available in Wrexham, with all real ales being sold at just £1.85 per pint and 20% off the food menu for participants.
It wouldn’t have been a visit to Chester without taking a few pictures of the local bus scene too. Pictured above is one of the former Arriva Sapphire buses that were used on the number 1 until the new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City buses arrived earlier this year.
This event is really ideal for trying or sampling alcoholic beverages that you wouldn’t normally try, likewise to the casual non-bus user, it gets people who wouldn’t normally use the bus to give it a try.We would like to thank Nightingale House Hospice, Arriva Buses Wales and all the pubs along the route for holding such a spectacular event – we hope to attend again next year.
If you would like to donate to Nightingale House Hospice, you can donate by visiting this page.