Review of ‘Peak District Pub Walks’, by Bob Steel

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.


The great thing about walking and 'pubbing' in the Peak is that the combinations are almost endless. The fact is that most of our country pubs came into being long before motorised traffic, often providing foot travellers with not just ale but with food and a bed for the night. Hence their welcoming title of hostelries.

This selection has been compiled by Bob Steel, a geographer by profession with a lifelong interest in good beer, good architecture, walking and cycling. He has arranged 25 routes of between 3 and 10 miles into nine areas described as 'umbrella locations ... to suit the the beer tourist'. These general regions include Macclesfield, Bakewell, Leek, Hartington and Buxton. Each individual walk is illustrated in colour with a map and local views, historical background and the all-essential pub listings.

Along with separate chapters on accommodation and public transport, Bob celebrates the landscape as much as the inns and their offerings. Any beginners out there will appreciate his discourse on beer styles and 'getting to grips with the Peak's traditional beers'. There is also a strong nod in the direction of enjoying a 'greener pint', with the rise of micro-breweries offering the prospect of reducing beer miles by buying local. One of the chosen Peakland pubs has no less than five cask ales sourced from local micros.

Peak District Pub Walks by Bob Steel is published by CAMRA - The Campaign for Real Ale. Available through local outlets priced £9.99. (ISBN 978-1-85249-246-5)

Review by Julie Bunting

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