Shuttle service on the Real Ale Trail

Real Ale Trail

Great way to enjoy some fine country pubs

Wales has a plethora of fantastic country pubs... there's only one problem, how to visit them without relying on a car?

Well... back in 2010 a forward-thinking North Wales marketeer hit upon a good idea to bring new customers to a number of small Flintshire pubs, put on some shuttle buses to take them from one to the next.

The idea resulted in the first ever Real Ale Trail in North-east Wales and connected seven traditional Welsh country pubs one wet Saturday. Landlords were happy to see a regular stream of customers in and out of their establishments, while customers enjoyed not having to worry about driving.

It’s a simple but effective concept, a bus chauffeurs customers all day around spectacular country locations, with one showing up outside each pub every half hour or so. Customers can visit as many or as few pubs as they want and stay at each one for as long as they want.

From that first event the idea blossomed and now the organisers run eight trails twice a year... including Snowdonia, Conwy, Flintshire, Wrexham, Caernarfon, Vale of Glamorgan, Shropshire and the Wirral, with further additions in Cheshire, South Devon and Cardiff also on the agenda.

With hundreds of different ales to sample, the events are usually quite popular with middle-age men intrigued by the prospect of being delivered safely to the door of quality real ale houses without the risk of losing a licence. And the boom in microbreweries and the production of independent ales means there's always something new to experience every trail, with plenty of spectacular countryside to enjoy as the buses wind their way along picturesque country lanes from one pub to the next.

Tickets cost £15 and the next trail takes place on 6 April, when the destination will be the Vale of Glamorgan. This trail will take customers to two cracking venues in Bridgend, The Coach and BangOn Brewery, as well as Llanharry’s Fox and Hounds, the Hare and Hounds in Aberthin, 1 Town Hall Square in Cowbridge, the Three Horseshoes in Moulton, The Six Bells in Penmark, the Fontygary Inn in Rhoose, and The Blacksmiths Arms in Llanmaes.

For tickets and more information about the Real Ale Trail visit the website.

6 April, Vale of Glamorgan
13 April, Caernarfon
13 April, Wrexham
27 April, Shropshire
11 May, Conwy
8 June, Snowdonia
8 June, Wirral
15 June, Flintshire