The Horseshoe

The Horseshoe, Llanyblodwel, Shropshire SY10 8NQ

An ancient half-timbered pub in an idyllic rural setting by an old stone bridge over the Tanat. The benches overlooking the river are an ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing beer on a summer day. The unspoilt interior comprises a plainer vault-type area on the left, and the dark, cosy main bar with a wealth of old beams and settles. Stonehouse Station Bitter, brewed nearby in Oswestry, is the regular beer, with an additional guest sometimes available. Many years ago I remember visiting it when it was a keg-only pub tied to Border Breweries. No food is served, and the opening hours are somewhat limited – evenings only during the week and lunchtime only on Sundays.

Despite the Welsh-sounding name, Llanyblodwel is actually just on the English side of the border. The village also has an interesting church rebuilt in the 19th century by the then vicar in an idiosyncratic architectural style and featuring a spire resembling a V2 rocket.

The Cross Foxes

The Cross Foxes, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 7DE

A traditional pub in the mixed residential area of Coleham just across the river from the town centre. The interior is “a symphony in brown”, basically consisting of one L-shaped room with beams, brasses and button-backed banquette seating. No food is served, and it seems to appeal mostly to the classic older male clientele. Draught Bass is the favoured real ale, with a couple of others including on my visit Salopian Shropshire Gold and Worthington Best Bitter.

(photo courtesy of Duncan Mackay aka Pubmeister)