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Published on December 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour

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HISTORIC COACHING INNS OF THE GREAT NORTH ROAD BY ROGER PROTZ
The Great North Road is part of British folklore; it’s our Route 66, though perhaps there hasn’t been a Chuck Berry song written about it. The magnificent coaching inns built at intervals on or near it, however, are part of the nation’s living history. Roger Protz’s informative travellers’ guide takes you on a journey from London to Edinburgh from the days of mail coaches and highwaymen right through to the A1M passing Little Chefs and Costas. In the North East, Roger stops off at Shincliffe, Durham (The Seven Stars); The Old George in Newcastle and The County in Gosforth; The White Swan and Queen’s Head in Alnwick and Berwick’s Brown Bear. (Camra Books, £12.99)

THE YORKSHIRE BEER BIBLE BY SIMON JENKINS
This entertaining trip around Yorkshire lists every brewer the author could think of – more than 170 – and features many of his favourite beers and the places to drink them in. In that regard, it’s a very personal journey from slate Yorkshire squares to the brewery established in the (disused) toilets of a rugby league stadium. Trouble is, this should really have been a four-parter, a bit like Yorkshire itself, as you really want to know much more about many of the places, but there’s no room at the inn, so to speak. (Great Northern Books, £11.99)

THE SEVEN MOODS OF CRAFT BEER BY ADRIAN TIERNEY-JONES
A book listing 350 craft beers from around the world is a Tierney-Jones speciality. He is adept at taking beer and telling us what’s in it, where it’s from and how good it is. Unfortunately, due to space and ambition (little of the former and bags of the latter), it reads a little bit like the back labels of bottles and, again, you die for him to expand and explain more about some fascinating styles. The pen-and-ink drawings tend to overwhelm what might otherwise have been a must-have book. (Eight Books, £12.99)

UNUSUAL PUBS BY BOOT, BIKE AND BOAT BY BOB BARTON
Leisure travellers are well catered for in Bob Barton’s guide with waterways, trails and cycle tracks wending their way to pubs across the country. How he managed to visit them all inside three years and delve into their provenance is anybody’s guess, but there are a few surprises and some of the usual suspects. Locally, The Mountain Daisy in Sunderland and The Ritz in Wallsend rub shoulders with Newcastle’s Crown Posada, Free Trade Inn, Hop & Cleaver and Red House. He makes few personal observations, simply letting the visitor form his or her own. (Halsgrove, £16.00)

*Reviews: Alastair Gilmour


About the Author

Alastair Gilmour



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