Left to right at the pub trails launch are: chairman of TOE2, Karen Woolley; Henley MP, John Howell; Brakspear chief executive, Tom Davies; and Mayor of Henley, Julian Brookes
Henley brewer and pub operator Brakspear is encouraging pub-goers to work up a thirst for their beer with the launch of a series of pub trails, starting and ending at one of ten Brakspear pubs.
The Brakspear Pub Trails have been created in partnership with the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2), an independent environmental funder. TOE2 volunteers mapped out and tested three routes for each pub, of different distances and difficulty levels to suit walkers’ ability and available time.
The trails can be downloaded from a new dedicated website, www.pub-trails.co.uk, and maps will be available in the pubs, for a 50p donation which will go to Marie Curie, Brakspear’s charity partner for the year.
Brakspear has donated money to TOE2 for every trail, which will be invested in improvements to the local footpath network, such as cutting hedges, replacing stiles with gates and improving signage. TOE2 is developing further trails, with ten more pubs set to join the scheme over the summer and another ten in the autumn. Over time, Brakspear hopes to create trails for as many of its pubs as possible.
The first set of trails are all linked to pubs within a 30-minute drive of Henley. Nine of these are rural pubs, taking in landmarks such as the Brunel-built viaduct near Goring, Greys Court Tudor country house near Henley, and Warburg Nature Reserve. The Henley trails, created with the town council, start and finish in the town and take in a pub half-way round.
Brakspear chief executive, Tom Davies, said: “A pint of Brakspear ale tastes even better after a walk and some fresh air, so we’re delighted to be making these country routes accessible to our customers. TOE2 have done a great job, creating walks for everyone who visits our pubs, whether they’re looking for a brisk hike or a gentle stroll with children or dogs.
“Many of our pubs are located in heavenly spots and we know our customers will enjoy exploring the beautiful English countryside around them, followed by a drink and a bite to eat in a relaxed and walker-friendly environment.”
Karen Woolley, chairman of TOE2 added: “TOE2 is delighted to be working in partnership with Brakspear to improve rights of way and encourage more local people and visitors to enjoy the local countryside. The Pub Trails will provide up to three walks from Brakspear pubs, with handy leaflets describing each route.
“We would like to thank all of the volunteers who have helped put together these circular walks. We are also grateful to Brakspear for providing funding which TOE2 will allocate to improvements such as kissing gates and better signs, helping to make local rights of way more accessible to all.”
The first set of pub trails are linked to the following pubs: the Red Lion, Peppard Common; Flower Pot, Aston; Perch and Pike, South Stoke; Catherine Wheel, Goring-on-Thames; John Barleycorn, Goring-on-Thames; Rainbow, Middle Assendon; Maltsters Arms, Rotherfield Greys; Rising Sun Witheridge Hill; King William, Hailey; and Henley town centre, taking in the Rainbow, Maltsters and Flower Pot.