From the previous two posts: Town and Locals, you will know that me and my friend Jay are trying to get twelve cask marque certificates scanned by the end of cask ale week, an event promoted by cask marque to showcase cask ale. If we get to twelve, we get a t-shirt. As things stood we were at nine.

We had exhausted all of our local pubs and had a good stab at the pubs in Bedford. Now we had to start looking a bit further afield, and when I say field, I mean field. Jay and I planned to complete our challenge via  country walk. It’s well known that country walking works well with pubs, there are enough pub walking books to prove that.

Our plan was originally to go to the Pulloxhill and then Barton, but after looking at the last pub on our list it turned out that the “other pub” in Barton was a football club, and guessing that it wouldn’t be open, we decided on Silsoe and then Clophill instead. The Map below shows what we did, thanks to Bing Maps for not being aware that I ripped off their OS mapping feature. The Red dots are the three pubs we visited, although there are other PH signs which we missed off.

It took us about an hour to get to The Cross Keys in Pulloxhill. Since I had last walked that way the footpaths had changed slightly but it was still fairly similar. None of the hills in these parts are particularly demanding, really anyone with legs can get around in the countryside round here. We got to The Cross Keys just as they were opening. They found us the Cask Marque, which had just arrived in the post the other day, our luck was in. I had an Adnams Broadside, as did Jay.

The walk from there took us down paths I had never used before. Again, it was all easy going footpaths round the edge of fields. The paths linked us from Pulloxhill to Silsoe very quickly and we soon found ourselves in the new development on the edge of Silsoe. From there we made our way through the village to get to The George. The cask marque was on the wall, which was scanned easily but the poor phone reception made it difficult to log our scan with the app, we got there in the end though. We both had a Greene King XX Mild.

To get to our last pub we walked out of the other side of the village and turned north, we followed a footpath towards the ever loudening sounds of the A507 and the A6.  A short wooded section of the footpath confirmed to us that we were getting close. It was then just a dash across a bypass, a small housing estate and a footbridge that took us onto The Green in the middle of Clophill village, where our final pub was: The Flying Horse.

We walked in and asked for our beers and where the certificate was. The bar maid didn’t know but she was enthusiastic and thought the whole thing was a brilliant idea. She went off to find the manager. A short while later she came back “I’m sorry boys…” our hearts sank, this was the last one! “Only joking” as she revealed the certificate from behind her back. All we had to do was scan it and the t-shirt would be ours. I scanned mine, and then Jays phone broke. He restarted it, and then the app wasn’t installed. Jay got into a bit of a panic, eventually it sorted itself out and Jay scanned it, but then he lost his internet connection. In the end he had to piggyback his phone through mine and we did get him there. Now all we had to do was walk back so Jay could get to work. Oh, and we had a Brakspear Bitter each in the Flying Horse.