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Dales Way Pubs: The Red Lion, Sedbergh, Cumbria

Our first day on The Dales Way (foreshortened and in reverse) was from Kendal to Millthorp on Easter Sunday.  This was a really beautiful walk on a sunny day, passing over some lovely pasture before crossing over the West Coast Mainline and the M6 to join the Lune river at Crook of Lune bridge and following it south to join the Rawthay river.

The end of our walk that day was Millthorp Bridge, but 1km up the road from the finish point is Sedbergh, the place where Kate and I are getting married in October (*knock wood*).  Opposite the church in the centre of the village is The Red Lion pub, the first of three “lions” on our journey.

Much as we’d accidentally stumbled upon a beer festival in Kendal before starting the walk, we were lucky enough to find a beer festival going on in the pub, or rather in a satisfyingly cool stone shed out the back.  A very helpful barman who was there specially for the beer festival took us out to the back and told us about the selection.

As usual, I had been daydreaming for the last few hours about the beer I would have at the end of the stage.  My thoughts were in the region of pale, hoppy, thirst-quenching beers, such as Hawkshead Windermere Pale or Ilkley Mary Jane.  Although they didn’t have either of those, they did have BrewDog Trashy Blonde.

It might have been the sunburn, the thirst or the tiredness and reflief at the end of the first day, but that Trashy Blonde was one of the most enjoyable pints I’ve ever had.  Just cool enough, bitter and fruity and seemingly a real improvement on the bottle of the same beer I’d had in Leeds previously.  I obviously inhaled the first pint before having a second.

We also tried a couple of the the other beers.  Marston’s Royal Wedding beer Perfect Union was a nice light hoppy beer and Rooster’s Leghorn was also fine, but on this occassion, both gentleman and lady preferred the Blonde.  This was a very promising end to the first day, and seemed to bode well for the rest of the walk.  However the next day we would be less fortunate.

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