January 2016 - Surfleet & Surfleet-Seas-End
In uncharacteristic sunshine, Heather led 17 stalwarts out from the Crown at Surfleet, over the bridge and along the River Glen. At least 15 did start off there; 2 of the tail enders set off along the road instead but were soon reigned in and brought back on track.
The botanists were shortly seen examining the tall white snowdrop-like flowers that were growing on the top of the river bank, and no doubt will be identified (the flowers that is not the botanists). The splendid weather showed off the river and riverside properties in fine relief. After crossing the by-pass via underpass, the Spalding Golf Course was reached and traversed without mishap to either golfers or trekkers.
Crossing the river with its lock / barrier and torrent of water at Surfleet-Seas-End, the Ship pub was encountered. Back in 2002 on January 6th, Fenland's first walk, the then Ship Inn, a small wooden structure, was to be our first halfway house. However despite knocking at the door, the licensee refused to open up. Today the new Ship was open, which with hindsight might have been regrettable, as the only cask beer that was on was off. Unfortunately the poor condition of the London Pride was not reported until most of the party had sampled and paid for their pints. In fairness to the licensee, replacement coffee was then offered to those who wished.
Onward then back along the road where several folk decided to stop off at the Riverside Hotel, some to sample the Wherry which was in fine form, Doom Bar or the Bombardier, and another to obtain information for the Pubzilla and Whatpub database.
Returning to Surfleet a few of the party popped into the Mermaid, again to sample the Doom Bar and Broadside and collect the data. The Crown, a delightful country pub with its comfortable chaise longues, open fire and Champion GBBF Best Bitter from Pheasantry Brewery was most welcome and the beer the tastiest of the day. Zara and her staff provided excellent lunches with customary multi vegetables, probably numbering 13 and equalling our last visit. Unanimous thanks were given to Heather for arranging the day's walk and lunches.