The village of Churchtown is known for its picturesque qualities: St Cuthbert's Church, the village green, the stocks, thatched cottages and two of the oldest pubs in Southport. The Bold Arms and the Hesketh Arms, listed buildings dating from the 18th century, sit on opposite sides of the village green. I recently visited them, along with one of the resort's newer pubs, Peaky Blinders. All three pubs allow children and dogs, and all have outside drinking areas.
The Hesketh (Google street view)
The Hesketh is a large pub that has a central bar with several separate drinking areas, various nooks and crannies, and is popular for food. On one wall, I saw this sign: “Dogs welcome – owners tolerated”! The real ales that were on when I called in were: Sharp's Doom Bar, Thwaites Wainwright and Bombardier, which I was told usually alternates with Black Sheep. William Sutton, credited as the founder of Southport, was the landlord here when it was known as the Black Bull. Every Boxing Day, the Southport Swords dance outside this pub as they have done for decades.
The Bold (Google street view)
Strolling past the village green, you quickly reach the Bold. This three-roomed pub is an old coaching house and it too is popular for food. You can watch the big football matches here as you enjoy your pint. Talking of beers, they were serving: St Austell Tribute, Robinson's Dizzy Blonde, Taylor's Landlord, Abbot and IPA (both from Greene King), and Tetley Cask. Their website advertises the imminent launching of a gin club, and I saw that Thursday is their quiz night.
Leaving the Bold, you pass the Remedy bar – no real ale, but just the place if you're into gin – and a few minutes later you reach Peaky Blinders. This is an L-shaped bar with modern furnishings and large windows overlooking the road. It is light and airy, with walls decorated with a reproduction of old newspaper adverts and cuttings. The real ales available on my visit were: Taylor's Landlord, Wadworth's Horizon, Black Sheep and Cumbria Way which had run out just before I arrived. Cheese platters and paninis are available.
This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Previous write-ups are here.