A Hidden Gem (not in the beer guide - no.2 in an occasional series).
We finally got some walking completed the following day, a quick 5 mile jaunt across Stiper Stones, west of Church Stretton. Local buses cover the area so that you can start at one point and return from another. We headed from Stiper Stones to a small village called Habberley, simply because the map indicated a pub, we did not know what to expect, nor even if the pub was open, but what a treat we found on arrival at the Mytton Arms...
Only reopened a couple of years, having been closed for at least that long, this is a real free house, reflected in the beer range (mainly local, Ludlow, Salopian and Three Tuns on our visit).
There are good freshly prepared sandwiches and free range eggs for sale at 75p for half a dozen.
Beer was about £2.30 a pint, which for a fairly remote village pub is remarkable, but possibly because the beer IS LOCAL! The Three Tuns "XXX" was stunning.
All good things come to an end, and if we were to get to Bishop's Castle we needed to catch the next bus.
With one change we reached Bishop's Castle with two hours before the bus to Craven Arms and a train back to Ludlow.
Bishop's Castle is a small town famed for having two brew pubs, one at the top of the hill (the Three Tuns) and one at the bottom (the Six Bells). The Three Tuns is clearly a victim of it's own success, being much extended behind the frontage to accommodate the numbers of diners and drinkers. The small bar at the front is much as I suppose it has always been, five of their own ales were available, including that delicious "XXX".
The Six Bells felt like more of a locals inn, football banter dominated, with Shrewsbury Towns (unfortunately doomed) trip to Wembley (division 2 playoffs) much to the fore. Four Six Bells beers were on show, two light and two not so light including the excellent "Cloud Nine".
So back to Craven Arms where there was time for a pint of Salopian ("Shropshire Gold"), actually in The Craven Arms, before the train back. Strangely all football talk here was about Man. Utd., but then again Shrewsbury is only an hour and a bit from Manchester by train.