Mid Week Social on No. 3 Bus
Our Mid Week Social on 11th May 2022 involved the number 3 Stagecoach bus from Dartmouth towards Kingsbridge and back. Due to a pub being closed and one not opening until 5pm the furthest we could go from Dartmouth was Chillington. We caught the 11.30 from Dartmouth and arrived at our first pub, the Bear & Blacksmith by 12.15.
The ales are always kept well here and our visit was no exception. One of the ales available was South Hams MNP (Peace), a special ale in cask and bottle with £1100, and counting, already donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). We had a very pleasant hour and 20 minutes here with numerous pints and halves consumed and licensee Malcolm generously sponsoring a cask at our forthcoming Sunshine Beer & Cider Festival and displaying some posters.
All too soon it was back to the bus which only runs about hourly, so it was important not to miss one. Our next journey was a short one to Stokenham. On the bus it was debated whether we should miss Stokenham and stay on the bus to Stokeley. We decided not to and alighted at Stokenham. We soon wished we hadn't, there was a private party in full swing! Considering the amount the Church House post on Facebook, they could have warned customers of this closure and had someone answered the phone the twice I rang the day before our trip, we might have been saved the inconvenience. However, enough grumbling!
We soon put Stokenham behind us by walking the Public Footpath to South Hams Brewery's Taphouse at Stokeley. Here we were able to sit and enjoy the full range of South Hams ales whilst enjoying the smell of beer being brewed! Having missed our hour at Stokenham we were able to linger longer here before completing our exercise for the day by walking on to Torcross and the Start Bay Inn.
This pub is renowned locally for its excellent Fish & Chips, but it also offers up to four very good real ales. I chose the Otter Hawthorn a 4% English Pale Ale and very pleasant it was.
It was soon time to get back to the bus and our next stop the Kings Arms at Strete where Otter beers were again in evidence. By now the sun had made an appearance and we were able to sit out in the large garden and enjoy a panoramic view along the coast. After our hour here it was back to the bus and our last call of the day the Green Dragon at Stoke Fleming, a current entry in the Good Beer Guide. There were three ales on offer including Otter Bitter (again) and Bath Ales Cheshire Cat. This pub was definitely the busiest of the day (except for the Church House!). After another hour here it was back to the bus stop and the bus back to to Dartmouth.
All in all a really enjoyable day made more so by the fact that the buses all appeared and were on time.