Many of us have explored new footpaths or trekked familiar trails throughout the last year, and one lucky rambler is to have their favourite route immortalised in Shepherd Neame’s popular Pub Walks series, just in time for summer.
The Faversham-based brewer and pub operator launched its Pub Walks series in February last year, partnering with local expert Lisa Filmer, founder of Coast and Country Rambles, to create five guides which start and finish at a Shepherd Neame pub.
As walking became such an integral part of many people’s lives due to the events of the past year, Shepherd Neame decided to invite members of the public to share their knowledge and launch a competition to find its next pub walk. Entrants were asked to email in their suggested route, noting any significant landmarks found along the way. Routes had to start and finish at a Shepherd Neame pub, and be no more than six miles in length.
Over 50 entries were assessed by a panel of judges including Lisa Filmer, and Thomas Parkhouse was selected as the winner. His 5.5 mile circular route starts and ends at The Red Lion, Chelwood Gate in East Sussex. It has been professionally mapped and incorporated into a guide, which will be printed and distributed to the pub and is available to download online. Thomas will also co-host a launch event for the new guide later this year, and receive an overnight stay for two at one of Shepherd Neame’s stylish hotels/inns.
Thomas, 26, lives in London, where he works for drinks company Teapigs, and grew up in East Sussex near the Red Lion. He said: “I love walking. I’ve done a lot with my family over the years and they often involve pub visits! Last year I walked the Pilgrims Way with my two housemates and I plan to walk across Sussex following the footsteps of author Hilaire Belloc and singer Bob Copper in July this year. I have visited many Shepherd Neame pubs and also went on the brewery tour for my brother’s birthday. My favourite Sheps beers are Bishops Finger and Whitstable Bay Pale Ale. When I saw the competition online I decided to enter with the Red Lion walk as I know the pub well and the countryside around there is lovely. I actually used to work at the pub in 2013, and try and go whenever I get a chance. I’m really pleased to have won the competition, it’s great to know that other people will be introduced to this area.”
The judges chose the walk submitted by Mike Sole as runner-up. Mike, 53, is an accountant and also a Kent County Councillor. His walk can start either from The Mermaid in Bishopsbourne or Plough and Harrow in Bridge – both local to his home in Kingston near Canterbury, which is on the route.
Shepherd Neame’s Head of Marketing, Brands and Communication Joanna Richardson said: “We were delighted by the number of people who entered our pub walks competition, and are really excited about launching the winning walk as the first in a new collection of walks coming this summer. Our pub walks have been incredibly popular since we launched them last year, and we hope that this will encourage more individuals, families and friends of all ages to get out and explore our beautiful coast and countryside, enjoying a Shepherd Neame pub experience at the end of their walk.”
To download the winning walk or more information visit www.shepherdneame.co.uk/walks
Press release from Shepherd Neame