PHOTO: Conisbrough Castle, South Yorkshire, UK

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DRINK: Hook Norton Brewery Tour, The Cotswolds

This weekend, as part of my Dad’s Birthday Gift, I went along to the Hook Norton Brewery for a tour with my family. Hook Norton Beers are relatively local to where I grew up out in Buckinghamshire as they are located just a 45 minute drive away towards The Cotswolds which in themselves are a beautiful place to visit. The Brewery has been around from the early 1800’s and since then, has flourished impressively. IMG_1420Our guide for the tour was a local man named ‘Keith’ who was fantastic, full of knowledge with some light humor thrown in. You enjoy a full walk through of the brew house and learn about the brewing process of their many labels. In itself, it was fascinating. I have done the Guinness Brewery experience over in Dublin as many others had however this tour was incomparable, with a much more intimate ‘access-all-areas’ approach plus it feels great to support a local business like this. Of course the best part is the tasting, and a generous affair it was too. I got through a good four half pints sampling some delicious beers. My personal favourite was the Hooky which is their popular ale however a notable mention for the Red Rye which funnily enough is brewed with the addition of Rye creating a unique taste. You are presented at the end with a commemorative stemmed glass from the shop and no trip wouldn’t be complete without walking out with some well-priced beers. I took away a Red Rye and a Greedy Goose to enjoy later on this summer. A great morning out had by all, I would highly recommend it to everyone- a fantastic gift idea. https://www.hooky.co.uk/

HISTORY: Buckingham, Bucks

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I grew up in Buckingham and I am proud to have done so. I love finding old photographs of how the town used to look before the inevitable population growth, masses of cars and development set in. The above is the Town Hall,, topped with a gilded Swan and built in the 18th century. The old town is really beautiful and full of character with plenty of Georgian facades, narrow streets and twisted chimneys. If you are ever in the area you should take a walk!