PUBlic transport: the tram-train

The long-awaited but much-delayed tram-train connecting Sheffield with Rotherham finally comes into operation on Thursday 25 October, so it seemed like the logical choice for this month’s PUBlic transport article.

Running between Sheffield Cathedral and the Parkgate shopping centre in Rotherham, the tram-train is the first of its kind in the UK. Conveniently for us, it also opens up a new route for exploring some of the real ale pubs that Rotherham has to offer!

Starting off in the city centre, we have a number of pubs featured in the recent Cathedral Quarter article: the Church House, Dove and Rainbow and Bankers Draft are among the selection of pubs offering real ale close to both Cathedral and Castle Square tram stops.

Wentworth House Hotel, Carbrook

As we head out of town on the existing tram line towards Meadowhall, the first real ale stop we come across is the Carlton (563 Attercliffe Road, S9 3RA). Roughly equidistant from both Woodbourn Road and Attercliffe tram stops, this is a lively traditional pub with two changing guest beers, mainly from local and regional breweries.

Just a couple of stops further along, alighting at Valley Centertainment will bring you to two pubs offering cask beer. The Wentworth House Hotel (26 Milford Street, S9 2LD) is a former Ward’s pub which was renovated and reopened in 2015, serving up to three real ales from local breweries. Just over the road is the Eighteen Ten (3 Arena Court, S9 2LF), a Marston’s food-led pub offering Pedigree and the occasional guest beer.

At Meadowhall South/Tinsley you can find the Steel Foundry, a Wetherspoon pub located in the Meadowhall centre offering the typical range of cask ales and reasonably-priced food. After this stop, the tram-train deviates from the usual tram route and begins the “train” part of its journey.

Bridge Inn, Rotherham

The train line brings us to Rotherham Central, which has a nice selection of real ale pubs nearby, including the Angel, the Rhinoceros (Wetherspoon’s) and the Bridge Inn, the original home of the Rotherham branch of CAMRA. This pub offers five hand-pulled beers, with regulars from Old Mill Brewery and Timothy Taylor’s along with a couple of changing guests.

Our last port of call on the journey is a newly-constructed terminus at the Parkgate shopping centre. The Little Haven micropub is the pick of the real ale outlets here. Rotherham’s fourth micropub, which opened in June this year, offers four cask beers with Chantry and Exit 33 often featuring.

We are running a branch social to Rotherham on Sunday 18 November to explore some of the pubs on the tram-train route and further afield. We will be meeting at the Devonshire Cat at midday, then taking the tram to Valley Centertainment for the Wentworth House Hotel. From there we will take the tram-train to Rotherham Parkgate and the Little Haven micropub. We will then go by bus to the Something Brew Inn at Rawmarsh, the Wath Tap at Wath-upon-Dearne and the Arcade Alehouse in Barnsley before getting the train back to Sheffield. It would be great if you could join us!

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