Calder Valley

I arrived in Leeds with the intention of having breakfast in the Wetherspoons at Leeds Station before getting an onward train. However, as the pub was heaving I decided to forego breakfast and take the train to Todmorden and have a pizza at the Wetherspoons adjacent to the station.
This was much quieter even though it was now gone midday. Unfortunately pizzas were off the menu today and as the beer selection was somewhat mundane I opted for a sandwich and pasty from a nearby bakers. My first drink in Todmorden was at The Pub (Good Beer Guide 2019) near the indoor market.  Quite a small affair with four tables and six hand pumps, and I selected a half of Northern Whisper Soft Mick.
The Pub, Todmorden
Not far away was the wonderfully named Polished Knob.  On entering you are greeted with an abundance of colour from the walls, furniture and stage – in fact, everywhere you looked. Many rugby league shirts adorned the walls. There were six hand pumps but only three were in action and I chose Three Valleys EPA. Next up was the Alehouse.  More modern in appearance, this micro pub has four tables of varying shapes and sizes and there was some patio seating outside at the front. There were six beers on hand pump and one cider. I chose beers from Doghouse and Rossendale breweries
Polished Knob, Todmorden
A short train ride on the line back towards Leeds is Hebden Bridge. It was a few minutes’ walk from the station into the town centre and the first pub that I visited was Nightjar, which is the tap for Nightjar Brewery. Three of their beers were available on hand pump and I chose Picture House at 3.9%. From here it is a short walk to the Old Gate Bar & Restaurant (GBG 2019). This is a larger establishment combining gastro dining with nine hand-pulled ales and one cider. I chose Oakham ABV and Kirkstall Brewery De Abdij & The Mill which was a very rich oatmeal stout at 6%. I could have stayed for another in here but there was still a lot to do. Next, a walk up the hill to the Fox & Goose (GBG 2019 entry), a community-run pub with an old-world feel and several different seating areas including a garden perched above the road. I chose halves of Bingley Korito and Serious Russet.  Back down the hill now to Drink? (GBG 2019) where Northern Whisper Yammerhouse was sampled.  Two beers were available on the small bar to the rear but this is also a bottle shop with an extensive range of both cans and bottles.
Fox & Goose, Hebden Bridge
Heading back towards the station I called in Vocation & Co, another brewery tap offering four cask beers and 16 keg. All the beers were served from taps behind the bar. From the cask list I chose Vocation Vermont Table IPA at 2.5%.  This was quite a modern looking bar and was getting quite busy now. The train beckoned but there was just time for a quick half of Nightjar Klondike back in the Nightjar tap. Another short train ride to Sowerby Bridge and the Turks Head. More of a local feel to this pub which had six hand pumps with four in operation and I chose Newby Wyke Orsino. A short walk away is the Hogs Head Brew House (GBG 2019) which offered six of their own beers and two guests. From their own range I had 6 to 8 Weeks bitter, White Hog pale ale and Smash Mosaic, all at 4%.  This seemed to be a very popular destination for people and was a hive of activity.
Turks Head, Sowerby Bridge
Back to Leeds now and the Scarbrough Hotel (GBG 2019), just down the steps from the station. There were nine hand pumps and I had Black Sheep Choc & Orange Stout and Siren Suspended In Mosaic.  On arrival back in Sheffield there was just time for a swift half of Roosters Parts & Labour American Pale Ale in the Sheffield Tap (GBG 2019).  There were other pubs I could have visited but those chosen certainly made for a Grand Day Out! Cheers, Andy Morton

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