Bicycles, Betjeman and Beer

You may already be familiar with the work of John Betjeman, who was poet laureate from 1972 until his death in 1984. You may have read his poetry and been touched by his ability to connect through words to the human spirit. You may know of Betjeman's love of Cornwall, and in particular his association with the North Cornwall coast.

Maybe you have also heard of the Camel Trail, adapted from its previous industrial use so we can all enjoy its beautiful scenery on foot or by bicycle. You may also have tried the delicious local beer brewed nearby at Sharp’s Brewery. The brewery’s most famous beer is Doom Bar Bitter, named after the treacherous sandbank in the Camel Estuary.

Our day out combines all three: bicycles, Betjeman and beer. We begin by cycling the most scenic section of the Camel Trail, and then we consider Betjeman's poetry. We get as close as we can to understanding Betjeman's connection with Cornwall by meeting, when she’s available, someone who knew the poet while he lived here in his final years. And then we learn more about Sharp's locally brewed, award-winning beer during a visit to the brewery. If time permits, our brewery tour will include a tutored tasting of Sharp's fine ales. The alternative is a trip to a local hostelry.

The day out includes coffee in the morning and fish and chips for lunch from Rick Stein’s take-away in Padstow. And the all-inclusive price covers everything, including transport, bicycle hire, lunch, the beer-tasting, a short ferry trip and some poetry readings.