Heworth

Heworth station was one of the first on the original metro line to open in 1981. In 1984, the line extended eastwards to South Shields. It also serves as an overland rail station with services to Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hartlepool.

When we were visiting we were on our way back from Sunderland, as you come out the main doors of the interchange you will see the nearest pub directly in front of you (a sure point scorer according to WBM rules). Which in this case is The Swan.

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This reminded me both outside and inside of The Railway in Walkergate. An old style dark building with your traditional bar on one side, lounge on the other with the bar running between both.

There seemed to be a big bike rally happening when we visited early evening on a Saturday which provided a good lively atmosphere. The offerings at the bar were pretty much what you’d expect from a put of this style, no real ale however some good offers on bottles where we got two bottles of Becks for a fiver. From someone who’s local is the Twin Farms in Bank Foot, I know there’s not much you can get for a fiver in most pubs these days! I mean let’s be honest, its a northern pub which shows the football and has bandits so it’s not exactly falling into hidden gem category but as far as a what you see is what you get pub, it’s certainly not the worse we’ve been to.

One thing that struck me (maybe all the bikers that were in at the time) was that it felt like a really local pub but a lot more relaxed, friendly and welcoming than some of the others I’ve described as local in the past. In most pubs we visit for the tour we have one drink then head on the net however I would have happily stayed for another more at The Swan!

Contact:

Address: Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE10 0NT
See where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here

Palmersville

I always get the P’s on the metro mixed up; Percy Main, Pelaw and Palmersville may as well all be on the moon as far as I’m concerned. None of them are anywhere near anywhere I frequent. Which is why the Wine & Beer Metro Tour has been so great, It’s taken me to places I’ve never been before.

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It was never one of the original Metro stations; this Johnny come lately opened 1986, nearly six years after the rest of the Metro line however it was the first station to feature new ticket machines and smartcard validators in 2011. Why? Who knows?

It’s a real shame that The Wheatsheaf Pub, which is visual distance from the metro (a 3 minute walk at most) has shut as that would have been everything we look for in a WABM pub, location wise. However the only other option is to turn left instead of right out the station on Great Lime Road and walk the best part of a mile to find The New Coach Inn.

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My first impression when we first walked in (at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon) was ‘wow, that’s green’ they seem to have these green neon lights above the bar which reminds me of Liquid Nightclub in the Bigg Market, which is particularly bizarre in a quiet suburb or North Tyneside.

Don’t get me wrong, the green lights aside it’s nicely decorated; nice light wood tables and lots of natural day light and open space. It does declare it’s self as  a ‘bar and restaurant’ and like most places who lay this claim, it’s more restaurant than bar.

There was no ale on offer at all, so the male contingent of our party settled for two pints of Coors Light, myself ‘the usual’ (a medium glass of white wine) and my mum and lime and soda which came to about £12.

Like you can always judge a man by his shoes, you can always judge a pub by it’s toilet and these ones were particularly uncared for. For a pub that size why on earth would you think that only 2 cubicles would suffice (and one of them was blocked when we went). I would say the only saving grace this place has is the rather swanky looking beer garden out the back – for the one day a year that it’s warm enough to sit outside

The problem with this place is it’s built it’s self to service the local housing estates and to be exactly what the people in the area want. Somewhere they can go for a few drinks on a Friday or Saturday night, or a meal with their family. It’s not the kind of place you can stumble across (mainly because it’s so bloody bar from the metro station) and consider it a hidden gem that you must go and rave to all your friends about.

Contact:

Address: Killingworth Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 7BR
Phone: 0191 216 9999

See where else we’ve been on out metro pub adventure here

Pallion

Pallion in Sunderland is another station that was added to the network when the Sunderland extension was built in 2002 and mostly services Pallion high street, sorry Pallion Shopping Terrace, and the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sadly, pub wise, it’s thin on the ground. We walked passed 3 social clubs and a dilapidated old Pub before we finally found somewhere suitable, and by suitable, i mean open, on Hylton Road, a good 20 minutes from the Metro station.

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From the station walk up towards Pallion high street, sorry, Shopping Terrace, and follow signs to the Hospital. Once in sight turn left down Hylton Road, keeping the hospital on your right and you’ll eventually find the Willow Pond.

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This oasis in the desert that is Hylton Road was actually a really nice surprise. It was nicely busy for a Saturday afternoon with regulars chatting and watching sport but there was a quieter lounge area where we hung out. The staff and locals were all great, especially as we had the youngest member of the WBM crew joining us today and got loads of help with navigating his buggy around the bar stools.

 

 

The drink options weren’t amazing, it was still pretty much real ale free however three pints of lager and a bottle of Desperados came to around a tenner which didn’t feel like bad value at all. I feel i use the phrase ‘local pub for local people’ a little too often in this guide however i think it’s appropriate in this case and I don’t mean it in a negative way either.

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One of the loveliest things has been meeting loads of local people in areas that you wouldn’t normally find yourself and it’s heartwarming to see the North East’s reputation of being friendly a welcoming alive and well, even for a couple of Geordies drinking in deepest darkest Sunderland.

Contact:

Address: 173 Hylton Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 7YF
Tel: 0191 567 6742
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Willow-Pond/

Longbenton

Longbenton, located betwixt Four Lane Ends and South Gosforth is predominantly used as a commuter station the DSS and Freeman hospital and other that those and a medium sized house estate I can’t really imagine why else you’d need to visit Longbenton.

Pub wise there’s a social club literally right next to the station however we’ve already played our Social Club card in Howdon so, coming from town, if you hop off the platform through the main exit and walk straight in front of you, through the little precinct of shops and you’ll stumble across The Charnwood.

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The Charnwood has all the potential in the world to be a really good local pub, it’s nicely decorated inside, even looks like it could have been fairly recently refurbished with a large lounge and family area for food as you walk through the main doors and a bar area with pool table through the back. However it sadly appears to be the pub that time forgot.

 

We found it a little surprising that as we visited at around 6.30pm on a Saturday night and it was absolutely deserted, well aside from one man asleep at a table in the corner and a few people milling around playing pool.

The barmaid was really friendly and chatted with us for a little bit as she served our drinks (your average offerings of Carling, Guinness and cider) no real ale and wine appeared to come in three forms; red, white or rose. That being said it was a surprisingly pleasant and super chilled glass of white so I can’t really complain on that front.

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It just seems bizarre to me that a put that on first appearances seems pretty well kept, it certainly hasn’t been the most run down we’ve visited on the tour so far, yet so weird that in the middle of a sizable housing estate it doesn’t attract more visitors. A little research on Facebook says they specialises in Chinese Food, which is weird when the decor would suggest homely good of fashioned pub grub but gets good reviews all the same. Our visit just left me feeling a little bit sad and wonder how long it could be sustainable as a business for much longer.

Contact:
1 Charnwood Ave, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8PT
Tel: 0191 270 9975

Felling

Felling station used to be owned by the Brandling Junction Railway but was taken over by metro and after a 2 year refurbishment reopened in 1981. Felling is one of the largest towns in Gateshead and known for producing a host of professional footballers, probably most famous being Newcastle United and pop chart worrier Chris Waddle, who was born in Felling in 1960.

Coming from Sunderland you leave the platform to the right, walk south east along Quarry Row and you’ll come to The Mallard pub literally 100 yards away from the platform. As far as WBM rules go, this ticks all the boxes so far!

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Considering it was 8pm on a Saturday night after payday we were surprised at how quiet it was. Apart from us there were probably only about another 5 or 6 people dotted around the spacious bar area. Inside, the decor is everything you’d expect from a northern working class pub with dark wood and upholstery reminiscent of a social club from the 1970s. I’m also not too sure there’s much need for a Gollywog doll behind the bar in 2017 however , I digress…

 

The staff were extremely friendly when we arrived and we had a good laugh with a regular at the bar about my sweatshirt. One of the things I’ve loved most about this tour so far is how warm and friendly everyone has been, which can turn the most intimidating of pubs into a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

Drinks wise we were’t in real ale land anymore Toto and the wine is served from a box under the bar. That said it was £4.80 for a 175ml glass and a pint of Coors so this is now officially my new favourite pub in the world! It’s a shame it was so quiet really and if it’s not busy on a Saturday evening it’s hard to see when it ever would be and as such how it can stay in business. Perhaps we were just unlucky with our timings on this occasion.

Contact:

Address: 10-12 Gosforth Street, Gateshead NE10 9LS
Tel: 0191 420 0285

Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here

Four Lane Ends

Back when we lived in Cramlington, Four Lane Ends was the closest metro to us, so anytime I didn’t feel like sitting on the Arriva 42 bus which seemed to go via Berwick to get into the centre of Newcastle, we would drive down to ride the rail. Like Haymarket and it’s one of the few stations on the network which has been granted ‘interchange’ status, which, from what i can tell basically means there’s also a newsagent and a bus station there.

 

An interchange that boasts almost 900,000 passengers flowing through the vacinity annually you expect there to be a pretty decent watering hole for at least half of those people right? Right!

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If you exit the interchange via the main doors and round the corner onto Front Street, in a couple of seconds you’ll stumble across The Benton Ale House. Now, with a names like that you’d probably be expecting a swanky pretentious hipster Brewdog knock off where you can play a game of ‘spot the man bun’ however, thankfully, the Benton Ale House is none of those things. It’s seemingly naming itself an ale house in the truest sense, a good old fashioned pub that does real ale (and a glass of wine for the ladies) at reasonable prices.

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The one thing that struck me most, was how massive it is inside compared to the size of the bar, which seems to sit slap bang in the middle of the pub with different sections circulating around it; a bar to the left, a lounge to the right, and a larger lounge round the back. There was live music on when we called in around tea time on a Sunday; a really good Beatles acoustic band incidentally, which only added to the atmosphere as from memory, it’s the only pub on the WAB Tour that’s had live music on. And I love a bit of live music.

 

They had a decent selection of real ales and lagers on tap (well, they are an ale house after all) and any regular reader will know that when it comes to my wine, i like it large and cold, of which this was both; i also quite like it when i get a choice of grape too, however I’ve never yet met a glass I didn’t like so this is less important. And for two pints, a large glass of wine and a lime & soda it was under a tenner.

On first glance I found the Benton Ale House a little intimidating; it looked from the outside a little too local for me, kind of ‘the juke box will stop playing as you walk in’ kind of local however, it’s proof you should ever judge a pub by it’s facade. I could have happily stayed all evening listening to the music and discussing the best Beatles song ever*

Contact:

Benton House Front Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7XE, 
*It’s She’s Leaving Home in case you were wondering
Find out where else we’ve been on our metro pub adventure here

South Hylton

I’m not shy about admitting that anything south of Central Station if pretty much uncharted territory for the Newman clam and South Hylton is pretty much as far down the line as you can get. Still, at least it’s still on the airport line, which is direct from our dwelling in Bank Foot, so thank heavens for small mercies.

South Hylton station opened as part of the Sunderland extension in 2002. It is quite literally the end of the line and *fact fans* boasts the longest platform on the whole network (at 122m long). If you exit on the right, as, lets be honest you’re not going to be coming form the other direction are you? and turn right you’ll see the Jolly Potter on your right.

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It’s a reasonably sized pub which looks inviting enough from the outside, it was reasonably quiet when we visited with friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon however still got a warm welcome and took a seat in the spacious lounge near the pool table. Their website boasts that they were awarded CAMRA Potteries Pub of the Month in May 2016 however sadly, a member of our party was right when they said that they feared this end of the track would be a real ale desert, as the only beer available when we visited was Fosters or Carling.

That said the beer was cheap (£6 for 4 halfs) and the music on the juke box was good so not really a great deal to complain about. It’s not the the kind of place that will blow your socks off but how can you not view fondly a place where ‘Annie’s Jugs’ are only a tenner and you can get a ‘PRONstar Martini’?!

Contact:

Address:  Railway Terrace, City of Sunderland
Tel: 0191 534 4867
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thejollypotter

Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here