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

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