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Wet Your Whistle on May’s Rail Ale Trail

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Take the train to May’s beer festivals and you can sample as many ales and ciders as you like, without needing to worry about how to get home again. And, if you check our journey planner before you travel, you could save enough money to cover your entrance fee too.

Read on to find out more about May’s Rail Ale Trail …

Take the train to Cheltenham…for the Spring Ale and Steam Weekend 2012

Combine your love of real ale with your passion for the rails this month, by heading off to the Spring Ale and Steam Weekend 2012 at Greet, near Cheltenham.

Organised by the North Cotswold branch of CAMRA and now in its fourth year, this fantastic festival takes place at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway’s Winchcombe Station, in the village of Greet, on Saturday 19th May (11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.) and Sunday 20th May 2012 (11 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.).

Just jump aboard a train to Cheltenham, head to Cheltenham Racecourse and take the steam train to Winchcombe Station to try 24 delicious ales and several ciders and perries. Make sure you hang on to your train ticket though, as you’ll need it to get into the festival.

Take the train to Cambridge…for the 39th Cambridge Beer Festival

The 39th Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on the city’s Jesus Green, just outside of Jesus College, from Monday 21 May until Saturday 26 May 2012. It’s just a 15 minute bus journey from Cambridge Railway Station to Jesus Green, so it’s easy for anyone taking a train to Cambridge to get there.

Organised by the Cambridge & District branch of CAMRA, the Cambridge Beer Festival is the longest running CAMRA beer festival in the UK, and it’s also the UK’s largest regional beer festival. If you head off to this year’s event – the theme for which is ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ – you’ll be able to choose from more than 200 ales, 60 ciders and perries, and a selection of foreign beers, wines and meads.

You can also taste a range of British cheeses, as well as pork pies, bread and other savoury snacks, at the festival’s famous CAMRA cheese counter.

Take the train to Stockport…for the 26th Stockport Beer and Cider Festival

Jump on board a train to Stockport and head to Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County F.C. and the Sale Sharks, for the 26th Stockport Beer and Cider Festival. Edgeley Park is just ten minutes’ walk from Stockport Railway Station, so it’s simple to get there when you travel by train.

The festival, which is organised by CAMRA, takes place from 31 May – 2 June 2012, and there’ll be more than 80 different beers, as well as ciders and perries, on offer at each session.

You can also enjoy some great live entertainment, including performances by: Manchester-based Ska band, The Uplifters; Wigan-based folk rock band, Merry Hell; and critically acclaimed blues singer Connie Lush and her band, Blues Shouter.

Other May 2012 beer festivals

You can also:

• Hop on board a train to Lincoln for the Lincoln Beer Festival (24 – 26 May 2012).

• Take the train to Aberdeen for this year’s Aberdeen & North East Beer Festival – also known as the 26th Great Grampian Beer Festival – (31 May – 2 June 2012).

Richard Jones, the festival organiser, told us: “The 26th annual festival is designed to permit discerning drinkers to sample a wide range of the best Real Ale that the UK has to offer. Over 100 different Real Ales are being supplied by more than 70 different breweries from throughout the UK. Styles range from the darker stouts and porters to delicate milds, and from robust barley wines to light pilsner style ales as well as fruit and wheat beers. In addition there will be a wide range of ciders and perries available together with some of the finest bottled continental beers. So with over 14,000 pints being dispensed in 3 days, there should be enough choice to satisfy everyone. The entry fee includes a commemorative beer festival glass sporting both festival and showcase brewery logos. This special glass can be used for free re-entry to the festival at later sessions. ”

• Jump aboard a train to Southampton for the Southampton Beer Festival (31 May – 2 June 2012).

Will you be taking the train to a beer festival by train this May? Which is your favourite beer festival? Tweet or Facebook us and let us know ….

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