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The 2A bus isn’t good for much, but it is an important keystone in the Lancaster boozing industry. While the Boot & Shoe might be under renovation for a few months (RIP – it had a lovely garden), the Fox & Goose, Bowerham and Park Hotel do the job for a casual evening pint.
So it’s 6pm on a Friday, you’ve just finished your last lecture of the week and you’re strolling down the underpass to whisk you away into the dusk. But there’s only a 2A available. It’ll be morning by the time it arrives in town. So don’t go home, stop off at the pubs instead.
Fox & Goose
First up is the Fox & Goose, a pub slightly hindered by its location. For sure, it’s got a nice enough garden to soak up the sunny rays in the summer, but in term time when rain is historically the only weather about, the Fox & Goose might not have much to offer. However, beers are relatively cheap compared to some of the fancier establishments in town, and it probably has the best range of ales on this route.
It’s a decent enough local to have, but most students tend to live slightly closer to town where other options are available. It’d be fair to call this a solid no-thrills pub, prevented from achieving more due to its innocuous location.
For a lot of 2016, the Bowerham was festooned with scaffolding and builders, hiding its potential from many people who would walk past and believe the pub to be closed. But in fact the pub has undergone a complete transformation, externally and internally.
New owners have turned the place around, as it’s a damn sight more aesthetically pleasing than before. Previously it was your typical backstreet boozer: average beers, average prices, average appeal. But now there’s more of a charm to it. The garden may still require some touching up, but the Bowerham is definitely a pub to recommend.
The final destination on the arduous bus route is the Park Hotel, located near UCUM’s campus and on the corner of St Oswald Street. I’d heard good things about the Park from people who lived nearby, saying that the pub was a perfect local. But that seems to be a common theme along this crawl. All pubs are handy to have on your doorstep, but not worth trekking from town to.
The interior of the Park is quite quaint. It’s a fairly narrow place, but there are plenty of seats and tables to park yourself. There’s a pool table, a dartboard and both Sky and BT Sport, so what more can you ask for? The issue for me might be because it’s not my local, I don’t have that platonic relationship with it. There are a few ales which should suit most unfussy people, but the prices do steadily increase on this route the closer you get to town.
Nonetheless, the pubs are still all worth a visit, even if it is just to ride the 2A for 30 seconds between drinks.