One of the things I love about pub walks is that they combine so many different interests into a single hobby. Clearly we all enjoy a good walk and a good pub but for most of us there is so much more to it than that.
It's true the walk may simply be some exercise ahead of a calorific indulgence; more likely though it reflects a love of fresh air and the outdoors with a real interest in nature in all its forms and seasonal variations. Likewise, the desire to help preserve our precious pub tradition is often linked to a deep-seated passion for other aspects of our national heritage.
So, all that gives a good variety of things to choose from when buying Christmas presents for pub walkers; from real ale to Ramblers membership, natural history books to National Trust membership, good pub guides to GPS.
If you'd like to see my Top 10 list of gift ideas for pub walkers then here they are. If you have other ideas of your own then please add a comment and share - we'd all love to see them too :-)
1. National Trust Gift Membership
Did you know the National Trust owns or manages 38 pubs and inns? Of course they are better known for their commitment to the preservation of our coast, countryside and historic buildings, with their extensive tracts of land offering great walks and spectacular scenery. Right now, Gift Membership offers 25% off the normal price plus an extra free gift of a pair of National Trust binoculars, making it our favourite Christmas present!
For more details go to National Trust Gift Membership, click 'Join Online' and then select 'A gift for someone else'. Costs starts as low as £16.50 for someone up to age 25.
2. Good Pub Guide, Good Beer Guide or AA Pub Guide
Although the Good Pub Guide may be the most popular pub-goers bible, the Good Beer Guide does also give general comments on the pubs beyond the quality of the real ale on offer. Both are densely packed with information in text form so if you prefer something easier on the eye (albeit covering fewer pubs) then the AA Pub Guide has many colour photos and feels better quality for a book to browse. All are updated annually.
You can buy any of these from Amazon.co.uk via The Pub Walker's On-Line Store which highlights Amazon products of interest to pub walkers.
3. Walking Socks
OK, I know that socks as a present for a man are the butt of many jokes but how about a pair of really good quality walking socks for him or her? Cold feet feet can be a misery and this present could make a real difference to your walking companions in terms of both comfort and warmth.
To see a good selection try the Cotswold Outdoor site.
If you do your pub walks with someone who does not have a compass than you should get them one, seriously. Apart from just being able to check it occasionally to ensure they are heading in the right direction and avoid retracing steps, it may open up a whole new world to them of exploring new routes (and pubs).
Click on Compasses at Amazon.co.uk for a wide range starting at less than £2.
5. Bottled Real Ale
Much as we must use our pubs, or lose them, there are evenings at home when a glass of bottled real ale really hits the spot. If a pub walking friend lives a distance away then you can even arrange to have a few bottles delivered to their door by such companies as Ales by Mail.
6. OS Maps
If your pub-walking partners always follow the same handful of routes to their favourite watering holes then why not open their eyes to all the other options with a large scale Ordnance Survey map of the area. I recommend the 1:25,000 OS Leisure / Exporer map series which will show them all the alternative footpaths and bridleways they could use. You can even get laminated ones that will survive unexpected showers and offer much greater durabilility.
Again its hard to beat Amazon.co.uk for price via The Pub Walker's On-Line Store.
7. CAMRA Membership
For the real ale enthusiast, membership of the Campaign for Real Ale makes a great present. The £20 cost includes £20 of money off vouchers at Wetherspoon pubs - they may not be traditional pubs but they do know how to serve real ale. Pay by DD and you get an extra 3 monhts free (15 months for the price of 12) as well as another £2 off the usual price. They have various gift offers too with membership such as the one that also includes the Good Beer Guide.
Click on CAMRA Membership or CAMRA Gift Membership for more details on their site.
8. Timpson's England
This is one of my all time favourite travel books and a must for anyone with a passion for this country and things unusual or eccentric. It can supplement a walk with fascinating information on "... creepy castles and curious churches, stones with a story and roadside surprises, trees full of history and pubs full of spirits..."
Click on Timpson's England: A Look Beyond the Obvious for more information.
9. Gamma Head Torch
I have to admit my walks often take somewhat longer than I expect, sometimes even arriving at pubs after food has stopped being served - at lunchtime that is! And with darkness descending early this time of year and cutting short our walking time, I think this powerful head torch is a great idea. Voted best value head torch in Trail magazine, the Gamma head torch also has numerous positive user reviews on-line. At £12.50 its definitely on my list.
To buy this, go to Alpkit Gamma head torch.
10. ??? What do you suggest?
No-one wants a Top 9 list so can you help make it a Top 10? If you have a suggestion for my final last minute gift idea for Pub Walkers then please add a comment below and share it with us all!
As many people know, our website www.MyFavouritePubWalks.com uses free pub walk links and downloads to promote the best of our pub heritage to a hungry and thirsty walking community. Some of the links above are affiliate links which pay a % commission which help to pay for the costs of running the site. So if you like any of the ideas and want to help us support our community pubs then please do click through using the links above. Either way, we hope you find the gift ideas of interest and a help if you are buying for someone who shares our passion for pub walks. Thank you.
To find some great pubs with walks from their doors, just click on favourite pub walks.
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