With the autumn walking season underway, Henley brewer and pub operator Brakspear has made its Pub Trails available as an app and published trails for a further 10 pubs. The circular walks, which start and finish at a pub, are now linked to a total of 19 pubs across Brakspear's Oxfordshire and Berkshire heartland.
All Brakspear Pub Trails are available on ViewRanger, a free GPS app that pinpoints the user's precise GPS location and overlays each route on detailed maps that can be used without phone signal. All the Pub Trails, created in partnership with the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment (TOE2) and Henley Town Council, are now available as an app.
Nineteen Brakspear pubs now have three Pub Trails linked to them, offering walkers a choice of distance and difficulty level. Response from the many walkers who have already enjoyed the existing trails has been positive and Brakspear is aiming to create Pub Trails for as many pubs in its estate as possible.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, "Many of our pubs are located in beautiful spots and our customers like to explore the surrounding countryside, particularly in autumn when the weather is generally perfect for a good walk followed by a warming pint or bite to eat.
"Launching the Pub Trails as an app extends their reach, particularly to younger walkers. This is a great example of new technology enhancing the experience of a centuries-old tradition of the British pub and country walking, and we're delighted to be offering it to Brakspear customers through our partnership with ViewRanger."
Brakspear has produced beer mats promoting the Pub Trail, with the app details, which are displayed in all pubs linked to a trail. In addition, ViewRanger is emailing details of how to download the app to its 750,000 users.
In addition to the app, Pub Trails can be downloaded from the dedicated website www.pub-trails.co.uk, and printed copies are available in the pubs, for a 50p donation to Marie Curie, Brakspear's charity partner for the year.
Brakspear has donated money to TOE2 for every trail, which will be invested in improvements to the local footpath network, such as cutting hedges, replacing stiles with gates and improving signage. The new pubs to have Pub Trails linked to them are:
Fox & Hounds, Christmas Common
Cherry Tree, Stoke Row
Red Lion, Blewbury
Five Horseshoes, Maidensgrove
Bull & Butcher, Turville
Fat Fox, Watlington
Leathern Bottle, Lewknor
Unicorn, Kingwood Common
Reformation, Gallowstree Common
Pub Trails were launched at nine pubs earlier this year: Red Lion, Peppard Common; Flower Pot, Aston; Perch & Pike, South Stoke; Catherine Wheel, Goring-on-Thames; John Barleycorn, Goring-on-Thames; Rainbow, Middle Assendon; Maltsters Arms, Rotherfield Greys; Rising Sun Witheridge Hill; King William, Hailey. A Henley town centre walk takes in the Rainbow, Maltsters and Flower Pot, and the leaflet promoting it is available in 10 of the pubs with a Pub Trail.
Brakspear's support for TOE2, and for other community initiatives such as the Club to Pub Swim and charities Marie Curie and Sue Ryder, earned them a Highly Commended placing in the British Beer & Pub Association's Heart of the Community Award 2017, announced in October.