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Halfway Inn, Pisgah, ABERYSTWYTH, SY23 4NE [Map]
Another classic trip was associated with this pub. Had intended to spend the weekend working in Birmingham but with the prospect of the temperature in the office soaring into the mid-30's celcius the huge pub map of Britain was dragged out into the back garden along with a freshly brewed cup of tea and Jim and I set about finding a new pub. Our requirement was obviously good beer, good atmosphere, coastal or near coastal location, cheap nearby camping and good food. A quick surf of the internet, a detailed search of the numerous guide books, a couple phone calls and everything was sorted. We called the Halfway Inn and asked them how close the nearest campsite was and whether they knew the site phone number. The landlord ended up offering us free camping behind the pub as long as we called into the bar for a pint.
The drive from Birmingham was long and windy and the search for a local map (OS Explorer 213) proved almost impossible. Fortunately a last minute dash down Aberystwyth High Street to Millets at 5.25pm was not in vain and we had a choice of 10 copies of the map.
The Halfway Inn is situated about 6 miles inland along the A4120 towards Devil's Bridge perched high on the hills overlooking the picturesque Rheidol valley. We went for a very pleasant evening wander down into the valley over the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge railway that snakes its way towards Devil's Bridge.
Friendly, generous landlord and landlady who offer a good range of real ales (up to 4 available at any one time including Felinfoel Double Dragon) and reasonably priced food including some unusual specials which might include the odd cajun dish. There's outside seating too overlooking the wooded valleys mentioned earlier in the review. Lots of animals to pat and feed around the pub from the Kerry Hill sheep in the fields to the pub dogs, all with completely different characters, and a couple of rabbit/guinea pig type animals that we could hear munching on grass even at 1am in the morning.
Several chatty locals sat chatting at the bar for much of the evening and we ended up playing pool with them (and obviously losing). One of them who must have been 60 or so glanced up at the Manic Street Preachers playing (on the TV) and then impressed us with his amazing knowledge of current welsh pop bands (Super Furry Animals, Catatonia etc.). As usual the conversation got even more varied than usual as the night progressed and everything was overseen by the landlord perched on a squeaky chair behind the bar.
All in all, a great pub with real character, fantastic views, and we had a fantastic greasy fry-up on Aberystwyth beach cooked on my trusty stove the morning after the night before.....