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The Green Man
Some pub campsites can be very disappointing: even if the pub itself is lovely, the portion allotted for camping is all too often an unloved crisp-packet-strewn patch of ground. Not so at the Green Man, where, over the last few years, landlord Mark has transformed the tatty green he inherited when he took over the pub. What once was only suitable for holding the annual village bonfire is now a beautiful little patch of countryside. Damsons and an enormous old plum tree circle a picnic table, itself tucked into a little dell beneath which runs a narrow and incredibly lazy stretch of the River Itchen. There’s a miniature woodland walk through the trees and each spring a figure of eight course is mown through the high cow parsley. Meanwhile, free-range hens of every hue and shade scratch and strut their way between the tents.
Long Itchington is the self-styled Real Ale Capital of England and it’s a claim that is difficult to dispute. It has six pubs, which for a pretty standard-size village is a remarkable feat in itself, and half of them (the Green Man included) feature in the Good Beer Guide, while the other three also serve real ale. There’s no food at the Green Man, but a fish-and-chip van stops outside the pub on Friday nights at 7:30pm and comes highly recommended. Furthermore, all five other pubs in the village serve food and are a short stagger away.
FacilitiesLoos: 2 Men’s 2 Women’s (open from 7:30am to pub closing time). Showers: No. Other facilities: CDP, picnic tables; campers can also use the kitchen to wash-up. Stuff for children: No. Recycling: No. Dogs: On leads at all times. Fires: No open fires; blocks available for BBQs. Other: No.
NearbyHeritage Motor Centre, Gaydon (10 miles) – a collection huge enough to satisfy even the most ardent of petrolheads; 01926 641188. Boating, Leamington Spa (6 miles) – hire a motor boat, rowing skiff, canoe, kayak or pedalo, and take off down the River Leam; 01926 889928. Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum (6½ miles) – LS Lowry, Marc Quinn, Stanley Spencer, Gillian Wearing and more, in the former hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Pump Rooms; 01926 742700.
Food & DrinkThe Green Man (independent). Sadly, they don’t serve food, but all five other pubs in the village – the Buck and Bell (01926 811177), the Cuttle Inn (01926 812314), the Harvester (happily, not a Harvester; 01926 812698), Duck on the Pond (01926 815876) and the Two Boats Inn (01926 812640) – do.
Opening TimesAll year.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★☆ over 2 reviews
Perfect pub pit stop
Small but perfectly formed
We spent a delightful bank holiday weekend in nestled under the shade of the trees in the Green Man’s lush back yard, and quickly fell in love with the surrounding area, notching up many miles (and ales) as we strode the nearby canals. Mark the publican is extremely welcoming and a great help in pointing out good walks – and of course a dab hand at pulling a pint to help you unwind at the end of the day.
There’s a common theme coming through in the review and that is beer – we managed to visit no less than seven local pubs on our first afternoon. Long Itchington is a fantastic place to sample real ale with many local brews on offer.
The only thing to be aware of if you're using public transport is that buses don't run on Sundays or bank holidays (as we discovered!). Still, if you get stuck, you can tackle the six-mile walk from Leamington Spa - a lovely scenic walk straight up the canal where at the right time of year you can fill your face with wild blackberries and blueberries. And don’t leave without buying some eggs from the Green Man’s magnificent hens and bantams to take home as a delicious souvenir of your stay…