Phil and Julie Fox visit Wetherpoon pubs on weekends away and can pack in five different venues during their travels. They have already notched-up 317 different pubs across the UK
A pair of grandparents have toured the UK sampling beer in 317 different Wetherspoon pubs.
Phil and Julie Fox are on a mission to visit as many pubs and bars as they can.
The couple go to Wetherspoon venues on weekends away and can even pack in five different pubs during their travels.
Phil, 74, loves geography and beer which explains his love for hunting down the bargain chain in different locations.
He also likes value-for-money food and drinks, and says the pubs fit the bill for a thrifty Yorkshireman with five children and several grandkids.
Phil of Rastrick, West Yorkshire, is proud of his tally so far.
He told YorkshireLive : “I have visited 317 now (out of a total of 925). Julie has done them all with me.
“We have done a lot in West Yorkshire and I’m just about to do three more in Leeds, in Crossgates, Headingley and another by the Leeds Arena called Stick or Twist.
“I visited my first one in 2004 in Richmond in North Yorkshire”
Phil has his own personal favourites, as well as one or two he would never return to.
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Last year he visited The Imperial, a former hotel with a barrel-vaulted conservatory space, which he described as “absolutely wonderful”.
He and Julie also love The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, a former courthouse and police station in Keswick, Cumbria.
“You can sit in the dock, the cells or where the magistrate used to sit. It’s my favourite Wetherspoons,” Phil said.
Phil, a retired production worker, says his second favourite is The Admiral Collingwood, named after Nelson’s second-in-command at the battle of Trafalgar.
The venue is situated in Ilfracombe, Devon, and features a rooftop garden bar with sea views.
He admits that one or two Spoons pubs have been a bit on the “rough” side, including one near Rochdale where Phil said: “We had to shout over women using the ‘F’ word. We sat right at the back.”
But, on the whole, he’s had many a good time in a Wetherspoon pub and he’s hoping to chalk off a load more next year.
Phil says that his family now accept that he and Julie have a hobby that some might find a bit strange.
He said: “When we go anywhere they love the fact that seven or eight of us, including grandchildren, can eat for less than £50.
“I know it’s not fine dining but in Spoons, the young grandchildren can spill a drink or drop food accidentally and you don’t get disapproving looks.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.