Touring the Banburyshire pubs on a bike: The Horse & Jockey and the Plough Inn, Bodicote
Pub pedals 18 – The Horse & Jockey and Plough Inn
By Miles Doughty
A spooky cycle
On holiday I was joined by a new recruit for a mid-week cycle to find out how a couple of local pubs are surviving the pandemic. Dave had dusted off his bike and we set off to Kings Sutton, putting the gears to the test on the Astrop Road hill to Kings Sutton. After a scenic ride through the village we headed to Twyford which with the recent rain almost lived up to its name, a derivation of “twin ford”, as farmers originally used this crossing point to get their grain to Twyford Mill. Also previously a seed mill the sight still has an impressive brick silo for storing seeds.
Over the River Cherwell and Oxford Canal we passed the long closed Red Lion pub the location of a macabre 1831 tale, “The Bodicote Bodysnatchers”. “… a countryman took a box to the Red Lion Inn to be conveyed by the Union Coach to London. The people about the inn yard soon found their nasal organs assailed by a most disagreeable stench…. Suspicion at length alighted on the box and on opening it, shocking to relate, the corpse of a young woman was found in it. He stated he had brought the box from Boddicott…”.
Praying nothing like this awaited us in Bodicote the path along the Banbury road soon got us into the village. Arriving at the Horse and Jockey just as it opened, we were soon enjoying a pint of unofficial beer of Halloween, Hobgoblin Ruby with its full-bodied toffee flavour and a fruity, figgy finish. With no food but giant screen sports landlady Julie told us they are just about surviving unless there is another lockdown. We heard a similar story at the Plough. They have been well supported by the locals offering fish & chips on Thursdays and running a recent successful charity quiz. The brewery had apparently also been understanding and I was particularly happy to find out this was Wadworth, one of my favourites. There was no debate choosing a 6X with a delicious malty and fruity character but I also had to try the Swordfish with navy rum added for an even richer beer. Fortunately these were only halves so I made it home via the station and Overthorpe. Although I had a couple more pubs to visit these will have to await lockdown part two. However, I hope you join me next week for a pub pedal special.
Route 18 – 12.7 miles https://www.maps.ie/map-my-route/viewMap.php?route=167430