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Citymapper, which is currently available in London, Berlin, Paris and New York, pulls in public transport information and provides multi-modal transport options to get users to their chosen destinations.

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We visited all 23 Kent Wetherspoons in one weekend

Nov 19, 2022

| Kent is home to 23 pubs owned by the mammoth JD Wetherspoon chain, stretching from the affluent commuter belt to our coastal towns. We wondered if it would be possible to visit each and every one in a single weekend, so packed reporter Rhys Griffiths off on the train to find out... Reporter Rhys Griffiths gets stuck into breakfast at The Belle and Lion in Sheerness There can't be many brands in Britain today as wildly divisive as JD Wetherspoon. Tim Martin's giant pub chain - affectionately known by punters as Spoons - spans the land with the promise of bargain-basement drinks prices and an expansive menu of affordable grub. If someone insists they have never set foot inside one, it has to be an affectation. A bit like those smug folk who won't stop banging on about not watching TV, actually, because they prefer books. Well good for them. The rest of us quite like a cheap pint and a bite to eat with maybe a few too many calories, thank you very much. An early start in Folkestone on Saturday morning When a silly office conversation about the merits or otherwise of Spoons got a bit out of hand, I was more than happy to take up the challenge of seeing every last one in the county in one weekend. Armed with a bargain Kent Rover rail ticket, which allows you three days unlimited off-peak travel on Southeastern trains, I was determined to tick off all 23 - and in doing so see some parts of Kent I had previously never visited. It sounded so easy. What's not to like about two days spent entirely in the pub? I was about to find out.... Day One 1/23: The Golden Hope, Sittingbourne - 8.19am I feel a little bad for The Golden Hope, because if people are expecting I’ll be able to give every single Spoons in Kent an in-depth review, then they are out of luck. The nature of this rather ludicrous quest means I am having to duck and dive in an attempt to reach the finish line, which I hope will be at around 8pm tomorrow night in Folkestone. This means that if I am to make my connecting train to the sun-kissed Isle of Sheppey then it’ll just be a quick pit-stop here in Sittingbourne. The pub itself is really quiet when I stride in purposefully shortly after 8am. Rhys Griffiths at The Golden Hope in Sittingbourne A couple of young lads are tucking into breakfast - another chap is sitting alone with a paper and a coffee. The high-ceilinged main bar is so sparsely populated that you really notice the lack of background music - a cost-saving feature of every Spoons venue. I ask the chirpy barmaid for a coffee to go - just £1.35 for unlimited refills - and head over to the self-serve machine. Opting for a cappuccino, I have a glance around the place while the machine whirrs into life and noisily dispenses my drink. Grabbing coffee at The Golden Hope in Sittingbourne The former police station and magistrates’ court has been sympathetically transformed for its present-day function, and I wouldn’t have been adverse to hanging about a little longer. But breakfast in Sheerness is calling, and it’s back to the station for the train across the bridge and onto the island. 2/23: The Belle and Lion, Sheerness - 9.09am Our train rolls into Sheerness-on-Sea station and I stroll out into the town a little disappointed that on this particular morning the sun does not seem to be shining on the Island. On the upside, however, my next stop is only a short walk away and I’ll be tucking into my breakfast in no time at all. As I will discover later in the day and tomorrow, proximity of pub to station will be a key factor in making this journey a success. I have committed to making the trip around the county by rail wherever possible, and I will be at the mercy of both the timetables and my own logistical prowess. Since the Sheerness to Sittingbourne shuttle runs every hour, and The Belle and Lion is so close to the station, I reckon this makes it the perfect spot to linger a little longer and get a cooked breakfast on board to fuel me for the many miles that lie ahead. Rhys Griffiths at The Belle and Lion in Sheerness The pub itself is in a relatively narrow high street unit, but stretches way back into a nice light and airy space with booths running down one side and windows onto the beer garden on the other. In Sittingbourne the locals seemed to be in for breakfast, but here in Sheerness - with the clock having chimed 9am - there are plenty of pints on the go and the place is certainly more buzzing than my previous stop. Sliding into a booth, I whip out my phone and get my order placed via the Spoons app. We are set to become quite well acquainted over the next couple of days. I plump for the ‘traditional’ breakfast - which the menu helpfully informs me comes in at 711 kcal - and an orange juice. Breakfast at The Belle and Lion in Sheerness Calorie counts are, I suppose, a useful addition for some, but as I will be living exclusively on Spoons food and drinks for a weekend I don’t think I’ll worry myself too much - nothing about this whole jaunt exactly screams ‘sensible’. My food arrives in no time at all. It’s a perfectly serviceable meal, maybe the bacon and toast could have been cooked a tad longer, but it’s fine and I clear the plate, ready to get back on the road. I’ve decided to swing north and west, hoping to tackle half the county and close to half the pubs today. Back to Sittingbourne I go. 3/23: The Railway, Rainham - 11.20am Growing up in Folkestone, we were - and still are - blessed with what must be one of the most spectacular Spoons in the county, if not the entire nation. As a result, I have always come to think of this pub chain as the one with the magnificent old buildings which have been rescued from dereliction and transformed into great temples of affordable drinking. So when I spy my next destination from the train window, I am left a little underwhelmed by my first impression. The Railway in Rainham is a perfectly handsome corner pub, but to my mind it just doesn’t scream ‘Wetherspoon’. However, as I am set to discover this weekend, when you have a chain encompassing hundreds of pubs in all corners of the land, your venues do tend to come in all shapes and sizes. The Railway in Rainham The Railway is a perfectly decent place to stop for a quick drink or a bite to eat before catching a train from the station. which is mere steps away. I've certainly been in far worse railway boozers. I opt for a swift half of the Whitstable Bay Blonde Lager, figuring I should at least start with a local drop, and settle in by the window with a view of the level crossing outside. I take great delight in witnessing in turn the delight of a young lad a few tables away who is bouncing up and down with joy every time a train pulls slowly into the station across the way. His mum tries to shush him when he reaches great peaks of excitement - ‘a train, a train’ he yelps to no one in particular - but I certainly don’t mind his spontaneous exclamations. Spoons is for everyone, and he appears to be having a wonderful time. I polish off my half and head back to the station. 4/23: The Thomas Waghorn, Chatham - 12.07pm By the time I reach Chatham the sun is out, and unseasonably warm, leaving the traffic cone atop the head of Thomas Waghorn’s statue silhouetted against a vivid blue sky. Carrying on down Railway Street, I’m soon at the door of the pub which also bears his name. By now it’s six hours or so since I left my front door in Folkestone and the scale of the task before me is gradually revealing itself. Thomas Waghorn points the way in Chatham An interesting challenge at The Thomas Waghorn in Chatham The Thomas Waghorn in Chatham A rhythm is being established - arrive in town, march to the pub, order a drink, and immediately look up when the next train is due to carry me onwards. I had visions of a leisurely weekend exploring the county and supping a few relaxing pints. The reality is shaping up to be altogether more gruelling. A half of Shipyard consumed, and it’s back up the hill to the station. 5/23: The Robert Pocock, Gravesend - 1.33pm Entering the Robert Pocock, my first thought is ‘this is a proper pub’. There’s a brilliant Saturday lunchtime buzz about the place, but any sense of optimism about this town centre boozer soon evaporates upon entry to the gents. What a state. Ramshackle and definitely in need of a refurbishment, that’s one thing, but there’s no excuse for the place to be so filthy. Spoons may be a chain - but of course the beating heart of every pub is its landlord and staff, and some run a tighter ship than others. Speaking of water-going vessels, I order another half of Shipyard and take a seat within earshot of a couple who could well be enjoying a first date. Reporter Rhys Griffiths at The Robert Pocock in Gravesend At The Robert Pocock in Gravesend She is regaling him, at quite some volume, with a rather convoluted anecdote about a night out which - from the fragments I can pick out - involved a missed train, a long walk and a lot of drink being taken. At least at these prices neither party will feel hard done by if this particular search for romance fizzles out. Dating can be an expensive game but at Spoons the unlucky in love will find their pain confined to the heart rather than the wallet. The Pocock is not the worst pub I've ever drunk in, very rough around the edges, but all the punters here seem pretty content with how their weekend is shaping up and I have places to be. Many, many places. 6/23: The Flying Boat, Dartford - 2.43pm From a ‘proper boozer’ to a ‘proper Spoons’ - The Flying Boat in Dartford is ticking all my boxes, and at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon is pretty much my idea of Wetherspoon perfection. For starters, it’s just a great building. A Grade II-listed former car showroom, the light and airy main room put me in mind of the incredibly grand iron-and-glass Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House, albeit on a rather smaller scale. My preference for a truly great Spoons to be housed in a characterful building will only grow stronger throughout the weekend - if your Spoons lacks the ‘wow’ factor then all you’re really left with is a run-of-the-mill pub selling incredibly cheap drinks. Fine, but nothing to write home about. So enamoured am I with the Flying Boat and its Saturday afternoon vibe, I decide this will be the place for a late lunch. The Flying Boat in Dartford Beer and a burger at The Flying Boat in Dartford Having had plenty of time at every stop to peruse the sprawling menu, I decide to opt for a new addition to the range - the 3oz American burger. It’s a decent enough bite - if not a little overdone for a man who likes his steaks bloody - and there’s certainly no complaining when the burger, chips and a can of Lagunitas IPA sets you back just £6.50 all in. Six pubs in, and a wave of contentment sweeps over me. After a couple of underwhelming visits I’ve come across a Spoons that can mix it with the very best. I’d have quite happily stayed for another, and not just because the next leg of my journey was set to be one of the longest of the whole weekend. 7/23: The Sennockian, Sevenoaks - 5.41pm I feel it is a good point in this odyssey to give a shout out to the Citymapper app, which was a constant companion over two days spent dashing hither and thither across the county. On arrival at each pub I’d fire up the Spoons app, order my drink, then turn to Citymapper to plot the most effective route between one venue and the next. The unfortunate news this time is that Dartford to Sevenoaks, thanks to the layout of the railway network, requires a rather lengthy trip into the heart of the capital, a change at London Bridge and then a train back out to Kent. On reflection, I probably should have packed a beer for this leg of the journey, which ended up taking - incredibly - around two-and-a-half hours door to door. Partially my own fault, because on being confronted with a standing-room-only train on platform seven at London Bridge, I decided to loiter a while longer in hope of a seat on a later departure. Which I got, on the slow-stopping service to Sevenoaks via all points in between. Just six pubs in, and with the late autumn sun now set, this was the moment where I first started to doubt the wisdom of this whole affair. I'd been awake for about 12 hours, my feet were starting to ache, and I felt like I was slipping behind schedule. Even more tiring than the physical travel were the constant mental gymnastics required to cross-reference timetables, walking distances and the time available for a drink at each stop. Heading deeper into west Kent, I also seemed to be heading further and further from my bed for the night, at the Spoons in the heart of Rochester. Our man looking increasingly dishevelled outside The Sennockian in Sevenoaks Sevenoaks, too posh for Spoons? Knowing the lie of the land in Sevenoaks, I jumped in a cab outside the station rather than endure the walk up hill into the town centre, which I feared could break my resolve altogether. Arriving at The Sennockian I was greeted with a pub that sadly failed to lift my spirits in any way. Perfectly fine, perfectly bland, perhaps this is why this particular Spoons is one earmarked for disposal by the chain? I downed my pint quickly before marching back down the hill to the station, idling only briefly to marvel at the Ferrari dealership on London Road. Sevenoaks, too posh for Spoons? 8/23: The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells - 7pm ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells? Well I was when I saw the toilets!’ It reads like the punchline to a particularly poor joke, and I’m afraid to say the cubicle I had the misfortune to poke my head in at The Opera House was certainly no laughing matter. The place was absolutely heaving as I walked into the frankly jaw-dropping surrounds of this former theatre. I was starting to realise that although Spoons trades on familiarity and bargain-basement prices, every pub in the chain really is unique. And unfortunately a tired and increasingly grumpy reporter, engaged in what was beginning to appear a very misguided day out, was never going to vibe with a tanked up group of 20-something ‘pub golfers’, decked out in fancy dress and shrieking at the top of their lungs. Inside The Opera House in Tunbridge Wells Outside the former theatre I need two things: a drink and somewhere to charge my phone. Tables, let alone one with access to a convenient plug socket, were in short supply, so I used the table number of a nearby group of lads to place my app order and I loitered uncomfortably close to the door of the women’s toilets at the only charging point I could locate. It’s fair to say I was starting to question the wisdom of some of the choices that led me to this point. Earlier I had fitted in seamlessly among the patrons of every Spoons I had set foot in. But as the day progressed I found the crowds growing drunker with each stop, and I was far from keeping pace. I knew I needed to at least knock off Tonbridge tonight, but I could feel my Wetherspoon hotel calling with increasing urgency. 9/23: The Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge - 7.59pm Such is my lack of enthusiasm on reaching Tonbridge, I just plonk myself down at the first clean and tidy table and order dinner. Again I opt to try something new from the recently refreshed menu, this time a chicken katsu curry, rice and a Singha beer - all for £9.25. I fire up the late Premier League game on my phone and wait for my drink to arrive. And wait a bit longer. And a bit longer. Eventually I collar a roving member of staff and politely ask if he could have a look to see if table nine’s order has been received. In The Humphrey Bean in Tonbridge Chicken katsu curry at The Humphrey Bean in Tonbridge Reporter Rhys Griffiths starting to flag somewhere between Tonbridge and Strood The lad was an absolute credit to the business - cheery and helpful, just the reaction I needed at the end of a long day. He hurried off, and just seconds later another colleague appeared over my shoulder carrying a cold beer. He then returned and greeted the sight of the suds before me with a look of resigned befuddlement, before scurrying off to assist another table. Organised chaos is probably the best way to describe things at the Humphrey Bean this evening. The katsu curry is not far behind, and like everything else I have eaten today it's fine. I find the snobbery often aimed at Spoons mystifying at times - no one is coming here to have the best burger, curry or fry-up of their lives, but if you want something affordable, filling and with the minimum of fuss then you can’t really go wrong. 10/23: The Golden Lion, Rochester - 10.25pm After the journey to Sevenoaks, I’m not making the same mistake on my way to Rochester, which includes almost an hour on the train between Tonbridge and Strood. I'm feeling increasingly glad that the day is drawing towards a close and I’m looking forward to my head hitting the pillow. Arriving at The Golden Lion I am confronted with a Spoons scene that appears unchanged since I first started trying to sneak past bouncers more than two decades ago. The place is absolutely rammed to the rafters with teenagers getting well stuck in to the bargain booze. I am well out of place at the bar - all I’m after at this point in the night is a room key rather than a tray of luridly-coloured shots. Rooms at The Golden Lion in Rochester The Golden Lion in Rochester My room is certainly impressive for the price - £89 booked just a couple of weeks in advance. The sleeping quarters are spacious, the modern-looking bathroom has both a walk-in shower and a separate bathtub, and there are all the accoutrements you would expect to find at a chain with a far fancier name above the door. More than content with my accommodation for the night, I slip downstairs for a night cap in the beer garden before retiring for some well-deserved rest. I’ve been travelling for some 16 hours - enough time to get me from home in Folkestone to California - and I’ve walked about nine miles. Ten pubs down, 13 still to go. Day Two 11/23: The Muggleton Inn, Maidstone - 8.08am There’s a definite spring in my step as I leave my digs in Rochester on Sunday morning. The deserted high street is looking positively Dickensian, with fog so thick the castle is almost entirely obscured as I cross the Medway headed to Strood station. I’m retracing my steps slightly - heading back along the Medway Valley line to Maidstone, where I will be able to tick off two of my targets in quick succession. On paper I am little more than 40% of the way, with one day done and another to go. Breakfast at The Muggleton Inn in Maidstone Breakfast at The Muggleton Inn gets the thumbs up But I’m confident the layout of the majority of east Kent’s Spoons pubs - dotted around the coast - means my route will be more efficient. Maidstone and Canterbury are also both home to a pair, so hopefully they’ll be rattled off in double-quick time. Having crossed the Medway for the final time on this voyage (I’m always happier on this side of the river) I dive into The Muggleton Inn shortly after opening time. Part of me thinks I should try something a bit different from the breakfast menu - pancakes, maple syrup and bacon, anyone? - but I fall back on yesterday’s breakfast, partly because I’m curious to compare the same dish from a different kitchen. Sorry Sheerness, but Maidstone comes out on top in the battle of the brekkie. Both the toast and bacon are done more to my liking, and all in all this is a very decent fry up at a very decent price. 12/23: The Society Rooms, Maidstone - 8.39am Barely five minutes walk away, just a stone’s throw from Maidstone East station, and I find myself in the much more modern surroundings of the County Town’s second Spoons, The Society Rooms. Inside The Society Rooms in Maidstone This place definitely appears to be geared up for more raucous evening drinking, but this morning the atmosphere is relatively subdued as numerous veterans, servicemen and women, and others gather for a coffee or a bite to eat ahead of the town’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations later in the morning. Having just eaten - and with only a few minutes before my train to Ashford - I enjoy a cup of coffee and toast the passing of the halfway mark of my journey. 13/23: The County Hotel, Ashford - 10.05am I am afraid to say my brief stop in Ashford leaves me with very little to report. Rhys at The County Hotel in Ashford The scene is quintessential Sunday morning Spoons. Extended families are enjoying breakfast, a few lads are getting started on the beers, the T20 cricket plays silently on the few TVs dotted about the place. I grab a soft drink, still seeing the value in a slow and steady approach to the day ahead, and soon enough I'm back out the door and dashing to make a train onwards to the cathedral city. 14/23: The West Gate Inn, Canterbury - 11.13am Sadly my time at The West Gate Inn is as truncated as yesterday’s brief stop in Sittingbourne, as I am intent on a buy-one-get-one-free deal in Canterbury. Stepping up to the bar - the app is not the one if you’re desperate to be in and out - I’m greeted by two members of staff who seem positively buzzing with energy for a Sunday morning and I order a coffee to go. Rhys Griffiths at The West Gate Inn in Canterbury I’m well and truly back on home territory in this part of the county, and plenty of the pubs I’ll be ticking off on day two of my adventure hold fond (and often hazy) memories for me. ‘Bottom’ Spoons in Canterbury has certainly been the scene of some youthful exuberance in the past, and I’m slightly sad not to be able to linger a bit longer. Instead I grab my drink at the self-serve machine and bolt for the door. 15/23: The Thomas Ingoldsby, Canterbury - 11.25am Marching up the high street towards The Thomas Ingoldsby, my phone goes off. “On your way to top Spoons?” It’s a WhatsApp from my step-mum, who has evidently spied me while I was marching purposefully towards pub number 15 on my now-rapidly diminishing list of remaining targets to tick off. She’s meeting friends for coffee with my dad, so my invitation for them to join me in ‘Top’ Spoons is politely declined. Well kept facilities at The Thomas Ingoldsby in Canterbury Instead I grab a stool at a tall table by the entrance to the Ingoldsby - where I sank a fortifying stiffener on the morning of my wedding day 10 years ago - and find the coffee I picked up at the West Gate is now the perfect temperature. Can you forgive me for splitting one drink between two stops? Needs must at this point I’m afraid, but it certainly feels like I am now well back on course to make it round all the remaining pubs on my list. I nip to the gents on my way out - definitely among the best kept of the weekend (take note Gravesend) - and then it’s off to the East station for my train to Faversham. 16/23: The Leading Light, Faversham - 12.38pm As our train pulls into what must be considered the spiritual home of Kent brewing, the conductor's voice comes crackling through the carriage speakers and speaks those three words sure to send a shiver down the spine of any regular rail traveller: “Rail. Replacement. Bus.” I’ve found getting about the county on Southeastern trains to be an absolute doddle; they have been regular and only on the rare occasion a handful of minutes late. It’s been great proof that, so long as you are going from town centre to town centre, it is very easy to let the train take the strain if you want to explore Kent from countryside to coast. But it is Sunday - and today the coastal line from Faversham to Thanet is getting some TLC from the folks at Network Rail, so buses it will have to be from here to Ramsgate. A quick check of my mapping app, and it appears the buses are pretty regular, so I decide The Leading Light shall be my first proper drink of the day. The Leading Light in Faversham Reporter Rhys Griffiths gets aboard the rail replacement bus Beer aficionados, look away now. I did check to see if any Sheps beers were on tap, but I was out of luck. So having marched down from the station (by this point in the journey I have realised ambling isn’t really an option) I opt for a fruity cider to quench my thirst, and I find a spot where I can also get some juice in my phone. The interior of the pub is quite something. A cavernous space over the bar is, for no obvious reason I can discern, decked out in what appear to be antique tapestries. Not that the decor seems to be detaining too many of the locals, many of whom are happily tucking into lunch, while others nurse pints. All in all a fine example of a Spoons, but one which shall not detain me any longer. I have a bus to catch. 17/23: The Peter Cushing, Whitstable - 2.16pm “Come and join us for a drink!” Mere seconds after taking a seat in The Peter Cushing, and I am being urged to join a group of excitable Essex girls who are down across the Thames estuary for a weekend away in Whitstable. Despite insisting I’m more than happy to pay my way, I’m soon furnished with a pint of Shipyard and being told all about their love of Spoons, which is very infectious indeed. One of the party tells me all about her 80-something mother who loves popping into her local when out shopping. Apparently it’s the sort of pub where she feels entirely comfortable dropping in for a bite to eat on her own. The Peter Cushing in Whitstable Our man making friends in Whitstable They also have a good think about other Spoons that I simply must try in future - Bury St Edmunds is their top tip, and I am more than happy to do my bit for Kentish tourism by enthusiastically singing the praises of my local Spoons in Folkestone. Their food arrives - everything from steak to pizza - and they seem very happy with both the quality and the price. Although I do hope they left room because a number of the oyster virgins among them have, with great trepidation, promised to sample the local favourite before they head home. There’s just time to ask one of the friendly bar staff to snap a picture for posterity, and then I must bid them farewell. Five very happy Wetherspoon customers indeed. 18/23: The Saxon Shore, Herne Bay - 3.40pm It’s a shame to depart Whitstable. We were having a fine old time of it and I would have happily stayed for a round or two more with my new-found Essex pals. And unfortunately I have to say the welcome does not feel quite as warm when I wander into The Saxon Shore on Herne Bay seafront. Quick disclaimer: I am not here to be mean about anyone’s beloved local Spoons, these reflections are based on very brief snapshots of a particular moment when I happened to drop by. The Saxon Shore in Herne Bay That said, Herne Bay’s offering does not encourage me to loiter any longer than necessary. It’s a pretty dark and dingy affair - not at all the vast, airy drinking palace that I long for in the perfect Spoons of my imagination. I bolt a half of Shipyard, tick number 18 from my list, and hot-foot it back to the station. 19/23: The Mechanical Elephant, Margate - 5.19pm Just as it was yesterday, the coming of the darkness of the November evening changes the mood dramatically. I arrive in Margate with a definite sense that I am beginning to flag a little. I had intended to have lunch in Whitstable, but found the company good enough reason to put it off. At the Mechanical Elephant in Margate I didn't fancy eating in Herne Bay, and the vibe in Margate is not exactly making me want to settle in for an extended stay. The many miles under my belt are starting to tell. So I opt for a quick drink in The Mechanical Elephant and promise myself dinner at my next stop, after which I will most definitely be on the home straight at last. 20/23: The Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate - 6.10pm The biggest Spoons in the country? Why sell the Royal Victoria Pavilion short, this is surely the biggest Spoons on Earth. A Grade II-listed former concert hall, nightclub and casino is a pub on a quite incredible scale. It also happens to be one of my favourites of the whole trip. Sunday evening finds it with just the right amount of buzz, but there's still plenty of room, naturally given its epic size, to find a table where you can feel a little bit of solitude. Scampi and chips at Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate Inside the massive Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate Having not eaten a thing since breakfast in Maidstone, I'm desperate to get some food inside me. As we're by the sea I go for scampi and chips and - despite the misgivings of our friends in the broadsheet press - it is everything I hoped for at this stage in my mammoth trek. And let the record show that I could happily stay for a second pint if the end was not so tantalisingly in sight. After a bus from the harbour to the station I'll be back on the rails - with just three pubs left to visit. 21/23: The Sir Norman Wisdom, Deal - 7.47pm Back on the rails, yes, but with an hourly service down the coast to Folkestone I also have a relatively leisurely stop at each of the intervening pubs. There have definitely been points during the weekend where I would have been happy for an extra half hour to relax and maybe partake of a second drink. Sunday evening at The Sir Norman Wisdom is not one of these times. The Sir Norman Wisdom in Deal Inside The Sir Norman Wisdom in Deal I believe in endurance sport it is often referred to as 'hitting the wall' - and I've done just that. The atmosphere in Deal is understandably a little flat, it being the final hours of the weekend, and it is having quite the soporific effect on your correspondent. I've attacked the challenge of 23 pubs in one weekend with enthusiasm, but that particular well is beginning to run dry and I'm starting to fantasise about ringing a cab and calling it a day. I step into the cool of the beer garden hoping the fresh air will blast me back into life. I down my drink, and I head for Dover. 22/23: The Eight Bells, Dover - 9.07pm It feels a little like I've intruded on a private gathering when I walk into The Eight Bells. The place appears almost deserted and the staff are having what appears to be a great time putting up Christmas decorations. The Christmas tree going up at The Eight Bells in Dover This being a pub I am quite familiar with, I don't feel the need to poke my nose about too much. In truth my mind is already elsewhere - I'm almost home. 23/23: The Samuel Peto, Folkestone - 10.05pm I take a cab from the station to The Samuel Peto because by this time of night, after another long day on the road, I simply can't face the prospect of walking it. But I bound up the stairs and through the doors. Never has a pint tasted so sweet. Reporter Rhys Griffiths celebrates the end of his quest at The Samuel Peto in Folkestone Explaining to the barman that I've visited every Spoons in the county in one weekend, I'm met with a look that seems to mix two parts bafflement with one part pity. I don't care a jot. I've spent about 32 hours on the move, I've walked more than 20 miles, taking more than 47,000 steps. I've achieved what I set out to achieve, and am delighted it's over. Spoons get a bad rap from time to time, and I get it. Not every pub I visited was great, and some I'll actively avoid in the future. If you're looking for a high-end meal, go somewhere else, for heaven's sake. But if you want a pub on just about any high street in the land where you can get a keenly priced pint and a no-nonsense bite to eat, then Spoons has got you covered. The pub is a great British institution - and it is seemingly always under threat. Some may argue a behemoth like JD Wetherspoon is partly to blame, with its scale and cut-throat pricing. But in 2022 Spoons remains akin to the nation's living room. A weekend spent solely in these pubs showed me that they really are for everyone, a place where all kinds can rub along together. And in an increasingly atomised age, that's something I'll happily raise a glass to. Cheers!

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    Competitors of Citymapper include Ualabee and 8 more.

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TRAFI is multi-platform and available on Android, iOS and Web using real time data to help users find the best possible way to commute from door to door either by public transport, taxi, cycling or even walking.

Inrix Logo

INRIX is an international provider of real-time traffic information and connected driver services in the car, online and on mobile devices. The company combines real-time data from traditional sensors, a crowd-sourced network of over 4 million GPS-enabled vehicles, its historical traffic speeds database, and hundreds of other traffic impacting factors like accidents, construction, and other local variables. With this data, Inrix aims to offer quality data and broad coverage for personal navigation, mapping, telematics, and other location-based service applications in the car, online, and on mobile devices. Inrix's services are used by transportation agencies, consultants, integrators, and academic institutions who use INRIX data to improve operations, planning, and performance measurement for their road networks. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Kirkland, Washington.

Transit Logo

Transit App is a Canadian mobile app designed for aggregating and mapping real-time public transit data, functional in metropolitan areas.

Save A Train Logo
Save A Train

Save A Train is an online booking platform for travel via train. The company provides rail solutions to B2B partners. It was founded in 2016 and is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Wanderio Logo

Wanderio provides users with a solution to compare, combine, plan, and book flights, trains, public transport, and private transfers. Users can enter a starting address, destination and date of travel; compare end-to-end routes combining flights, trains, transfers and public transport; and book them with suppliers featured on the platform.

Optibus Logo

Optibus is an end-to-end, cloud-native solution for transportation planning, scheduling, rostering, and operations that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and optimization algorithms. Transportation agencies and operators in 1,000 cities worldwide trust Optibus to increase efficiency and service quality, promote transportation equity, reduce emissions and costs, and modernize their operations. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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