Friday, 16 September 2011

Sun Inn, Windy Street, Chipping

I recently went for a cycle ride into the Ribble Valley, but as soon as I hit Chipping,  and the Sun Inn, I knew my ride could well be over after just a few measly miles.
I stood outside gazing as families, friends and locals ambled in for a pint and a spot of Sunday dinner, realising their afternoon’s plans were infinitely more appealing than mine.
I would like to say it was willpower alone which kept me away, but in reality I realised there probably would not be many buses to get me home again on a Sunday.
So, with a vow to return, I ploughed on into the countryside where I soon faced the same dilemma at the next village pub.
Ignoring the fact they ruin a good Sunday cycle ride, it is great there are still so many appealing country pubs close to Preston and their survival depends on cyclists and walkers stopping off for a drink or ending their outing with a meal.
But the Sun Inn has an ace up its sleeve which no other pub can boast –a ghost called Lizzie Dean!
Legend has that in the 19th century Lizzie, who was a scullery maid was tricked into bed by a young rogue on the promise of marriage.
With the deed done, he then married her best friend which prompted Lizzie to hang herself in the attic of the pub.
She is said to have left a suicide note requesting she be buried at the front of the church so her lover and best friend must walk past every time they go to church.
Lizzie’s ‘presence’ at the pub has attracted ghost hunters and groups from far and wide, generating lots of welcome publicity in the pub.
They have even gone as far as naming a dining room after her, making a virtue of her, well loss of virtue.
For those not taken with ghosts there are traditional pub games, books to borrow and lots of real ale and hearty looking meals, there is plenty to recommend the Sun Inn.
On the Sunday afternoon we visited, it was so busy there were no seats left and we found ourselves in the yard at the back.
But with a nice pint of Black Sheep and no bicycle to drag me away, I was set for the afternoon.

*Congratulations to all the pubs which have been named in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, including the Running Pump in Catforth.
The Saddle Inn, in Sidgreaves Lane, Lea, Preston, has also been named the UK’s Best Family Pub, in the Great British Pub Awards – a fantastic achievement.

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