Pubgoer who visited every Red Lion celebrates opening at Blackpool Tower

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Roaring success: Cathy Price celebrates latest Red Lion pub opening
Roaring success: Cathy Price celebrates latest Red Lion pub opening
A woman who has travelled 90,000 miles to visit every Red Lion pub in Britain – 656 of them in total – has helped to celebrate the opening of the Red Lion pub at The Blackpool Tower.

Cathy Price, 59, from Walton-le-Dale near Preston, Lancashire, has spent four years on her journey while visiting all the Red Lion pubs in the country. 

The Blackpool Tower’s Red Lion, found on the ground floor next to The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, has opened and has even named a guest cask ale after Cathy, called The Red Lioness.

The newly refurbished Victorian tavern is decorated like a traditional pub of the era, including period-themed bar staff, beer tankards and wall decorations 

The pub will offer locally brewed ale that will be rotated on a monthly basis.

Price said: “It’s fantastic news that The Blackpool Tower has opened a Red Lion pub. It is great to have one so close to home.

“And to have a beer named after me too is just amazing. This is a first. I’ll be telling all my friends that they need to swing by and have a drink here."

Short supply

She continued: “We’re in short supply of great pubs to visit in the UK so it’s fantastic for The Blackpool Tower to be joining the cause.”

Price, who was named Beer Drinker of The Year in 2016 by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, even received a letter from David Cameron congratulating her on raising the profile of the importance of the British pub.

“When I set off in 2011, there were 720 Red Lions but, when I finished, there were 656 and more have closed since,” she said. 

Historic importance

“Around 100 Red Lions have closed and on average 25 pubs a week close in Britain at the moment, which is really sad. They are so important.

“So it’s really good news to see a new one is opening in a traditional way. There is a lot of history of Red Lions.

“They’re very important to British history and were used mainly as coaching houses while many major roads, villages and towns were being built.”

Kenny Mew, general manager at The Blackpool Tower, said: “There used to be a Red Lion in The Blackpool Tower many years ago and we decided to bring it back, because they are so important to British heritage.

“It is family friendly and somewhere to relax while enjoying our attractions, which include The Blackpool Tower Eye, Ballroom, Circus, Dungeon, Jungle Jim’s and brand new Dino Golf."

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