A little about us

7 Trails Running Twice a Year with Hundreds of Ales to Explore

The Real Ale Trails have been a phenomenal success. The Real Ale Trail Co started in Flintshire in 2010 with a small event run twice a year to bring new people to the out of the way rural pubs and the idea worked. Since then we have continued to grow and take The Real Ale Trail’s tried and tested methods to other areas.  More Pubs, more buses and a load more unique ales have been acquired each year to meet the increased demand of people wishing to partake in the bus based Real Ale Trail.

“People come from all over the UK and even overseas to be part of the Ale Trail so this should be an exciting new twist for them.”


Shelly Barratt from North Wales began organising the trails as a tourism initiative and the answer to stop the closure of an alarming number of rural pubs closing across Wales. These pubs, usually ran by a man and wife team were struggling to attract people to their rural location (some pubs situated in a a field in the middle of nowhere). A group of Flintshire pubs wanting to buck the trend reached out for marketing help and boom, this is when the magic happened, the Real Ale Trail was born. The first event was in 2010, it was blighted by the good old welsh weather, but even so the event was support by 240 more people than a normal Saturday night.  The first Trail didn’t event cover its costs, but even so it brought 240 extra people to these quiet pubs and was deemed a success. Since then events have been widely supported and we carry up to 1200 people at each event.  People travel from all to join us as each event is different they are never the same there are always different ales, different pubs and new people,  and with a boom in microbreweries and the production of independent ales, every event is different.


**5 stars** Ann Egan reviewed Real Ale Trail 7 May 2027.

What a brilliant day. Never been on an ale trail before but will definitely be an annual event for us and our friends! Majority of the pubs really went to great effort with ales, music/bands/djs and food etc. Well done to all involved in making this event so fantastic!”

**5 stars **Deano Gene Wales.

Such a brilliant night out! The bus journeys were always funny, full of singing and laughter and happy faces. One guy lost his left shoe on one journey and begged for help, he received a rendition of the Hokey Cokey and reclaimed his shoe a few minutes after. Some really good ales on offer too, plus the old faithfulls such as Hobgoblin and ‘Old Speckled Hen.’ Definitely returning for the next one!”

**5 stars** Ryan Davidson

“Had a brilliant time. There was a great atmosphere on all of the buses, with no waiting around. The bus would turn up outside the bus, finish pints, jump on and on to the next pub, chatting and singing along the way. Will definitely be going to the next one!”


Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable day out with friends, the ale trail has a direct impact on tourism and the local economy.

Each year the Real Ale Trail transports thousands of people straight to the doors of small country pubs and brings over £300,000 to each counties rural economy.

The rural pubs all gear up for this small ale festival. They employ more bar tenders, cooks, cleaners and the list can go on. More than 70 people in either a full time or part time capacity now work the festival in some form or another. Indirectly, the Real Ale Trails support the employment of local people through the purchase of supplies too, think micro brewery, bus companies, designers, printers, hotels, taxis…everyone gets a lift from the event!

Got a suggestion for a new Trail?

Are you a pub or a brewery who would like to start or join a Real Ale Trail? Well we’d love to hear from you! We are always looking to vary and extend our ale trails. Get in touch via the form below.