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Man completes challenge to visit every pub in Norfolk - and reveals his favourite

PUBLISHED: 15:12 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:30 30 April 2018

David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk.
The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk. The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

It has taken 11 years and more than 1,000 pints for a man from Taverham to complete the ultimate Norfolk pub crawl.

David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk.
The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk. The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

As Dave Upton, a 43-year-old PE teacher, finished his pint in the Hop In, in North Walsham on Saturday, it marked the end to a journey that has seen him visit every single one of Norfolk’s 1,000 pubs and bars.

“Now I’ve finished I have mixed feelings about it. I’m pleased I’ve done it but I’m disappointed I won’t have any more pubs to go to,” he said.

“I’ve been asked if I’ll try other areas now but it would involve too much travelling. However, if any new ones open up in Norfolk I will be there.”

The idea for Mr Upton’s remarkable achievement began over a pint while on a night out with friend Phil Hardy. The pair started talking about pubs in Norwich and this soon evolved into the idea of having a pint at every bar and pub in the city.

David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk.
The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018David Upton enjoys his final pint at the end of his challenge to drink in every pub in Norfolk. The final pint was pulled at The Hop In, North Walsham. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Three years later the pair finished the challenge but Mr Upton thought why not do every pub in the county.

“I have a complete list of the pubs thanks to a website called Norfolk Pub Listings. It has all the pubs and it is a really comprehensive guide,” he said.

“I was also speaking to people in the area to check which pubs were still open and if any new ones had opened up.

“My family quite enjoyed it; I have done the last 50 or so on my own but before that we all went for family days out.”

The adventure was not just about drinking, it also taught him a great deal about the pub industry and the difficulties that many of Norfolk’s landlords are facing.

“I learnt how hard of a trade it is, particularly at the moment. They have so many things going against them and speaking to landlords they told me about how extortionate the rents can be, as well as the high price of beer.

“You also have supermarkets opening up which don’t help as they sell cheap beer, and chains like Wetherspoons are opening up in bulk. It is a really hard trade to survive in, particularly if you aren’t serving food.”

He added that out of the 1,000 pubs he visited, it is the one that he had a personal connection to that was his favourite.

“I really like The Trafford Arms, it is one I’d go to in my early 20s and the first pub I started and going to. It is a good pub and has a good atmosphere.”

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