‘Hooky’ beer is famous around the world, but its edge-of-Cotswolds village boasts a cocktail of intriguing stories and sights. Sean Callery offers a 90-minute walking tour at 11am on Wednesdays of this beautiful and fascinating village with many surprising sights and stories. Why not pop into the cafe for a pre-tour refresher? The tour finishes at the Brewery where you can enjoy lunch and complete your day with a tour of the Brewery itself. Here’s an offbeat alphabet-themed summary:
Discover Hooky’s ‘Three Ps’
● Pyramids: the spectacular towers that carried the railway to Hooky were called the ‘Oxfordshire pyramids’. But the trains mostly carried powder, not people.
● Pals: Henry VIII was so annoyed with one ex-drinking mate that he came to Hooky to tell him off. Other groups of pals sharpened their arrows on the church porch.
● Pioneers: take your pick from religious dissidents, new treatments for mental illness (you had to be mad to come to Hooky at one time) or saving the environment.
Learn about Hooky’s ‘Three Cs’
● Caracoles: unusual space-saving ways to fit staircases
● Constables: stories of one who found a great excuse to do nothing, plus the stream that stopped the chase
● Proof that Hooky once sat under the sea (OK we cheated that one).
Return to the Brewery for one of Hooky’s ‘Three Bs’
● Beer: once much safer than the water!
● Bread: local crops and milling.
● Bacon: the greased pig and the lady in a hat who ended a local tradition…
The tour also takes in Scotland, paradise and a period when Hooky’s green fields were dug out and sent to Wales.
If Sean isn’t available, the tour will be led by Tabby Lucas, a fellow Blue Badge guide who also lives in the village.
Sean Callery lives in the village and is the author of The Story of Hook Norton and Offbeat Cotswolds, a quirky guide to the area. He’s a qualified Blue Badge tourist guide. You can find out more about Sean and his other walking tours on Offbeat Cotswolds.