MORE than 800 ale lovers joined the Wirral Real Ale Trail as it travelled from New Brighton to Thornton Hough for a third year.

Booze was flowing as revellers sampled some of the finest independent Ales the UK has to offer across 10 venues in the region.

There were up to 50 real ales supplied by micro-breweries and those who attended travelled from as far as Birmingham and Shewsbury.

Heswall's Harvest Mouse, Devon Doorway and Good Beer Guide and Good Pub Guide 2017 winner Thornton Hough’s Red Fox were all added to the route this year.

Organiser Shelly Barratt said: “The festival is so much fun, it’s gone from strength to strength and the numbers are increasing year on year.

“To have 800 people take part, all of whom are spending their money in local pubs and supporting the economy in Wirral, is a real bonus.”

Shelly’s Ale Trail success has even spilled over into competition, with North Wales Tourism awarding the festival the title of 'Magnificent Crowd Puller'.

She added: “That was a coup for us and we were so thrilled to receive the award because more important than anything is that the people who join us have a fantastic time and make wonderful memories.” 

“It’s also had a knock-on effect for small business, with pubs in North Wales and beyond looking to experiment with cask pumps and using more and more local foods and drink suppliers.”

“We have a great mix of men and women of all ages, the world of real ale has changed and it’s now much more accessible to all.

"The skill of the event is purely down to the transport and the bus drivers involved, people don’t want to wait for bus ever and Helms Coaches are the best to work with so we had great transport links thanks to their management of time and patience."

Landlord of the Red Fox in Thornton Hough David Green was celebrating the pub’s first inclusion in the trail, he said: "It was well organised and gave new customers the chance to see us and other great pubs on our famous peninsula.”