It’s that time of year again when we look for the signs of an approaching spring. Most are subtle. The cluster of snowdrops, the peak of daffodils in the park and that sunset sneaking past 5 o’clock. And then there’s the Guinness 6 Nations Rugby. 6 weeks of scrums, mauls and rucks that reach its grand finale on the very last weekend of winter.
The tournament began on the first weekend of February with its closest results in decades. England lost to a grinding Scotland win at Twickenham. France built a substantial lead early in the match, followed by the most impressive Italian performance in years, with France squeaking past the final moments of the game. Only Ireland stamped their claim as tournament favourites, with a resounding triumph over Wales in Cardiff. This year is set to be the most dramatic for years, with the wind in Scotland’s sails and renewed belief in the Italian Azzuri, to challenge remaining pack.
You’ll find a list of all coming fixtures on the link here.
Rugby is a sociable game and best enjoyed with company. Like our previous guide to the 2022 World Cup, we’ve picked out 5 venues showing the rugby and worth making the trip for. Like before, these aren’t live sport venues, but the sort of pubs you’ll want to visit again as you plan your spring and summer around Linmere.
The Cross Keys Totternhoe
Castle Hill Road, Totternhoe
6.5 Miles / 11 minutes’ drive from the Farmstead
This is a traditional village pub, sited in a Grade II listed building. We spoke to the team to confirm they’ll be showing the England games at least. This is a well-located roadside venue, with a decent food menu and ideally placed for ventures into the Chilterns and Buckinghamshire border.
The Globe Inn Leighton Buzzard
Globe Lane, Leighton Buzzard
13 Miles / 22 minutes’ drive from the Farmstead
This Greene King pub is situated on the Grand Union Canal, close to Linslade, with a very generous food menu and a wide range of beer, wine, and soft drinks. When we spoke to the team, like the Cross Keys, this is a pleasant venue showing the rugby and not a live sports pub. Therefore, expect something very comfortable and relaxing to enjoy the matches.
The Red Lion Studham
Church Road, Studham, Dunstable
7 Miles / 18 minutes’ drive from the Farmstead
Delightfully situated on Studham common, close to Whipsnade, this small countryside pub will be showing all the 6 Nations games, with a good collection of beers and traditional pub food. A follow-up trip to the tranquil common in the summer is a must.
The Wheatsheaf Harpenden
High Street, Harpenden
13 Miles / 19 minutes’ drive from the Farmstead
Harpenden is a rugby town, with 3 of the current England rugby squad formerly pupils at the local school, including the current England captain. The Wheatsheaf is a dedicated live sport venue, with an energetic atmosphere, friendly crowd and a speedily served food menu. With the George and Harpenden Arms, also showing the games across the road, you’ll have plenty of choice if you’re looking for more space.
The Boot St Albans
Market Place, St Albans
15 Miles / 25 minutes’ drive from the Farmstead
If you’re prepared to make the trip, The Boot in St Albans is rare gem. The inn dates back nearly 600 years, situated next to a clock tower that’s even older. The site witnessed the official start of the War of the Roses in 1455, making it a perfect setting to watch the home nations in battle, albeit with a rugby ball, not swords and spears.
This is an intimate and traditional venue, frequently packed with locals and visitors alike. A good food menu is on offer, and we advise you arrive early if you want to get anything ordered before the games. Parking spaces are available in the Maltings and St Christopher Place car parks, both located close to Market Square.
Linmere is designed to be a place for communities that embraces the natural environment, and where all generations can enjoy a great quality of life. This exciting new collection of leafy and walkable neighbourhoods, situated north of Houghton Regis Bedfordshire, located close to M1 Junction 11a. Nestled into verdant surroundings, its first homes completed and inhabited in 2021. The Land Trust will maintain and preserve these spaces on behalf of Houghton Regis Management Company.