A SWINDON couple was the first to complete the special Arkell's 180th Anniversary Ale Trail.

The trail, launched earlier this year to commemorate the brewery's rich heritage and 180 years of brewing, has attracted over 200 followers, not just locally but from a range of places across the nation including Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. 

This trail takes beer enthusiasts or pub lovers on an adventure around Arkell’s pubs, bars, and taverns serving a range of Arkell's brews. 

Beer enthusiasts can use the Cask Marque’s CaskFinder App to find participating venues, with prize points at 10, 20, 30, 50 and 75 scans.

Although not every pub needs to be visited to earn a prize, Peter and Anne Hanscomb, from Swindon, have gone one step further and completed them all.

The adventure, through Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, has seen them visit each of the 83 designated locations on the trail.

They have emerged as the first couple to complete the challenge in just three months.

Anne explained why the pair took on the challenge. 

“I am training for The Thames Path Ultra Challenge in September so as part of my training plan I attempted to walk to most of the pubs, although I did have to be a little more creative with some of the further ones and drive so far then walk to the pub, and back to the car, but it all helped," she said.

"Thanks to Arkell’s I even managed to get my husband to join me on some of the training walks as it involved a pint of ale for him!”

As the first couple to conquer the Arkell's 180th Anniversary Ale Trail, Peter and Anne have claimed a multitude of prizes so far and have now earned a private brewery tour led by Arkell's master brewer, Alex Arkell.

In addition, they are the only ale trailers to be presented with a commemorative certificate to mark their achievement as the first to visit all 83 sites.

"We are delighted to welcome Peter and Anne to the final Arkell’s pub of their journey, the newly opened The Village Inn in Liddington, to congratulate them on this fantastic accomplishment," said George Arkell, managing director of Arkell's Brewery.

"Their commitment to visit all of our pubs and passion for our beers is truly flattering."

Alex Arkell, sixth-generation of the Arkell family added: “We want people to venture out of their comfort zone, show support and rediscover the charm of authentic pubs just like The Village Inn.” 

For further information about Arkell's Brewery and its diverse range of craft beers and pubs, please visit www.arkells.com.