British woman travels 100,000 miles to visit all 657 Red Lion pubs in Britain

When Cathy Price saw a plaque which read, "Red Lion is the most popular pub name in Britain", she joked with a friend she would visit every one.

Four years later the nomadic pub-goer, 59, had travelled more than 100,000 miles to have a beer at a staggering 657 pubs bearing the popular name.

The defiant traveller has even visited Red Lion pubs in France, Dubai and the USA and wrote a book about her incredible journey.

Cathy’s unbelievable trip, which started in 2011, has seen the mother-of-one take friends and family along with her to tick off each location.

She said: "I remember seeing the plaque and thinking ‘they must be everywhere!’.

"My friends thought I was joking but I decided to start the trip and never looked back.

"I travelled over 100,000 miles and it took many tanks of petrol but I managed to complete every one in Britain."

Cathy, from Preston, Lancs., said she started to be recognised on her journey and many landlords would give her interesting facts about their pub as she completed the tour.

At every pub, she had a half a pint of ale, a cup of coffee or a soft drink.

She added: "People would come up to me and say ‘you’re the Red Lion woman aren’t you!’

"Everybody was very sociable and talked to me, I made many memories and found out facts about places I wouldn’t have otherwise visited."

Cathy, a personal trainer, was named beer drinker of the year in 2016 by an all-party Parliamentary beer group in recognition, and has also written her own book.

Throughout her journey, Cathy also made trips abroad to visit Red Lion pubs her friends and family had found.

She said: "My mum found one in New York which is a place I love, so I just had to go.

"I have been to Dubai, Rhodes and to pubs in France too which have been sent to me, I just have to go visit them.

"Towards the end of my trip around Britain, I discovered a few which I might have missed and I had to drive an 800 mile round trip to tick off those.

"I had to complete the list."

Cathy completed her challenge in 2015 at The Red Lion in Northmoor, Oxfordshire.

Unfortunately, 25 of the pubs Cathy visited have since closed.

She added: "Another couple contacted me a few years ago to tell me they had read my book and were going to copy my journey which I thought was great.

"Unfortunately there were only 632 Red Lion pubs left when they completed their own trip.

"I think it is sad when they close down as they lose a lot of their history if they are renamed.

"The best of the pubs were the quirky smaller ones and it would be a shame to see more close."

Cathy couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add another pub to her collection after a new Victorian-themed pub opened within the historic Blackpool Tower Dungeon.

The pub even named a guest ale after her – The Red Lioness – and Cathy has vowed to continue her journey wherever new pubs will open.

She said: "To have a beer named after me is just amazing.

"This is a first. I’ll be telling all my friends that they need to swing by and have a drink here.

"We’re in short supply of great pubs to visit in the UK so it’s fantastic for the Tower to be joining the cause."

Kenny Mew, general manager at the Tower, said: "There used to be a Red Lion in The Blackpool Tower many years ago and we decided to bring it back, because they are so important to British heritage.

"Cathy has been our guest of honour and we are thrilled to name our new craft ale after a local lady who has been on an incredible journey."

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