Wellington Arms celebrates CAMRA Pub of the Year award

Liz Blackford-Sutton, landlady of the award-winning Welllington Arms in Bedford
Liz Blackford-Sutton, landlady of the award-winning Welllington Arms in Bedford

The landlady and staff at one of Bedford’s most popular pubs are celebrating the presentation of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) award for North Bedfordshire pub of the year.

CAMRA representatives visited The Wellington Arms on Thursday 23 March to present the award to Liz Blackford-Sutton and her team.

The pub had previously won the title consecutively between 2001 and 2005, in 2008 and in 2010. In 2017 CAMRA gave the pub a special award for consistently promoting real ale.

“It’s great to be recognised for this award,” Liz told the Bedford Independent.

”And even though real ale is a big part of our lives, our pub is much more than just real ale and I hope this raises our profile as a great pub and encourages new customers through the door.”

The pub has recently undergone a mini-refurbishment – nothing too drastic, so no need to worry, Welly fans – but the replacement of the old bar means they now have more space to offer a wider range of products.


As well as the plethora of beers, ales, ciders and soft drinks on offer, The Welly also puts on regular entertainment including live music, DJs and specialist ‘pop up’ food nights.

“We run really popular Northern Soul events and our next one is a St George’s Day celebration on 23 April, with Crown and Heel Burgers serving their incredible burgers,” said Liz.

“And on 27 May we’ve got Tom Carradine for a Cockney sing-a-long. The last time he was here it was just glorious – a proper knees up in a proper boozer.”

Landlady Liz and her team behind the bar at the award-winning Wellington Arms pub in Bedford
Liz (far left) and her team following the presentation of the North Beds CAMRA Pub of the Year award (image: North Beds CAMRA)

This July, Liz is planning a beer festival to commemorate the defeat of the French by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

“It’s a great excuse to honour the namesake of the pub and bring in some interesting continental beers and we’ll also have a selection from America too.”

Asked about her plans for the future, Liz said: ”We just want people to come to the pub and just have a bloody lovely time.”

We’ll raise a glass to that.

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