THIS week I wish to highlight and relay to you, a contrasting experience I had last week, when visiting a couple of local pubs, on the outskirts of Burnley, with my loyal labrador, Lucy.

The two pubs in question were the Craven Heifer and the Commercial Inn. Both hostelries are located in the Harle Syke area of Burnley but have opposing policies on the presence of your pooch.

The Craven Heifer was our first beery destination. It had four days previously, been taken over by new tenants. And I was curious to know if the beer quality had improved from my visit last year.

Both me and Lucy were given a very warm welcome by staff member, Michaela and an elderly gentleman at the bar, started making a fuss over Lucy. Michaela also gave Lucy preferential pooch treatment as she got watered before I did!

There were two Worsthorne ales on offer. The brewery is situated just a few hundred yards away. I plumped for Some like it Blonde, a clean, refreshing, citrusy, session ale. It was in fine condition, and went down a treat.

Lucy, meanwhile, had sprawled herself out in front of the bar. Totally oblivious to the friendly chit-chat within close proximity.

So, that was a prompt to sample a half pint of the other Worsthorne brew, namely, Craven Clarets. A beer specially named for the pub. Again, it was in very good condition. Malty, citrusy and floral, with a light bitterness.

A very enjoyable visit at the Craven Heifer. Top marks too from Lucy. A very canine friendly destination.

Then we made the short trek to the Commercial Inn, one of very few Hydes’ pubs in the area.

Our last visit here was back in September of last year. The beer was in exceptional condition and Lucy enjoyed meeting a few of the friendly patrons.

The pub also had a new mine host. However, it wasn’t the welcome we had expected, as we entered and approached the bar.

“Sorry, we don’t allow dogs in the pub.” Flippin’ heck, a no-dogs policy!

The young lady behind the bar did politely inform us we could go into the beer garden. At least the sun was shining.

I ordered a pint of Hyde’s Best Bitter. a beer in good condition. And then we both scuttled off to the designated area outside. It was a nice,spacious, sun-drenched area it has to be said and we found a corner of quiet repose.

Okay, new landlord, new policy. That’s fair enough I suppose - and the policy has to be respected. However, personally I’m still disappointed that two pubs so close to each other, could differ so much in their policy on dogs. Lucy expressed her dismay too. She said it was woof justice!