There’s 4,522 pubs in the Beer Guide to visit, and they all have a story to tell, except the Ember Inns of course.

Sometimes it’s the cheery landlord, often it’s the bizarre regulars, and occasionally it’s the sheer hard work needed to make a  visit.

I have mixed feelings that the Old Forge is out of the Guide at the moment; a pub only accessible by ferry or a giant trek would have something for Mrs RM to plan for months.  I’m sure that Pubmeister has this one safely in the bag.

Obviously some pubs require a journey that can’t be done in a weekend – the Highland and Islands and Croydon spring to mind.  But it’s the places with weird opening hours that are bound to frustrate us most.  That and giant walls;


I was reassured that my failure to conquer Saltburn Cricket Club wasn’t down to abject laziness on my part when I realised BRAPA hadn’t either, and Simon lives an hour way (assuming his father drives at 77mph along the A19).

We’ve been to Saltburn a couple of times; it’s a classic low-key resort with this exciting toboggan ride (Summer only).

Image result for saltburn

Our boys were equally impressed with the steam train and tat shops; I don’t recall their disappointment that the GBG entry was closed during their visits.  8pm opening on Saturday – that’s just weird.  Many micros are tucked up in bed by then.

For some years I’ve been ticking off the other North Yorkshire coast entries (Cleveland to normal people) around Saltburn, leaving the Cricket Club entry to laugh at the big hole in my page of pink marker pen.

But now it’s done.  A short hop from the frankly scary Middlesbrough station accompanied by some very drunk folk seemingly on their way to Redcar’s Ember Inn, shouting “Lisa give us a wave” down the phone the whole journey. Dump him, Lisa.


Simon had no problem getting in last Sunday; I actually walked round that fence in the dark for ten minutes, contemplating a Victoria Park style clamber.  Luckily the internet returned in time to recover the WhatPub page with proper directions.

If you’ve ever been in a sports club before, you’ll know what Saltburn CC looks like.  For better or worse, I caught it on the last night of a small but “awesomely curated” beer festival.


It really was.  Three Brothers, Geeves, Bridestone and a small microbrewery called Jennings who are so craft they hand-write their own pumpclips.

All the beers were £3.05 (cheaper for members) so I went for the first of those, a silky Stout served from a squeaky handpump into a lined glass (NBSS 3.5).

But you don’t make epic journeys like this for beer. The company was superb, a constrant stream of laughter from both sides of the bar. No TV to disrupt the chat, and the noise of a competitive pool match dominated.

Did you used to come here” –  “I did, but I never got in”

Lovely people, who thanked me for coming and drinking their beer.

With 25 minutes till the return journey, I had the choice of a pre-emptive tick in a new micro, or a walk round the promenade in the dark.

I clearly made the right decision, though stumbling across the bizarre statue of a local dignitary in the dark made me question it.

Not a soul about, but plenty of Middlesbrough’s middle classes in the smart bistros in the pleasant Victorian terraces.  A pleasant small seaside resort, the St Annes of the North-East perhaps (awaits arguments).

I expect I’ll be back in Saltburn for the micro, if not to finally see the Victoria’s famous parrot,but for now, job done.


  1. There’s a slight difference in the terrain between Saltburn and St Annes! Never been in a pub there, but I thought its location was pretty spectacular.


    1. The coast just beyond Saltburn is impressive, but the little resort itself is tiny with few hotels. Very much day trip land.

      And the dunes at St Annes look impressive if you come from the Fens !


  2. Great mini beer festival. Saw some cricket there when doing it. The Old Forge at Inverie isn’t really as remote as some, it’s just that ferry is the only vehicular access. There is one dead end road over there used by a few (untaxed) vehicles. Otherwise it’s something like a 15 mile walk (nothing to you). When I went it had one Glenfinnan beer on, in poor condition. Hasn’t featured in Guide since. Fine trip to do though.


    1. What’s more remote Duncan – let’s have a blog on it !

      The Bounty in Cookham is quite fun in the dark and mud.

      NB Worth reading locals comments about the Old Forge on Trip Advisor.


  3. Just looked at the comments! Very marmite.

    Suppose it depends on what remote means. Old Forge is certainly most distant from an accessible road. Bounty is a good one. My most remote tick would be the Kettletoft Hotel on Sanday, second most northerly of the Orkney Islands and an ex GBG entry. One ferry a day from Kirkwall so minimally a 3 day trip. Sanday is a glorious island. Other ex GBG that spring to mind are the Baltasound Hotel on Unst and the Westford Inn, North Uist. Also loved walking across at low tide to the ancient Pilchard Inn, Burgh Island, Devon. You are right- this topic would make a great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Used to be accessible, I know/knew a couple of people who managed to get in. The brewpub on the Falklands has a perverse attraction as welll.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Duncan, I’ve just been looking at Sanday. There is an SuX 07:40 from Kirkwall, into Sanday at 09:05 (09:25 Tuesdays, 09:20 Saturdays due to calling in at Eday and Stronsay respectively) and also a Fridays only 09:50 from Kirkwall, into Sanday at 11:15. Pub opening, according to Whatpub is 12:00. There is a teatime sailing back, departure time varying from 16:35 to 17:50 depending on the day of the week. A return is £16.70, though a summer weekly rover is also available for £42. Discounts are available for the old, young and disabled. Thus I’d reckon on a day out from Kirkwall being achievable. Sadly my Bakers atlas doesn’t go that far north so I don’t require to colour in that portion of the sea.

      I recall discussing North Yorkshire and potential pubs for defeats at Middlesbrough with Simon in the Broadfield prior to a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane. I stated that cricket and tennis are games designed to be played during the daytime, thus confidently surmising that the opening time of 8 in the GBG must mean 08:00 rather than 20:00. I am always right apart from the rare, anomalous occasions when I am wrong.

      I still require the Saltburn Miniature Railway. I may pop up at some point in the summer in a vain attempt to get 156463, given your photograph demonstrates that 156s do get there. I’ve not had a curry from the market recently.


      1. You can go really exotic and do the day return by plane on the inter-island service, might be slightly more expensive though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure if I am supposed to like/reply to comments on your posts Martin (!) but lots of interesting points here. Tom- I did Sanday on the ferry – a full but wonderful day. Got scallops in the pub that another customer had just dived down to get. Colouring in the sea sounds a fine thing- do you do that Martin?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I use a blue highlighter pen. The branding has worn off the side, so I couldn’t tell you if it is a Stabilo Boss one or not.

        Scott, I’m afraid I don’t colour in the sky. Bashing aeroplanes is an idea that has intrigued me before, but I imagine it could get expensive and coming up with moves off the cuff could get absurd.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I never do clubs because i am not allowed into them because i am not a camra member and i dont like the vibe of them either.
    Surely if BRAPA visits clubs he should rename his blog BRAP&CA.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Simon *has* to visit clubs and off-licences because they’re in the GBG. But clubs, by definition, are not places setting out to appeal to the casual drinker, and therefore not places I would choose to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

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