I’m up to date, now, so this blog can be strictly chronological ’till I run out of material and dig out photos of me in shorts drinking Tizer on a Leiston caravan park.  Pray it never gets to that stage.

Five posts from the trip to Kelso and back (rejected title for a Saxon album) to drop Mrs RM at Scottish Borders Council. How many husbands would do a 625 mile round trip to take their wives at work (and tick 8 pubs).

West Thirston
An epic journey

At least Mrs RM wasn’t driving (the journey via Edinburgh airport takes even longer),and got to admire the contrasting roadworks on the A14 and at Catterick.

It took more than 4 hours to reach my first new GBG pub, which tells you how tough this pub ticking lark is now. My shortest journey to “pink my Guide” is now two hours, two and a half if there is any traffic on the road.

So look at the riches in West Thirston, just above Morpeth on the A1. And not just as a first “comfort break” for 4 hours.

West ThirstonGBG
GBG riches

This tiny village appears to provide two GBG ticks, side by side, in a tiny village I’ve never heard of.*

And the Northumberland Arms has wallpaper Mrs RM likes !


So this short post exists only to prompt her memory in advance of a future redecoration project.  I might set up a poll to gauge your views on the matter.

Because the “pub“, or “dining with rooms” as it no doubt sees itself, is that peculiarly posh stone built  North Eastern gastro that gets in the Guide with a couple of local beers.  See: Piercebridge.


Even the front (side) door tells you all you need to know.

Reflected glory of Mrs RM

Rather more than two beers here for the Prosecco crowd, which may explain a lot.

Five beers you’ve never heard of

As always, “I choose (pause) anarchy…


We couldn’t even squeeze into the main bar full of smarts, so perched on a child seat in the side room.  Sadly, we could still hear the Mumford and Sons in here.  Oddly, Mrs RM thought a distinctly warm Guzzler was great.  Well, it was a 5.4% IPA.


Across the River Coquet, what I assumed was the Foxes Den seems ablaze with life (well, ramblers), but approaching I see this is something called the Running Fox, a café open 6am to 5pm.


Round the corner, the Foxes Den sticks to more traditional opening hours**. We decide against waiting 90 minutes in the Northumbrian drizzle, and press on.

Shut. As promised.

I wonder if the Foxes Den will provide Mrs RM with decoration tips too ?


*One of them is listed under Felton, to confuse Simon.

** WhatPub does say it opens at 6, though not whether that’s a.m. or p.m.





  1. In defence of the Northumberland Arms, four sweaty old blokes arrived one lunch time for a beer. Staff not only welcomed us but found us a table. (We went back at the end of the week for a few pints and very good food.)

    BTW bit of a short post. Almost Polly filler for the masses.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to have to stop assisting the wife with her business; it’s cutting into my typo checking! 😉

        Also, don’t normally comment on comment typos (there’s a mouthful) but hey, what the heck.

        For the record, I’m assuming it’s “their”, even though over here par would be a typo for para as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “For the sake of my sanity, don’t correct comments as there’s no edit function (except for me, of course).”

        I worded that (pause)… poorly. 🙂

        I meant to indicate that but forgot. (blush)

        No worries, no pointing out typos in comments will be motto forthwith. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “My misreading, my apologies. Sore point.”

        Good Lord Martin, no apology needed mate.

        I think our sarcasm meters got overloaded for a bit. (heh)

        No worries about me taking offense. Over 30 years of marriage have inured me to that. (LOL)


        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Northumberland Arms is in West Thirston, but once you cross the bridge you’re in Felton. The Running Fox cafe – fantastic food and bread to die for is owned by the same people that have the Northumberland Arms, who also have the Percy Arms Hotel at Chatton – no idea if that’s in this year’s GBG but it’s worth a visit anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We turned up at the Foxes Den about this time last year just as the cafe turned the lights off thinking it was the pub. Didn’t doubt it, being a micro, you know? Luckily someone walked in as we were driving off. Quite dungeon like and very compact but a warm welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “How many husbands would do a 625 mile round trip to take their wives at work (and tick 8 pubs).”

    (raises hand) You had me at 8 pubs. 🙂

    “Five beers you’ve never heard of”

    Oh I’ve heard of Voyager. Wasn’t that was a Star Trek spinoff in the 90’s? 😉

    “I choose (pause) anarchy…”

    Nuts. I was sure it was going to be ‘poorly’ after the pause, as a nod to Indiana Jones?

    BTW, love the “guzzolene” on the pump clip. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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