If anyone gets that reference before the last paragraph they can award themselves 5 points*.

My ambition in Scotland last week was to clear the Borders (not literally) and make some inroads into Fife.  I also wanted to explore a few tiddly towns I’d missed on my travels, even if they had nothing for the Beer Guide ticker.

I started at Selkirk.  Because the bus from Galashiels stopped there. No-one joined me.

Proper exciting OS extract

It was “dreich“, as they probably don’t say in Selkirk. And there was no hiding from the drizzle in the little alleys (closes).

Holliwell’s Close

I walked to the top of the hill and waited for the cloud to clear.

It’s dreich
The buds of Spring

With an hour to kill, I consulted the Tourist Information Board;

You are here

There’s a lot to do, so I did all  the things that were open, starting with the history;.

Auld kirk
Selkirk High Street
Scary looking Southern Reporter

Then some fantastic shop-fronts.

The butcher
Nicked off Batham’s

I bought my authentic Bannock cake in Camerons from a lovely cheery lady who actually understood what I was saying.  It’ll last ’till the apocalypse, she said.

With some characterful houses, imposing Chinese restaurant, and a lot of local colour, I warmed to Selkirk despite the rain.

Ex-pub, presumably
Mini garden

Then I contemplated the pubs.  This is all of them, according to What Pub.


Two keg places (one a hotel bar) and the County the sole real ale outlet (inevitably a lone Born in the Borders pump).

The County

The County wasn’t open anyway, and the Town Arms looked the more interesting.

Very basic, said my local expert

But I couldn’t face Tennents at 11am, and popped in the old Court House, just opening for the Summer season (ho ho). You’ll see they’ve recreated the famous “Selkirk Real Ale Trial of 1668“, where a Berwick man was caught trying to bring drinkable cask over the border.  The trial lasted 12 minutes.

Proper courtroom drama

A very informative lady in the museum gave me loads of local information, mainly the sensational news that Will Young may have to appear in the NEW Court House to face a motoring charge.

She also proffered the rather surprising opinion that the new Borders train line was disliked locally.  Far from bringing visitors in, it was making it much easier for folk to go shopping and pubbing in Edinburgh. I think she was right.

Use them or lose them, folks.


*Though if you think you’re beating Russ in the race to win a pint of Doom Bar in a Hungry Horse, you clearly don’t know the rules.

15 thoughts on “SELKIRK – LEAVE RIGHT NOW

  1. If you juggle the settings on WhatPub it also comes up with the (NRA) Selkirk Conservative Club. I’d be surprised if there really were only three pubs or bars in the town – Scottish branches don’t always list all their keg outlets, possibly to stave off depression.

    I’d be interested to learn more about the Lajos Kossuth connection.


    1. There’s surprisingly few pubs in Selkirk. We stopped there for a week last year, and only found two places that met the description of pub that were still open, and one of those was a restaurant as well. There’s a bar serving cask at the County Hotel, but it’s not really a pub IMO. Nice town though, and The Town Arms Inn isn’t a bad pub.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “and waited for the cloud to clear.”

    Was it just one big cloud then? 🤔

    “I bought my authentic Bannock cake in Camerons”

    Interesting. My wife’s family (Native American) regularly make Bannock over here:

    And, yes, it’s just as edible (think Terry Pratchett’s dwarf bread). 😉

    “Use them or lose them, folks.”

    Sigh, indeed. 😐

    “*Though if you think you’re beating Russ in the race to win a pint of Doom Bar in a Hungry Horse, you clearly don’t know the rules.”

    Sadly, I’ll get my hat as someone else will be snagging those 5 points today. 😏



  3. Great post Martin – despite the dirth of real ale – there were some very interesting bits of Selkirk life – I love the photo of Auld Kirk – very atmospheric…

    I reckon one or two of those courtroom characters are extras from the House of Fraser shop window?…

    …I’ll bet they’ll be the only ones that turn up for Will’s case as well…

    ..however can’t help thinking the museum (assume that’s it in the alleyway) would make a lovely micro (even with the courtroom display) – no sitting on the benches could be a problem though…

    “It’ll last ’till the apocalypse, she said.”

    …Is that the Bannock Cake or the rain?

    “*Though if you think you’re beating Russ in the race to win a pint of Doom Bar in a Hungry Horse, you clearly don’t know the rules.”

    Luckily I didn’t get it until I saw the last paragraph – so that’s a great relief to me…
    …though I hope with this Russ style comment I’m not in danger of pipping him at the post…

    Liked by 1 person

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