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.
It was “dreich“, as they probably don’t say in Selkirk. And there was no hiding from the drizzle in the little alleys (closes).
I walked to the top of the hill and waited for the cloud to clear.
With an hour to kill, I consulted the Tourist Information Board;
There’s a lot to do, so I did all the things that were open, starting with the history;.
Then some fantastic shop-fronts.
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.
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 wasn’t open anyway, and the Town Arms looked the more interesting.
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.
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.