Perhaps uniquely in the English-speaking (as opposed to Scots-speaking) world, I know where Linlithgow is.


Quite a stately town, the Cirencester of the north.

Kinde to Strangers

I know it’s got an ancient Palace; we’d dragged the boys round it on the way to see the Falkirk horses (much more exciting).


The most interesting thing about the walk to the Palace ruins is the gallery of Scottish monarchs, including my personal favourite;

Proper job title

Sophia, you’ll remember, survived to 83 drinking a gallon of Punk IPA a day (water wasn’t safe).

More importantly, there’s three Beer Guide entries, of varying vintage,

Platform 3
Four Marys

including a brand new one that irritatingly necessitated a costly trip out from Edinburgh  to help complete the Lothians chapter of the GBG. The Linlithgow Tap is beautifully situated next to Dog Well Wynd, which sounds like a lost Suede album.

The Tap

With 15 minutes between opening and the train trundling back to the home of Deuchars, I paced up and down as 11am approached.  Across the road, the Crown and Swan looked like Proper (keg) Pubs.  A “Good Keg Pub with Sam Smiths Stickers Guide” would be a winner.

Not a pre-emptive
Nor this

An apologetic and efficient young barman opened up at 11.05, and I denied him the chance to waste time describing his ales enthusiastically by saying “Corncrake” as if it was a codeword.

Not Jarl

A rather gorgeous pub in the open plan Lothians style, although a beer that patently wasn’t Jarl. But a place to hide away and read train timetables.


You should never rush a beer, but I wasn’t spending a second hour in town drinking too much coffee and then regretting it on the bumpy inward journey.

I made it back with a minute to spare.

16 thoughts on “GO, GO TO LINLITHGOW

    1. I wouldn’t know about that given the sheltered life I’ve led and I immediately thought of the four ‘Maries’ who accompanied Mary Queen of Scots as a child to France in 1548 and remained her closest lifelong friends.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m too old to know about a Danny Wilson song but you’ve reminded me of Joan Baez’s ‘Mary Hamilton’ which my wife has often sung at folk clubs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Last night there were four Marys,
        Tonight there’ll be but three.
        There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton,
        And Mary Carmichael and me”


    1. One swallow doesn’t make a summer – unless it’s Martin downing that Corncrake to make the train.
      Historic and well-deserved win for the Scots but exactly the kick up the arse warm-up we need before facing a proper cricket team this week.


      1. It’s how we play Mudgie.
        Exasperating I know when they’re brilliant one minute then crap the next.
        To be fair it was the flattest deck I’ve ever seen and anyone faced with such a huge chase faces the risk of making mistakes and gifting the game.
        Chances are the Jocks could be equally as crap in their next match.
        Lets see how we get on this week against the Convicts.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Only thing missing, jam jars so I could tell what kind of beers they are.

    Dark Island has East Kent Goldings hops and Maris Otter Malt, one of my favorite combinations.


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