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.
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;
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.