Twenty years ago during the French World Cup, pre-children, Mrs RM and I did a Grand Tour of Scotland that went a bit like this;

1,323.6 miles, apparently

Don’t ask why it started in Macclesfield, or memories of  a Virgin train from Euston will come flooding back, and we don’t want that, do we ?

Quite a few ticks that week, on a journey that really kicked off the Beer Guide bug (and helped completed the CAMRA Silver Selection).


I’ve only dipped into Scotland a bit since then, though Mrs RM’s six month stint in the Borders this year helped clear a swathe of the lowlands.

Monday morning saw us taking the Beer Guide entry free High Road to Ayr.


It was good to make some progress in Dumfries and Ayrshire from our tranquil base at Ayr Caravan Club site.  For those of you unaware, joining the Caravan Club guarantees you won’t have to share a site with anyone younger than you.

From our pitch, tucked between the University and the Racecourse, it’s ten minutes till your first seagull.



Ayr is scarily quiet on a baking hot Sunday lunchtime.  I assume everyone is heading for the nearest bar to cheer on Harry and the boys.

Our first new pub is the mysteriously unsigned Smoking Goat, named after Eric the smoking goat. Or perhaps not.


Mrs RM seems unsure of the descent into darkness, which I assure her is character building.

Ooh, dark

We’re the only customers in what is clearly a late night venue.  Still, there’s about six TVs showing England v Panama to no-one. Just as well the cask selection is modest but well-judged.  Unlike the milk urns for bar stools.

Milk urns say craft

No banter (except “Hey, you stole my crisps“), but I get to see two England goals in ten minutes, which is nice.

Jarl NBSS 3.5, less 0.5 for the jug

It’s a well-executed little venture.


I’ve no idea why I took a photo of the kitchen, except that it seemed to be full of blow-up animals.  Haute cuisine, perhaps.


No food though, so on to the Wellington, unexpectedly (never mind frustratingly) closed for staff training on my visit last year.

Literal sign there

Oh look, a second cellar bar in twenty minutes.  What can it mean ?

This one was fair packed with cheapskate diners (Pie & chips for £4.50). A good mix of cheapskates too, not just students.

Good beer in a Good Beer Guide pub

More lovely beer from Broughton (NBSS 3.5), a great view of three more England goals in ten minutes, and some wonderful mansplaining from a bloke from Preston who educated his wife on association football, to her complete disinterest.

Then this happened.

English or French mustard ?”

English of course !!!”    Did they think I was Pub Curmudgeon ?

I’m sorry, we only have French


Er, if it’s yellow it’s definitely English.

And because you love cheeky toilet signs, here’s a classic explaining what a urinal is.


Urinals thoroughly tested, it was off to Troon.

27 thoughts on “AYR – THE JOY OF 6-1 AND YELLOW MUSTARD

    1. Tsk, tsk. Margaritas would turn you into a Mexican. For Canadian, you’d have to be supping the craft maple syrup IPA or some such. 🙂


  1. A splendid post! You really are Cambridge’s answer to Bill Bryson. Travelling the UK gently poking fun at it but clearly a huge admirer of the nation…England scoring two goals in two minutes – the thing you least expected to say on any blog post ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So it’s “yoo – ri – nal” south of the border but “yoo – ri – nil” north of the border.
    You learn something every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d pronounce it “your-eye-nal”.

    Went in the Wellington in 2010 and ended up switching to lager as they were unable to produce a drinkable pint of cask. I was with a mate and it was somewhere he had recommended, so didn’t want to drag him elsewhere. At this time of year the sun hardly sets in Ayr – you were there on my birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed your birthday ? I’ll buy you a pint of Brew XI tomorrow then (T&C apply).

      There were a few people in the Wellington drinking the cask (mainly English visitors) so it was quite good. Ayr GBG entries are as marginal as anywhere in Scotland (Geordie’s Byre over the bridge excluded).

      What did you think of Ayr ? (it won’t have changed).


      1. Very nice place. The best cask I had was in the Glen Park Hotel, which no doubt you’ve been to before. Never made it to Geordie’s Byre. Ayr is one area, though, where the local killjoys won’t let you use the Spoons vouchers 😦

        I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I had an absolutely terrible pint of Tetley’s in the Tam O’Shanter – flat, warm, stale and slightly hazy. One of those occasions where there seemed no point in taking it back, so I just left two-thirds of it undrunk and went elsewhere.


  4. “For those of you unaware, joining the Caravan Club guarantees you won’t have to share a site with anyone younger than you.”

    I wonder if there’s a U.S. equivalent? I have a friend who’s been on the road in the US for the past three months in an RV (started in Georgia). He’s on his way up to Alaska before making his way back to Georgia. He’s stopping at my place for four or five days starting next weekend. He’d love to be able to not have to rub elbows with a bunch of whipper snappers (he’s 66). 🙂

    “named after Eric the smoking goat.”

    A distant cousin of Eric the Half Bee perhaps? 😉

    “Mrs RM seems unsure of the descent into darkness, which I assure her is character building.”

    My descent into darkness was indeed character building.

    Oh wait; you’re referring to the stairs not life itself. 🙂

    “but I get to see two England goals in ten minutes, which is nice.”

    Sigh. It started at 5am my time. I’d been on Skype with my brother in France until almost 1am my time, and that included a few beers. Needless to say I woke up in time to turn on the telly in my bedroom just in time to see Panama score (and thought I’d jinxed them) only to look at the top corner of the screen and see the score. 🙂


    I won’t. But it’s bloody weird.

    “Literal sign there”

    Hmmm. Judging by the name (and the ‘literal sign’) I can see the locals wandering in expecting to find something to wear on their jaunts around the hillside in search of sheep. 😉

    “A good mix of cheapskates too, not just students.”

    I’m more of a shopping cheapskate. Shopping for my wife’s lunch truck these past 10 days has been quite enjoyable at times (due to saving her money and getting free stuff owing to price issues). 🙂

    ““I’m sorry, we only have French””

    Then why did they bloody ask?

    “Er, if it’s yellow it’s definitely English.”

    I quite like their spicy version.

    “here’s a classic explaining what a urinal is.”

    Why not just put up “Out of Order”?



  5. Ayr is one of the better drinking towns in my opinion with at least four good options, including the two you describe. Even got decent cask in the bar watching Scotland v Namibia cricket last year.

    Attitudes towards England football has changed over the years from general hostility to widespread indifference. Most of the ire is directed at the appallingly biased and self-referential commentary – much more exaggerated than in any other televised sport- and the boorish section of their support (to put it kindly). I wouldn’t say pubs here were doing especially well out of this World Cup – so many big names didn’t qualify (I don’t mean Scotland!) or were knocked out early- but sure that will be very different in England.


      1. Indeed, though usually in a less xenophobic way. The make up of the Scottish national team support has changed hugely in last twenty five years and that has improved matters considerably. However our refusal to qualify for a major tournament has meant these changes are largely invisible to those elsewhere! Agree with your comments on Glen Park- always been good on my visits.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to cook hotdogs for the old boys at the Bowls Club (don’t ask) & they were convinced the stuff in the yellow bottle was French mustard.They also thought the cheap bangers I dished up were delicious (economy )

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s