Ten minutes on the train from Ayr (£3.60 return) you’re in the UK centre of geriatric golf, the sort of place my Dad would have retired to a decade ago if my Mum had ever acquired a taste for deep-fried haggis.


The links golf courses along the west coast of Ayrshire are still the major draw round here, though Ryanair’s scrapping of Prestwick-Stansted flights and the end of ferries to Larne haven’t helped international business.

In the early 2000s the Taylor clan regularly followed in the footsteps of Presley, popping up to the Ayrshire coast with two toddlers to eat ice cream from Nardini’s in Largs and leaving the Troon beach an hour before our £9.99 flight (and still making last call with 45 seconds to spare).

I recognised this chap from our previous visit.

Not to scale – actually about the size of a Wetherspoons plate

On this Sunday afternoon Troon beach (almost a rhyme there) was packed with families fighting over a single ice cream kiosk (not Nardini’s). I bought Mrs RM a double cone with flake and raspberry sauce and set off for a surreptitious tick.

A plain small town High Street with High Street names and giant Morrisons, always a good place to stock up on cake supplies. But it’s no Largs.

However, it’s a gorgeous coastline, with views to Arran, taunting me with two unticked GBG pubs.

Memories of Arran Dark

Mrs RM took this art shot on her phone while I was pubbing, which I therefore feel obliged to bring you.

Two GBG entries in Troon, one of which (McKays) I actually did last year but then lost the photos. Those may never turn up, but the quality of the Jarl will be with me always (NBSS 4).


Back then Bruce’s Well had decided not to open ’till 4pm, rather than the noon opening shown on What Pub. You may have difficulty believing this, but the listed hours on What Pub have been wrong on more than one occasion.


That one photo tells you all you need to know. No food, so just Old Boys talking rubbish and feigning interest in Japan v Senegal. A local pub, in the finest tradition.

But no obvious handpumps to scare the Tennents drinkers.

Any real ale ?” I nervously asked, worried I sounded like a beer bore.

I was led, blindfolded, to the very end of the bar where a single Morland Bitter pump stood apologetically. Why Morland Bitter ?; I dared not ask.

Anyway, it was exceptional (NBSS 3.5+), the temperature controlled room coming into its own.

Sometimes, one dull, forgotten Greene King beer is all you need.

Image result for morland bitter



      1. I think all of us who like British beer have at least one or two “tarnished reputation” macro brewers that we want to stick up for, and with me it’s probably Boddingtons and Greene King. Which I’m sure signals to many beer aficionados that I know absolutely nothing about beer!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m with you. You may be surprised to know that Boddingtons was already on the way out when I started drinking real ale in mid-90s. Hard to imagine a beer losing its status so quickly, killed off by rise of Caffreys smoothflow.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Back in 1981 I had relatives take me on a day trip to Troon from Glasgie. The scenery driving along the coast was marvelous.

    Of course they disowned me the following month when, whilst sending a large stack of postcards from Berlin to relatives in England, I included one to them in Glasgow, and addressed it as England as well! (blush)

    “Not to scale – actually about the size of a Wetherspoons plate”

    It looks a bit like the alien that covered whats-his-name’s face in, um, Alien. 🙂

    “Mrs RM took this art shot on her phone while I was pubbing,”

    She takes photos as good as you do. (thumbs up)

    “so just Old Boys talking rubbish ”

    A bit like this blog at times then. 😉

    “I was led, blindfolded, to the very end of the bar”

    I think I see it in the photo. Down on the far left, besides a clip for what could be either Bud Light or Bellhaven Best. 🙂


    PS – “rather the noon opening shown ”

    Yes I know, being a bit of a wanker, but I think a ‘than’ would go nicely as the second word.


    1. “Old Boys talking rubbish” – spot on.

      NB You’re no w****r, despite what any other bloggers might say at our monthly meetings in Hungry Horses round the country. Unless w****r = wonder.


    1. It’s well known that many of the world’s countries have an area that’s a multiple of Wales’s 8005 square miles but few realise that Wales is precisely the size of three billion Wetherspoon plates.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The top photograph looks a bit like Giant Hogweed, definitely a proper weed but not as good as Japanese Knotweed for consolidating embankments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great stuff! Going off at a tangent but how many species of jellyfish are there as I don’t think I’ve ever seen two identical ones???!!! Love the picture of the old boys watching footabll and generally just killing time relaxing…perfect pub life.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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