A bit of a rush of posts at the moment as I want to keep up to date, otherwise people get bewildered.  And I can’t be held responsible.

Next stop, a bit of genuine minor English tourism.


Creswell Crags
Normally driven past at 69.9mph
Exciting extract includes secret tunnels at Welbeck

The Dukeries don’t feature much on this blog, just one incredibly dull post from my first month as retiredmartin, reminiscing about the old colliery pubs around Welbeck Abbey.  They’re still there, the Mansfield livery slowly fading.

I’d never been to Creswell Crags. Another gorgeous day in our extended Summer seemed like a perfect time, the proximity of new Beer Guide pub at Cuckney a mere coincidence.

Atmospheric and eerie, the Crags won’t be taking over from Andover’s street art as the nation’s favourite attraction, but they’re better than the old rocks a bit further down the A303.

Self-guided tour

It’s a bit like walking round the lake at Stourhead, except it doesn’t cost £18.30 and you don’t bump into many folk wearing pashminas, just loads of dragonflies.

Looks like a member of the Beatles if you stare hard enough

At a push, I’d say the Grand Canyon pips it for awesomeness. Mainly because it’s got Bass.

You may bump into a lady banging her drum in front of every cave to wake bats or celebrate the solstice or summat.  Here’s a short video of banging lady (not actual name).

Perhaps they were looking for potential sites for future micro pubs.  The cluster of small towns above Mansfield Woodhouse is clearly ripe for a micro explosion.

Future micro called “Craft & Cave”

The circuit walked off about 87 calories, not quite enough to justify the pint in the Greendale, but it’s the thought that counts.

Not a Proper Pub

Cuckney is a tiny village displaced from Rutland, a gastropub with folk in horsey gear having earnest conversations about childcare arrangements and Prosecco swaps.

I took against it before I reached the bar.

Just go away
Ghosts of Rutland
Gastro Germaine Greer mash-up

After Creswell, I’d hoped for “She Bangs the Drums“. Instead Kool & The Gang are singing “Joanna“, placing the pub in exactly June 1984. Exactly where it should be.

There’s far too many beers, of course*, but at least you’ve heard of them.

One on the right wins Worst Pumpclip of the Week

I should have had Tiger, but felt sympathy for the XB, which probably hasn’t been pulled all day.  Never feel sorry for a beer.


It was awful, tepid rubbish.   I didn’t take it back.  I failed CAMRA.  But really, what were my chances of the other ones being better ?  And how long would it have taken the barman to find someone senior to authorise a replacement ?  It’s a lottery.

Grumpy retiredmartin is back.


*Read this.  It’s brilliant.

9 thoughts on “CRESWELL CRAGS

    1. Yup,not long now before my anti-Christmas rant on here which I always post the first time I hear Fairytale of New York on the radio.
      Usually around early November.
      The thing is I genuinely hate Christmas.Always have done.
      There is not a single redeeming feature about the whole holiday season I like.
      If I had my way we’d be buggering off somewhere hot and sunny this year but herself has decreed that since this is our last one in the family home where we raised the kids it’s going to be a ” traditional ” one and I’m not allowed to be cranky about it.
      Sod that.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Hey -there’s nowt wrong with walking round Stourhead wearing a pashmina -we stop off there often on our travels & we don’t pay £18 odd to get in as we are members -you may mock but we enjoy out NT membership & even more this year as we are now “seniors ” !There is even pub at Stourhead.
    Ps I never wear a pashmina either

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, a classic “beauty spot” that does live up to the name. It was a glorious Autumn day when I went there three years ago, when I also spotted this rather impressive closed pub. Was Anonymous commenting on that post yourself?

    A lot of buildings in attractive Cotswold-type stone in that part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that was me; no idea why I couldn’t post. A mystery solved.
      The Crags would have been great in Autumn. There were only two couples walking round, though I guess they get school groups doing the cave trips.


  3. “Normally driven past at 69.9mph”

    Here’s me not saying anything about Cock Alley.

    “Exciting extract includes secret tunnels at Welbeck”

    Most likely for secret liaisons with a certain woman by the name of Ladycroft (because she ‘wood’ you know).

    “the proximity of new Beer Guide pub at Cuckney a mere coincidence.”


    “Looks like a member of the Beatles if you stare hard enough”

    Yet again, you’re making my eyes water.

    “Here’s a short video of banging lady (not actual name).”

    It could be her nickname (banging lady); mayhap related to Ladycroft (wood)?

    “Future micro called “Craft & Cave””

    It’s already got the bars to keep people out! 🙂

    “Not a Proper Pub”

    Is it because the entrance on the left is all ‘cuckneyed’?*

    * – plus, you cheated by not showing us the entrance on the other side of the white bit on the right. 🙂

    “After Creswell, I’d hoped for “She Bangs the Drums“.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “Grumpy retiredmartin is back.”

    Ah, the ups and downs of life. 🙂



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