Greetings from lovely Darlington where I’ve just returned after meeting Duncan completely accidentally in Newcastle. Spooky.

The Dalesman Hotel in Darlo (keg Magnet) is £30 en-suite (on-sute as my Mum would say), very clean but with weak WiFi.  So it’s more short posts from Aberdeen.

First stop on the Great Grampians Tickathon was Stonehaven, a small fishing town half an hour south of Aberdeen.


I nearly stopped here to do the perennial duo of GBG ticks back in 2008 when I conquered Aberdeen and Dundee (without Mrs RM’s assistance), but time was against me.  If I’d known then of the town’s main claim to fame I’d have caved in.

Michelin award

Clearly Stonehaven see itself as a big tourist draw, at least in the summer months. Sadly we had that summer at the end of February.

Masses of attractions

The central square where the bus deposits the tourists is a bit plain.

Kilt fitting

But pub sign fans are in for a treat.



It’s more exciting as you round the coast toward the harbour, hoping the septuagenarians in padded jackets will fall in a rock pool while you’re filming them.


Quite picturesque, in a Maldon or Aldeburgh style.


With ten minutes till the two pubs opened at 11 (take note, micros) I treated myself to the authentic croque monsieur at the Old Pier coffee house.  If it wasn’t authentic, the owner was doing a very good French impression.


The Ship has that lovely design feature that Scotland specialise in, but really it was the 11am opening I was interested in.  I let the old couple dither at the door, hoping they’d choose the cask. They didn’t.


The Ship is your very typical Scottish 3 star hotel.  You’d stay for the views and the calorific breakfast and the whisky, not the cask.  Mind you, the luxury double is £105 a night for one person, so perhaps I wouldn’t.

Still, a reassuringly tight beer range.

Two is more than enough


Skye Red, I guess

The chap in front said “I hope it’s not too expensive; I haven’t got much cash“.  Hopefully he had enough cask to get home to Glenrothes.  The cask was £3.70apint, which sounded pretty reasonable to me.

On the plus side, it was cheery and neat and they played Duran Duran’s “Rio”.

On the downside, the Skye Red was warm and dull, so I left it to improve on Table 45 and popped next door to GBG pub number 2.


I’m a great advocate of leaving a beer in the sun to warm up, or cool down.







  1. Shame the beer in the Ship wasn’t up to much. I’ve always found it pretty good but then I’ve never rocked up there early doors. Hope the Marine was better.
    The square plain? How could you resist the “Millinery, outfitting, costumes” signage?
    That croque monsieur looked gorgeous.
    I have had a deep fried Mars bar from the Carron and bloody lovely it was too. I WANT one. NOW.


    1. Keep reading..

      Bear in mind I expect beer to better than OK in Beer Guide pubs. Just had two fantastic pints in Newcastle (NBSS 4 stuff).

      It is just possible I have a deep fried Mars bar in the bottom of my sock. Once I finish unpacking I’ll send it to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Michelin award”

    I like the odd Mars bar now and again (sneak it from my wife’s truck stock next door). Will have to look into this deep fried thingy.


    Is that salad or a flower arrangement on the right side of the plate?

    “Two is more than enough”

    And one funny pump clip is sufficient.

    “I’m a great advocate of leaving a beer in the sun to warm up, or cool down.”

    Being by the seaside, a good breeze can help either way there. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

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