Oh, come on, what would you have come up with ?

It’s certainly in a magical location, with a view across the Moray Firth to Cromarty and the start of the UK’s biggest GBG desert (next Guide stop John O’ Groats).


Beautiful, to be fair

Charlie Chaplin used to come here on holiday. Sadly his NBSS scores for the 80/ at the Newton Hotel aren’t as well documented as Norman Wisdom’s views on the Okells in Douglas.

I started at the beach, which looked better in black and white.

View to mythical lands. Probably

It’s not a posh resort, probably more akin to Gravesend than Whitstable, but as you’ll know Gravesend was good enough for Pocahontas.

Decent microclimate, but not north Kent (yet)
Proof of sunshine on Scotland in late October

The narrow rows of housing that make up Fishertown are the highlight, gentrification of a sort, while the town centre suffers in comparison.

There’s some gems among the boarded up stores and vape shops.

One for font fans
Unofficial Nairn County FC shop
Nice Victoriana

And any town good enough for Mark E Smith and Mr Clarke is good enough for me.

Suitably faded

I spent an hour examining old graveyards and older football grounds, mystified at how a town of 10,000 supports such a vast B & B trade.

Or perhaps it doesn’t. I guess people just come to visit the half dozen pet shop.

If anyone has stayed in the Cuir Air Arms, please let us know.

No, I was too scared

Then I stumbled on this place, which seems to have provided the inspiration for a certain Manchester pub.


No idea what it is now. Someone will.

Don’t make them like this anymore

Which leaves us with the GBG Bandstand, the “Real Ale Bar” of the smart looking Braeval Hotel.

Deceptive exterior

With massive good fortune, I’d just missed their equally massive beer festival.

Tartan carpets

And I’d also turned up at the quiet time. “Come at 4.30 and it’ll be rammed“. What can people possibly be doing that’s more important than drinking these ales ?

I went for Swannay

Because I should really have been on Orkney, RIGHT THEN, I went for Scapa Special which was cool and rich, an impressive 3.5. The Bon Accord of the north.

The bar staff were young, cheerful and chatty, and although they had “Galway Girl” playing, it was the one by Steve Earle, not Ed.

And you can be there on the train from Waterbeach in 10:35 hours. Why isn’t it packed ?


  1. “And you can be there on the train from Waterbeach in 10:35 hours”
    I’ve just noticed that for Waterbeach the 1979 GBG has the Star, “Excellent old pub, recently modernised” with IPA on handpull and Abbot on gravity.
    I’m sure the Abbot drank well on gravity.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Joking (I think).

        Just for the record I tipped most of that beer down the urinal, which was a shame as it wasn’t the usual rubbish I was getting used to in Tayside and Fife at Easter.


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