This blog likes to bring you the pick of UK culinary hotspots, so here’s Ecclefechan.


Effectively your first service station escaping “BRAPA in Cumbria” on the way to Glasgow, or your chance to stock up on the eponymous tart for your Scottish friend wife.

It’s a bustling place.

Be careful out there

You can see the legendary Premier Stores shop on the right side; that’s where I’ve bought my Ecclefechan cake twice now.

I’d tell you it’s a rustic delight of a village shop if it was, but it really isn’t.

Elsewhere, there’s Thomas Carlyle’s house, of which less later, and a glorious sunset. Or at least there was when I was there.

You can see England from here. Well. Carlisle.

Look back up the road, and you’ll see the brand new GBG entry.

Beat the crowds

It’s easy to see how places (they’re generally hotel bars) get in the GBG in Dumfriesshire.

Here’s the WhatPub extract for licensed premises in the area.

Exhibit 1

And here’s the one (1) place with real ale on.

Exhibit 2


Cars ruin my photo again

I instinctively sense this is the sort of place pub tickers live for.

Colour enhanced

The only life is in the lounge, where a mum and daughter are chatting to a Landlady stoking the fire ready for my triumphant entrance.

How welcoming is that

At the bar, I see a problem.

Not a blackIPA

Do you have any real ales?” I ask, mimicking the universally recognised handpump action at the same time.

The lovely chatty Landlady looked at me apologetically.

The Cloudwater pumpkin sour and Windswept Werewolf seem to be stuck on the M74, so I have a can of coke expertly decanted into a Fosters glass, and chat to a young child.

Pub life

I can’t record what she looks like, or what she said, due to legal restrictions. Something like “You can mark it as NO REAL ALE on your silly spreadsheet then“.

My rules are different to Duncan, who will have to keep stopping here until they do have the cask on, but at least he’ll be able to explore the Art Deco treasures in the Gents.

1980s prices, 1980s ware ?

The Ecclefechan tart was appreciated back home, though the production seems to have been outsourced to Castle Douglas since my last trio of purchases in 2017.


At least the condoms are still made locally, in the back of the Costcutter, so you’re safe there.


  1. Ecclefechan…from the Cumbric for “little church”…freckles…ah yes, might I remind you, that the modern currency unit used in the State of Israel today is officially known as the Israeli New Shekel, which replaced the Old Israeli Shekel in nineteen eighty-five?.


    1. From an Industrial Park in Castle Douglas some 35 miles away surely they can’t be proper Ecclefechan Tarts.
      That’s a bit like Newcastle Brown from Tadcaster or Oakham beers from Peterborough.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. No, and the original premises were demolished in the 1960s to build a shopping centre near the Albert Edward pub closed by Humphrey and in the national news today.
      I enjoyed a Proper Day Out in Eccles last March. No cakes but plenty of Holts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm that’s not good (and nor is the lack of real ale!). I will take half of fizzy beer if necessary in such circumstances though will pass this one enough times to keep trying. Having said that I’ve not been there yet (amateurish) but you haven’t made me want to accelerate my visit.


      1. It’s to keep tickers on their toes. I reckon there’s only been ten pubs without real ale in my 25 years ticking, half in Scotland. I always have a coke. Irritating if it’s still in next year.

        Liked by 1 person

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