I’ll take a short break from reviewing the best of the blogs to make some more progress on my own pre-Christmas trip. You can probably guess what highlights are still to come.

A reminder of the Grand Tour.


I was going to bring you a short report on GBG pub free Wigton but I only stopped there for a soup and cheese toastie combo, and the pubs looked a bit less than woke.

Ban this stuff

So here’s more-woke-than-Woking Cockermouth, though to be fair that sounds like a town invented in 1978 just to give BRAPA humorous blog titles.

A short and uneventful bus trip from scary Workington, of which more later.

Fear not Worky,we’ll be back for you later

Two new GBG ticks for me on my first visit since Christmas Eve 2003, when Mrs RM decided we weren’t spending 25 December in a £29 Travelodge on the edge of Penrith eating Tesco sandwiches and commanded me to drive home like in the Chris Rea song.

Would be in safer hands in Wolves if you ask me

Hordes heading into town for the ritual tapping of the cask of Jennings Cumberland, so I took the quieter route.

Hordes edited out
BRAPA has ticked more GBG pubs than Wordsworth.  FACT !

Cockermouth is affluent Cumbria. If it had a Booths and a brewery it could almost be Kirkby Lonsdale. Or Bridport. Gorgeous pale colours and narrow lanes.


Sadly the Toy Museum our boys loved in 2003 went the way of all provincial attractions run as hobbies.

See the source image
A micro museum

So that leaves brewery tours and pubs.  One decent thing there, then.

What Pub calls this one the New Cock & Bull to distinguish it from, dunno. But there’s clearly a signwriters’ strike so you wouldn’t know it’s new.

Proper sign,anyway
Six beers for six customers. Perfect.

This is the backstreet beer drinkers pub, though of course many Old Boys have long switched from nasty unreliable cask.

One pic tells you all you need.

Blokes and dogs, like in the Prefab Sprout song

A Proper Pub, full of noise and laughter and barking, though looking back I’m a bit surprised to see I scored the Bluebird as high as 3.5.  But I did.

3.5, so apparently 6 pumps for 6 customers was just right

Several Old Boys said “Bye” as I left, then went back to their £3 pints (micro prices !).

Less Old Boys and more “Ladies Who Drink at 4pm” in the imposing Castle Bar, which is always good.

Dreadful font

Us tickers like to show our superiority by comparing pubs with similar  places you won’t have been to, so the Castle is like Truro’s Old Ale House, a rambling place majoring on cask but attracting the whole town for lager.

Spot the cask

A beer range for the purist.

Oooh Plum Porter

The sign said “All ales £2.30 3-6” so of course I asked “Are the ales £2.30 ?“. “Yes“.

It’s Happy Hour again

Yes, I turned down a £2.30 Plum Porter for a rare chance to drink the lesser-sighted Jennings Bitter.

Not actual handpumps used

Not the best Jennings I’ve ever had (2.5/3), but worth a couple of quid to soak in the town pub atmosphere and watch young people get p****d.

Wouldn’t fit in my pocket

On my tour the pub’s quirks and modern faux pas emerged, but it still felt a good ‘un.

Cinema seats destroy authenticity at a stroke
Backpack bloke
High table trauma

“Shoulda gone to the Swanfor Jennings !” someone silently screams.

And of course they’re right.



  1. I still require Wigton. How does one get a cheese toastie there? If I have a fester there or it is cold, I may sample the less than woke pubs.

    i refuse to visit Cockermouth until the branch from Penrith is reopened.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Mrs RM decided we weren’t spending 25 December in a £29 Travelodge on the edge of Penrith” reminds me that Mrs TSM has been perfectly content around that time of year staying in t’Watermill at Ings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wouldn’t worry too much about that pub sign, Martin. Half of Padstow had blacked-up faces yesterday. It was Mummers’ Day, also known as “Darking Day” – they claim that it’s to do with celebrating the darkness of the winter solstice. They have “Whiting Day” – or something like that – in midsummer too.

    More worrying perhaps was the presence of accordions.

    (Note, that’s in the plural.)

    Whatever, it’ll all probably be compulsory after Jan 31st anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “They have “Whiting Day” – or something like that – in midsummer too”.
      Ah yes, probably a sort of Harvest of the Sea Festival.
      But is there also a Bass Day ?


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