My last night in Dumfries & Galloway, a revelation in terms of the scenery and some much better beer than I expected in the first week of March in Scotland.


No GBG pubs in Wigtown, but an essential visit to explore Scotland’s book town.

Smaller than Hay on Wye, but you’re less likely to bump into pashminas and Guardian readers, so a win for me.

No 1975 GBG, unfortunately

A pretty place, two main streets of bookshops either side of a green square, both running down to the Bay.


The Bay

Glaisnock House is a winner, well within my meagre budget and serving haggis and potato scones for breakfast. “It’s against the law not to serve potato scones” said the host in the morning.

First sighting of a hot water bottle since 1987

Local CAMRA flag up one real ale option, two doors down from my B & B. It would have been rude not to.

Wigged out

Particularly as WhatPub tantalises me with that finest of BBBs.


You might look at the colourful sign and think “Young person’s venue, probably Punk IPA in bottles“. So did I.

CRAFT. We get the idea

But you’d be wrong. Half a dozen locals, all older than me.

Obligatory rubbish photo

And no Doom Bar. Instead a solitary pump with Lowland’s Rabbie’s Drought, the pouring of which caused quite a stir.

I took a seat by the magnificent fire and awaited a pint of soup.

Proper fire

Except it wasn’t soup. It was rich and tasty, in that satisfying 3/3.5 zone. Am I going soft ? No, I don’t think so.

I had a Galloway burger as well (haggis on beef) and undid the good work of three day’s exercise, but as I enjoyed Van Morrison’s “Domino” and was drawn into a conversation about Hartlepool and monkeys (don’t ask) I suddenly thought Proper Pub.

A GBG pre-emptive pint if ever I saw one

A couple came in and ordered a half with a straw. The bar filled with Geordie and Yorkshire accents, discussing the Tuesday chip van’s faulty jet fryer.

“Men always have problems with their jets” It was that sort of pub.

Another couple debated sending one of them on a rescue mission to Newton Stewart, 15 minutes away, to bring back kebabs.

Garlic parmesan ? What’s that ?” said a lady discovering as if for the first time the joys of a big town’s takeaway menu.

Wigtown gets its own chippy this month. I reckon that might be the final piece in the jigsaw of a great little town, and I’ll pop back in for the battered haggis when I return to finish D & G. Look how lovely it is.


7 thoughts on “WIGGED OUT IN WIGTOWN

    1. Thanks Steve.

      That reminds me, one of the bookshops is available to be run as a holiday. You run your own bookshop for a fortnight or month. A South African couple running it were staying in my B & B. Interesting idea.


  1. Well reading this was a delightful surprise, as I know your experiences with Scottish cask have often been of the “where is the nearest potted plant” variety.

    Had a good chuckle at the “No 1975 GBG, unfortunately” caption. Looks like a lovely place to go hunting for old books. I’ve always imagined that when it comes to antiques, the UK shops must have items that are a great deal older than what we find in the US, by decades if not centuries!


    1. Yes, beer quality was a pleasant surprise, though I didn’t actually see many people drinking it 🤔

      In our antique stores we have original 1963 copies of MAD there. That’s how much history we’ve got.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mark,
      I was once told that there’s never any Good Beer Guides in second hand book shops because either the owner has used it so much it’s fallen apart or because the owner has kept it for reference.

      Liked by 2 people

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