Makes Worksop sound exotic, doesn’t it ?  And if you live in South Anston, it probably is.

Sadly, the gorgeous tiling often adorns closed or keg pubs, making Worksop the Rotherham or Woolwich orPoole of the Midlands,

(Frog &) Swan, a keg lovely

My route to Sheffield to see my lad often flies past the edge of Worksop, though I reckon A1/M180 is about 3 seconds quicker.

Only 1:56 hours NOW, if you were allowed to do it

In “Notes From A Small Island” Bill Bryson (an American without Dick and Dave’s taste in pubs) stops in Retford, noting its success in losing out to Worksop as HQ for Bassetlaw Council.


That’s a bit harsh on Worksop, which has a bustle it’s neighbour can only dream of.

Most of that bustle comes in a pedestrianised High Street that alternates smart frontage with household tat, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Place to buy brooms and bon bons and Balti mix

My 3 trips since 2016 have covered the full range of English pubs, though a Brunning & Price feels someway off, unless they convert Mr Straw’s House.

The Unicorn

Proper sign

Pubs called the Unicorn rarely disappoint, and this Amber Tavern had lovely local beer at bargain prices, bench seating, old town prints and a good couple of dozen drinkers, mainly retirees, enjoying their papers or sports TV. Not all male drinkers by any means either.

I obviously visited before the surreptitious snapping habit started.

Proper seating

The Unicorn was spotless, but Mrs RM preferred the Spoons, possibly because of the Punk and Pizza deal.

Wetherspoons, those bastions of pub tradition, tell us, “Workesoppe excelleth all others within the Realme for the store of Licoras that growth therein”.

Liquorice Gardens

Note Mob Scooter

I can’t fault the Liquorice Gardens, bustling and cheery and clean. A great place to observe Midlands life. And hats. If not cask being pulled.

Hats, but not in a Blue Nile way

While Mrs RM was sinking her second Punk, I nipped to the new trendy bar south of town.  Well, it was trendy before I turned up.


The barmaid is taken back by my request for a half.

NO-ONE asks for a half in Worksop

You can trust a town where no-one asks for a half.


Friendly and cheap, but the high tables would scare off Stafford Paul.

He’d be happier to see the traditional Shireoaks back in the Guide,

See the source image

joining the long-standing Mallard and Station by the, er, Station.  BRAPA likes the Mallard, as well he should.

Who knows, by the time YOU get here the French Horn might have re-opened as a Mikkeller. We can but dream.


  1. The odd thing about Bryson is his appeal seems to be that he never enjoys anything he does. The best example being his Appalachian trail book. While I enjoy RM and Simon’s agonies their joys are what keep us reading. And the free music reviews/advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re NOT the first person to say that, Dave. or perhaps you are. I guess being a dour moaner is ideal training to be President of the Campaign To Protect Rural England, all campaigns to protect things that don’t involve sitting in a pub being pointless.

      I’m actually in raptures of joy at this very moment, re-reading last summer’s blog posts. I’ll make sure I disinfect before Mrs RM sees them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dave, I think you and I may have similar opinions of Bill Bryson. When he’s really on his game, no one’s funnier than he is. But he does seem to cross a line at some point where you feel he deeply hates all the places he’s visiting and is deriving no pleasure from his travels whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was you who said that originally, Mark 😉

        He’s seen as a national treasure here on the basis of that book.

        Reading BRAPA would make you want to go places more than Bill does. His pub writing is particularly weak and predictable.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Pubs called the Unicorn rarely disappoint” –That’s it, I’m going to embark on a Cathy Price-style visit to every Unicorn in the UK. (Though by the time all this is over there may only be two or three left…)

    If Mrs RM ever records an album, I hereby request she names one of the songs “Sinking Her Second Punk.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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