There aren’t many real ale pubs on Scotland’s west coast, but those that there are are a pretty sure bet for the GBG. Or if they’re not the cask must be SO bad I’d love to go there.

The red dots are the Guide pubs on the way round the Firth of Clyde, where Duncan now sped me towards a bran’ new tick at Kilcreggan.

It was only about 2.8 miles from Inverkip to the ferry at Gourock, but Google insisted it would take us 34 minutes so we’d just miss the 13:42 boat.

Somehow I persuaded Duncan to park up a hill and walk the last half mile. In the driving rain.

All in vain, as high tides, whatever they are, cancelled the trip. Sounds like micropub excuses to me.

Fellow Pub Man Brian joined us in the ferry terminal where we enjoyed a luxury selection of Caldeonian MacBryne hot drinks. I was starving by now.

Brian and Duncan were more worried about being stranded across the Firth but the kindly boat captain assured us we’d be able to walk round the Rosneath peninsula and be back in Paisley before Christmas.

Creggans would be a new cask pub, a new Guide tick for all of us, and an exciting trip across the Clyde where me might even spot water.

The terminal has a dolls house quality, as well as containing some gorgeous fontage.

Readers familiar with remote Scottish villages will recognise the Creggan’s cafe style,

but though it lacks mobility scooters and bench seating it’s got a community spirit worth of the focal point for my birthday, whose date I forget.

Quite a smart little place, with an average age increased from 27 to 37 by our trio of tickers.

Actually we were lucky to get the table by the kitchen, and lucky the line handpump is getting lots of throughput.

Not Jarl, but the Vital Spark was cool and rich, with one of those scummy heads I bang on about. Perhaps a 3, perhaps a 3.5 because it’s my birthday.

I needed food, it was 3pm and I’d had a banana all day, Luckily the “Pub & Grub” menu had something called “Special”, and you should always go for the “Special”.

“Meal prices include chips. Why not swap for a side salad ?” it says.

Yeah, right.

My birthday lunch could only have been better if William Wallace had cut off Santa’s head, but I’d have needed more than another half of Joker for that to happen.

But they play “Red Light Spells Danger“, and I suddenly felt at home. Well, Sheffield.


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