I know you know I love a bit of early U2 (I saw them in ’81, preachy even then), and there’s no better place to go for the soundtrack as I move inexorably from 12 to 11 GBG pubs to do.

By 1981, the Applecross Inn has a coastal route for intrepid pub tickers too terrified by the Benleach na Ba mountain track beloved of psychopaths.

I’d driven 776 miles by now, almost a Proclaimers song, and had no intention of my quest falling at the 11/12th from last hurdle.

Actually, that’s not true. When I met US Dave in Eastbourne he’d told me of the horrors of the tougher route (“scarier than a Burger King drive-thru“), and I really wanted to do it, but occasionally a marriage is worth preserving, particularly when you want a hand reversing out of a carpark.

The Applecross must be famous; the Strathcarron was selling postcards of it (top). But although it sounded familiar from flicking through Beer Guides annually I hadn’t appreciated its remoteness,, second only to the Old Forge on the Knoydart peninsula (sadly/luckily out of the GBG at the moment due to Belgians).

The near 90 minute approach to Applecross via the coast is one of the greatest journeys on earth, the views across to Torridon sensational. Sadly, you can’t stop at passing places, and you can’t take photos while driving, so this is all you get.

At least you get a clear sight of approaching motorhomes on this road.

I’d booked a table for noon at the Inn (guilty), as I knew the Applecross retained table service, so we had an hour to see whether Mrs RM could take the killer shot.

Mrs RM wins.

But I get the best photos of the South Sudan twinned loo (50p, or Apple Pay, appropriately).

The pub is wonderful. Full of diners, but friendly, warm and unfussy;

and with a pint of Pale Mrs RM (would YOU let Mrs RM drive you to Applecross ?) enjoyed too much.

My rule is no more than a dozen photos per post, so I’ll save a few pics for when I’ve more time to blog, but here’s the fish pie.

Comfort food of the highest quality, leaving just enough room for the local ice cream;

Mrs RM hasn’t forgiven me for matching chocolate and raspberry ripple, mind.


  1. I stand by that drive being truly a white knuckle experience. Fabulous though. We did it first and then drove out the route you did. Your route was spectacular too in my opinion. One of the best pub locations I have seen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do wonder how places this remote keep going. There can’t be that many intrepid tickers!

    I see that G**gle filmed the Benleach na Ba route last December. It looks fantastic in the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The late Leslie Thomas mentions the Applecross in his book The Hidden Places of Britain. Always wanted to go there. Met him once in the Digby Tap, Sherborne. Lovely bloke.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Had a good chuckle at the “almost a Proclaimers song” line!

    Are you in a race against the next GBG being published right now? Or do you feel you’ve got a comfortable amount of time to get these last ticks?

    I had a friend in high school who was a big U2 fan. But I’m pretty sure he wasn’t clued into them as early as 1981. You must have seen them at a very early stage there; a relatively small venue?


  5. Important question.
    I know that you have been to the old ‘New Brew-m’ in Burnley, but have you been to the new ‘New Brew-m’ in Burnley which opened across the road in September 2018. It was only when reading a recent BRAPA posting that I realised that there had been a re-location. I wouldn’t want you to complete the Good Beer Guide only to find that you hadn’t really completed the Good Beer Guide.


    1. Some tickers will revisit if a pub moves across the road or even moves the bar, but won’t revisit if a Wetherspoons closes and reopened as a Brewhouse and Kitchen. I’d definitely do the latter but not bother about the former!

      A proper visit to Burnley is long overdue though.


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