John O’ Groats ? JO’G on ? Geddit ?

9th September 2022. We left Wick to its anguish of a doomed Spoons (“When you have lost your Wetherspoons, drown your empty selves, for you have lost the last of England Scotland“) and forty-two minutes later we’d reached the top of mainland Great Britain, though of course a pedant an expert will tell you that’s actually Dunnet Head.

But Dunnet Head doesn’t have a Beer Guide pub, and John O’ Groats does, so it’s irrelevant.

The Seaview, a small hotel aimed at the sort of people who walk from Lands End for a laugh, simply HAD to open at 11:00 for our cunning plan to work, as we had a ferry to Orkney to catch just after lunch and I didn’t fancy driving on to a moving ship.

It was 10:55. It didn’t look very open.

I wandered in, went “ahem” to no avail, then went to the little reception area and rang a bell.

Two Dutch walkers turned up. “It should be open, no ?“. These folk rely on the Good Beer Guide App.

Then, at exactly 11:00 the guvnor appeared behind the bar, I leapt in front of the Dutch (I was there first), and had a half of Orca. A fiver a pint, but a cool, rich beer worth 3.5 of your NBSSs.

The pressure was off now, and we were about to explore the delights of Scrabster Ferry Terminal when Mrs RM saw the painted huts.

Shouldn’t we go and see the actual sign like proper tourists ?” she said, and she was right. She made a note in her “I WAS RIGHT” notebook.

The little tourist area with sign and stacked pebbles and ice cream is delightful. Who knew ?

Duncan reminded me there was an actual John O’ Groats brewery tap, which sounds awful but turned out to be both cosy,

AND a new entry in GBG23. A pre-emptive tick to cherish. Good beer too.

Still time to buy an artisanal Scotch egg, because all Scotch eggs are artisanal (NSESS 3).

Seven ticks to go. We can do this !

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