The Ecclefechan Hotel


I *should* have blogged this in May 2014, when we stopped here en route from Mallaig back home, trying for a cheaper option than Moffat but didn’t: maybe it felt the wrong side of the hotel/pub thing.

I’ll briefly mention the hotel- it’s ace. Great value and comfortable.

Besides that, it’s the village pub. Evidently once on the main Carlisle-Glasgow road, now the A74M passes by a short distance away, making the village quiet, but the proximity of a junction makes this a convenient pause.

In the bar itself, it’s pleasant and welcoming. Pub food, cask ale, a real fire, and friendly staff and locals.

The Monreith Arms Hotel

Port William:

Another place we’d visited many years ago. It’s changed little: a bit down at heel, but given it’s in a small village capital to invest must come hard. No ale, but the Tennants was OK. People were eating, but we had a booking at a nearby restaurant. Landlord and locals chatty and pleasant- overall, I liked it as much as the quarter-century or so ago we last visited. There’s a few nice 30s details- terrazzo flooring, for example, and it could be *lovely*, given a pile of cash.

The Cock Inn

The middle of nowhere, Glenluce sort-of:

We’d been here before, but it was a long, long time ago. Pleasant, old roadside pub, with friendly owners and decent food. One cask ale on offer, but I was driving :-(, so Becks alcohol-free it was. It had new-ish owners, and had been smartened up recently. Music, but not too loud, good selection of soft drinks. Great views over the bay to one side.

The Crown Hotel


Our base for a couple of days. We arrived in bright sunshine, having driven through snow, and grabbed a drink to sit outside with. Very friendly staff, good beer and wine, and great food, the atmosphere of an old-fashioned village pub in the bar, with a real fire. Popular for, but not dominated by food, and (as an aside) nice rooms.

The Grapes


A Good Beer Guide and historic interiors pub in Stranraer. It was a bit early really, but (as we remembered) Stranraer doesn’t have that much to offer a couple of middle-aged tourists, so we dropped in. The interior is classic Scottish pub, the barman friendly, and the cask beer was the same local ale (Beltie Blonde) as at The Crown, but in better condition. Pity we didn’t feel like starting epic drinking that early.

The Blue Bell

Annan, Dumfries & Galloway:

We walked down to this from the Queensberry Arms. My phone told me it was this way, but we were reaching the end of the town, and I mentioned my concern. Then we looked upwards, to the huge blue bell. Maybe this was it?

Inside, traditional pub, with the interior mostly intact from an inter-war refit as part of a state-managment scheme in the area. Now it’s a pleasant community pub with a choice of cask ale, nibbles on the bar when we visited, and a really nice feel.

The Queensberry Arms

Annan, Dumfries & Galloway:

OK, it’s a hotel, but this has to be stretched in Scotland: generally the local hotel is also the pub. There’s several pubs in town in this case, but this isn’t always the case, and the bar felt pubby.

No cask ale, but tolerable lager (Staropramen). Barman friendly enough, atmosphere OK (but marked down for TV showing some third-rate channel), nothing exceptional though.

In Ur Pubz, Drinkin Ur Beerz