Friday 30 October 2015

Britain, one pub at a time

One of the most prolific commenters on this blog has been Martin Taylor of Cambridge, who has seemed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of British pubs and, wherever I’ve been, would always comment on his own experiences. He enjoys new-wave bars and craft beers, but he’s always shown a strong appreciation of traditional British beer styles and old-fashioned pubs. While not a dyed-in-the-wool opponent, he recognises the damage the smoking ban has done to wet-led pubs.

He’s now started his own blog called retiredmartin, which details his generally pub-focused travels around the country. He describes it as “Retired NHS, on permanent walk (15 miles a day) around UK and the world to record the great bits. Focus on pubs and live music.” He also says that, each year, he aims to get to as many of the new entries in the Good Beer Guide as he can. You have to admire his commitment!

The blog provides an honest assessment of the beer quality in each pub he visits, and also conveys a “sense of place” about both the pubs and their location, something that is missing in many other blogs which concentrate on the beer to the exclusion of all else. I haven’t met him so far, but hopefully that can be sorted out, although maybe we should steer clear of politics. Anyway, put him in your blog list and enjoy...

His criteria for a visit to the North-West are very interesting:

  • Travelodge for under £30
  • Short train/metro into Manchester
  • Access to new bit of UK to explore
  • At least 1 new Beer Guide pub in walking distance
  • Holts, Robinsons or Sam Smiths pub nearby
  • Live music – any quality
  • Hills of any size
  • Good Chinese takeaway
  • Likelihood southerners couldn’t place it on the map


  1. Being a bit slow off the mark I hadn’t realised that Martin Taylor and retiredmartin are one and the same.

    I’ve always valued Martin’s comments on my blog (as you point out Mudge, he does seem to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of British pubs), so it’s great to learn that he has started a blog of his own. I will certainly be adding him in to my blog list, and wish him every success with the writing – and also the travelling and the research that goes with it.

  2. Nice post about Macclesfield - shared...

  3. Smashing chap, we shared a few hours and a few pints of Bathams in The Great Western, Wolverhampton recently.
    He was good enough to produce a blog for me prior to my visit to Tamworth last weekend.

  4. I have been trying to do all pubs in Great Britain since the early 80s,ive now done just under 12,000 pubs.
    Ive been married for 29 years and have two grown up children and now have two grandchildren.
    I dont think this is a bad effort for my age of 53.
    Off up Leeds next Saturday and then onto another new town for hopefully another 23 new pubs to my list.

  5. Is this what happens when you retire?

  6. I'd pay to read a blog by Alan blog, particularly if written after Pub 23.

  7. @Cooking Lager,is this what happens when you retire?

    As i have said before,i have not retired,i work in a dirty factory and get equally dirty five or six days a week,up at 4.50am.

    Pub crawling has been the love of my life,i started doing it with mates,then took my wife on loads of pub crawls,my best pub crawl with the wife was back in 1987 when we did Edinburgh plus a few in Glasgow,we managed 177 pubs in a weeks hoilday,never drink soft drinks always beer or whatever is on the bar.

  8. @retiredmartin... I've been trying to convince Alan to write a blog. His pictures of thousands of lost pubs are social history gold


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