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Requests for places to visit and things to do when you get there are regular features on social media. Alastair Gilmour’s advice is ‘go your own way’.


There are times when the less salubrious bar is preferable to upmarket sophistication. Herna Bars – basically betting shops that serve beer – have stoked a fascination for these ‘alternative’ pubs even with updated regulations making them less of a personal destination.


On my own in a rural pub except for a few four o’clock regulars and one courting couple – plus Hector. In the normal course of events, everyone tries to avoid Hector, but today there’s no escape. He’s clocked me.


You can learn more in a pub than ever you can at university, reckons Alastair Gilmour
In the pub every Sunday, same time, same corner, sit The Twig Men. There are generally five or six of them and are rarely seen individually, but they assemble at one o’clock on the dot to drink their lunchtime beer. And discuss sticks. 


It’s not easy being an obsessive. There’s a lot of fun to be had to begin with as you develop a mania for something. But the landscape eventually alters.

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