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Real Ale Tour - Scotland

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I'd been meaning to post the concluding parts to my Real Ale Tour but time has simply slipped away, probably under the influence of all the alcohol. The previous leg of the journey had the old caravan at the quite lovely Isle of Islay. The sixth and final leg (but not the final drink) was to be a split journey with a stop off to pick up a couple of crates to stock the cupboards back home.

The Journey Continues


The Caravan departs EGPI Islay Airport on part one of the homeward journey


A mixed bag of weather ahead on the unpredictable West Coast


A little company for the journey


Clouds all round


Except when you look down


Temporary stop off ahead


Our temporary stop was to be a former Royal Air Force station located at Baldoon, 1¼ miles (2 km) south of Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway, RAF Wigtown was established in 1941 as a bomber pilot training base.


Nice views but no time to wait


A quick call needed to summon a taxi from the local town to take us to find the latest beer in our ale quest. The 36 mile journey around the Wigtown Bay would see us arrive at Sulwath Brewers Ltd in Castle Douglas.


The name "Sulwath" is the ancient name for the Solway Estuary. This is reputed to date back to a ford, or crossing near the mouth of the river Esk which marked the border between Scotland and England around the 13th Century, and from general usage, the estuary became known as "Sulwath". The company was first established in February 1996, although production started in autumn 1995 with the remit to brew traditional beers, using local produce where possible to provide natural real ales endemic to this Region. The renowned softness of the water produces beers that have a round and mellow flavour, without the harshness that harder water tends to create.


Time was of the essence so choices had to be made - plus the meter was running on the taxi. The second last ale to sample was to be a well named "Knockendoch"


And so it was with great reluctance and crates loaded into the taxi we were off back to the Caravan and home sweet home.

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Indeed the journey was only part complete. The light was fading fast so it was a case of "don't spare the horses driver" in the taxi back to Wigtown to pick up the Caravan. Home beckoned and as you'd expect one last brew to bring the journey to a fitting end. The crates were quickly loaded into the caravan and pre-flight checks completed in record time.

Ready for the off but the light and the weather are looking very ominous indeed.


A very mixed bag of weather awaited - wonder whether the weather will be fair or foul


Over Dumfries with the street lights already starting to twinkle


The light is fading fast


Departing the beautiful Kielder Resevoir in Northumberland


Homeward bound - the end is in sight


Finals into the sunset


Safely down before the sun goes down (just)


Time to grab the Metro from EGNT Newcastle Airport Station and head off for the homecoming party - well a pint down the local actually


The last drink of this tour would be a local brew made at the Maxim Brewery which is just a couple of miles from home. Following the closure of Vaux Brewery Sunderland and Wards Brewery, Sheffield on 2nd July 1999, the Double Maxim Beer Company Ltd was established the following year by ex Vaux and Wards employees. The initial aim of the new business was to sell and market the famous Northern beers from the Vaux and Wards portfolio in bottles that discerning beer drinkers had drunk for years. The main brand Maxim Ale was first brewed in 1901 to celebrate the return of the Maxim gun detachment from the Boer War. Major Ernest Vaux (part of the original brewing family) commanded the detachment, which was part of the Northumberland Hussars. Initially the beer was reduced in strength because landlords complained of their customers falling asleep. In 1938 Vaux Breweries increased the beers strength and Double Maxim was born.

And so our last drink a Double Maxim Premium Cask Ale (or two) :stars: :stars: :stars: :stars: :stars: :stars:


Hope you've enjoyed following the Tour as much as I've enjoyed making it :pilotic: Happy Flying ..................................................... and drinking of course .......................................... just not together ;)

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  • 3 years later...

I know its late to comment...

I really enjoyed your journey (picked up the link in your current coastal tour).

I've recently picked up Orbx Scotland so I might retrace your steps to see how it compares with the photo scenery.

Thanks for the fun jaunt


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Thanks John and Steph, pleased you enjoyed it. It's certainly vintage but probably still my most favourite time in FSX. I just love what you can do with FSX with a little imagination and a virtual world. Plus the virtual beers still leave you fresh the next morning.

I've considered a couple of variations on a theme for future adventures Cider around the south and south west plus more Real Ales around northern England. Time will tell as something different might be in order.

@Steph would be good to see the steps retraced with ORBX Scotland :thum:

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Have you thought of a trip to Belgium to try the beers there?


I can certainly help with that, I am always visiting new ones.  So far I have managed three this year, and have been visiting Belgium for about 15 years.

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