On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited on a bike ride, setting out from Grassington with pubs as our waypoints. One of the ‘team’ has been away from all things Dales Pub for the past year or so – working in St Helena. Our route was altered at the last minute – due to some of the pubs on the original route having closed down.
First stop – well not even a stop really because technically, we hadn’t started – was the Foresters in Grassington or ‘Fozzers’ as it’s colloquially known. Cracking Tim Taylor Landlord. Steak sarney and chips. Brilliant chips. I’ve had a few good times in the Fozzers. It never disappoints. Expect the unexpected.
From there we headed out to the Clarendon in Hebden. Nice pint of Black Sheep, smelt of fish a bit and lacked an atmosphere at that time of day.
From there we headed out to Appletreewick and got stuck into a couple of pubs – the New Inn where we had a walled garden to ourselves with a view across the Dale. Nice ale. After that we went down the village to a stunning bit of pubbery – The Craven Arms. This place had built what was once a very common building – a Cruck Barn – as a function room. They had apparently lovingly re constructed it from old photographs alone and is the only one of it’s type in the world after the last surviving original burned down a few years ago. We bumped into some of my friends old friends and ended up spending an hour or two a this lovely spot. Stories such as their hut was once Bing Crosby’s fishing lodge we’re amongst the discussion topics abound. Had a ‘bad pint’ there but the staff bent over backwards to replace it and make me happy. The replacement pint was a belter.
From there we headed down to Burnsall, the Red Lion to be specific. Good pint, superb stuffed foxes. We heard the rumor that they were setting fire to a boat in the river at 7.30. This we had to stick around for. (Video and Photos over here). From there we headed back t’ fozzers. Sleep got the better of me though after all the days fun and games – luckily, I’d parked the van at the top of the village. I missed an angry umpa lumpa I later heard who came steaming in from a fancy dress party up the road (expect the unexpected, in the fozzers, as I’ve already chimed). A superb day out.
One of the great things about the Yorkshire Dales is it’s pubs. Steeped in history and character, cracking pints and some of the best views in the world, these are some of the finest drinking parlours in the world. The original social network that made up the Inn’s, Hotels, ‘Bars’ and more typically – pubs of rural Britain are in decline – a dying breed thanks to the smoking ban, cut price supermarket prices combined with increased taxes etc. Some of the survivors are the ones that have adapted to change by making themselves either gastro or family friendly, some are just cracking pubs that through the sheer fact of being brilliant are thriving.