Towering limestone cliffs, purple heather meadows, rows of dry stone walls separating lush green fields – let’s face it, few British landscapes can match the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. The cornerstone of life here is a series of traditional pubs serving wonderful local food and some of Britain’s best draught beers.
The Queen’s weapon.
Leighton is one of the most secluded and beautiful places in the whole of the Dales. The 70 or so residents here love their local pub, the Queens Arms, and for good reason. This 17th century white-walled inn with exposed brick interiors and cushioned chairs offers a selection of quality local beers selected by professional landlord Steve (ask for a sample first!) , once inside, you feel separated from the world, especially on cold winter evenings when a roaring fire burns. The locals are very friendly and usually congregate around the pub, while the restaurant serves local food such as hip steak and battered haddock, fries and peas.
Litton, Skipton, BD23 5QJ.
The King’s Arms
Situated on the main road that winds through Askrigg, this 700-year-old pub has a reputation for excellence in the Dales. Its warm interior and welcoming, not to mention knowledgeable, staff attract customers as do the cask ales from Masham’s Theakston’s Brewery. A tasting tray of three local beers is the ideal place to start, and at ￡3 it’s definitely good value for money. As well as the delicious food, the King’s Arms was featured in a 1970s BBC TV series called ‘Drovers Arms’ about animals large and small, and many of the walls are still covered with old photographs from the filming of the show.
Askrigg, Leyburn, DL8 3HQ.
The New Inn
Located in the charming village of Clapham, the new inn blends the warmth of an 18th century Caching Inn with sleek, modern interiors and a welcoming atmosphere. In the summer, cyclists, bikers and walkers (especially those challenging the Three Peaks) sunbathe in the backyard beer garden, or in the front yard, sit among the stone buildings and be captivated by the gurgling sound of a babbling brook. When the frosty months arrive, guests can thaw out with a steaming glass of hot wine or cider by a roaring fire. In addition to a well-stocked bar, the New Inn’s bistro offers some incredible cuisine, from three-bone rack of lamb to Moroccan-style chicken legs. Please note: Please book in advance as it can get very busy.
Old Road, Clapham, LA2 8HH
As well as stunning moorland scenery, cosmopolitan crowds and diverse cuisine, Hawes also boasts a fair number of quality English pubs. And the White Hart Tavern is one of the best. Located in the town centre, this 16th-century coaching inn is home to drinkers, eaters and keen dominoes players. The interior blends old wooden oak décor and a roaring fire with modern design, giving the place a sophisticated atmosphere. The White Hart welcomes visitors from far and wide, with an emphasis on high-end cuisine, served by well-dressed, friendly staff.
Main St, Hawes DL8 3Q
The Falcon Hotel
As traditional Yorkshire pubs go, the Falcon Inn is second to none. Located in Arncliffe, a small village nestled beneath rolling moorland and limestone cliffs, it’s as if this exquisite watering hole exists in another world. Guests arrive through a vine-covered entrance, which is like someone’s front room. The bar barely holds two kegs of good local beer, and next to an upright landlord, Steven, who prepares his liquid offerings with the utmost care, Steven offers expertly crafted beers, as well as one that is poured straight into a jug for extra flavor. In the evening, the pub gets very busy and many of the locals (many of whom have called it a second home for 20 years) will sit on the stairs or lean against any section of the free wall they can find.
Arncliffe, Skipton, BD23 5QE.
The Game Rooster Inn
While the shop is fairly large, the narrow hallways and tiny alcoves make the Game Cock Inn a surprisingly intimate bar. As well as locals coming in from work for a drink or two, it attracts young couples and families looking for a quality dinner (from local to French and Mediterranean) at a reasonable price. The bar serves Thwaites beers such as the smooth Nutty Black and Crystal Maze – ideal tipples for cyclists and walkers on the famous Three Peaks Trail. For recognition, just check out the wall covered in awards and certificates opposite the wooden bar.
Greenfield, Osterwick, LA2 8BB.
Crown of Hoth.
If there was an award for best all-rounder, Sir Ian Botham’s Pub Award, the Crown Bar would take the accolade. Located in the centre of Hawes, this bar and restaurant attracts people from all walks of life, from affluent couples on a romantic night out to leather-clad riders stopping on the moors. In the pub, local labourers keep company with newspapers and a pint of beer, while families swap stories around a roaring fireplace. The Crown Hotel has two beer gardens, one on the main road at the front and the other looking out over Upper Wensleydale and the Buttertubs Pass – a winding road that became famous when it became part of the Tour de France in 2014.
Market Pl, Hawes DL8 3RD
The Lister Arms has a reputation beyond the green hills of the Yorkshire Dales and thrives on excellence. It is located in Malham town centre, its green lawns teeming with walkers, cyclists and families basking in the summer sun. When winter sets in, visitors enter its vine-covered exterior and enter the welcoming pub, which serves a wide range of quality Thwaites beers. The menu features hearty local dishes, including a selection of beef dishes. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, a roast dinner is a must. Huge slices of beef, crispy Yorkshire puddings and thick gravy will prepare you for your walk to the famous Malham Cove or Gordale Scar waterfall.
Malham, Skipton BD23 4DB
The Bridge Hotel
Situated on the banks of the charming River Swale, the Bridge Inn attracts locals and visitors alike with a warm and friendly atmosphere that bypasses most other pubs. Pull open the door and you’ll be greeted by a soothing atmosphere that perfectly complements the quaint surroundings of this small village with a population of less than 100. In 2014, however, when the Tour de France passed through its doors, Greenton turned into a beehive of cycling fever. It had such a huge impact on Grinton that you can relive the race by asking the staff or locals who will happily reminisce and even show you a video or two.The Bridge Inn serves some hearty well-preserved local beers at reasonable prices and occasionally a small drink.
Grinton, Richmond, DL11 6HH.