Daisy Andrews July 13 2021

The locals proudly call Yorkshire God’s Own Country.

Five minutes rambling in the rolling green hills of the Dales, gazing at the clear blue horizons of the east Yorkshire coast, or taking in the wuthering moors will be enough to convince anyone that this is a well-deserved accolade.

But what do all the corners of this vast and contrasting English region have in common? Pubs! Friendly, warm, quintessential pubs which have welcomed visitors for centuries.

We’ve put together a list of the cosiest pubs across Yorkshire, which will leave you dreaming of curling up in a corner with a refreshing pint.


For a cosy winter afternoon

Smugglers, Robin Hood’s Bay

The fairytale town of Robin Hood’s Bay is a maze of winding cobbled streets, up and down steep hills with plenty of narrow lanes to explore. This made it a significant network for Yorkshire’s smugglers, with stolen goods like silk and gin being passed from inn to inn.

A homage to this history, Smugglers bar is a tiny, candle-lit bar close to the dock. With an open fire, cask ales and stone-baked pizzas, it’s perfect for a rainy day – or to celebrate finishing the epic Coast to Coast walking trail.


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Tan Hill Inn, Swaledale

Not many establishments can claim a more inspiring location than the Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale. World-famous for its title as the highest pub in Britain (1,732 feet / 528m above sea level), the building itself dates back to the 17th century.

Stepping inside will take you back in time, with stone floors, low beams and a log fire conjuring images of many contented visitors through the years taking shelter from the desolate moors. With plenty of Yorkshire ales available on tap (some of which are cask-conditioned on site for ultimate exclusivity), it’s the perfect place to unwind with the wind howling outside and the beautiful Pennine Way right on the doorstep.


For hearty Yorkshire food

Craven Arms, Appletreewick

For a bit of indulgence, the Craven Arms in Appletreewick has log fires, low-beamed ceilings, and antique wooden furniture ideal for relaxing in a quiet corner. On sunny days, the beer garden has beautiful views of Burnsall Fell and Simon’s Seat. A perfect pitstop on the first day of the Lady Anne’s Way – the Craven Arms take local ale very seriously and love chatting to customers about whatever is on tap that day.

The star of this pub’s reputation, however, is their locally-produced menu of artisan dishes. If you don’t sample enough of their delicious food from the pub menu during your visit, the Craven Deli allows you to take home tasty Yorkshire products like cider black pudding, cured bresaola and piccalilli – all hand made on site.


For tired legs

Lister Arms, Malham

The jaw-dropping limestone pavement at Malham Cove is just around the corner from the waterfalls of Janet’s Foss (with its own natural stone amphitheatre) and Gordale Scar, which cuts through cliffs 100m high. Where better to rest your weary legs after a day exploring all these natural wonders than the Lister Arms in Malham?

I visited this pub after a determined trudge on the Pennine Way in the pouring rain, slipping and sliding precariously over the iconic limestone and longing for a refreshing pint and a huge portion of anything warm. The Lister Arms didn’t disappoint, with a glowing log fire to dry out our dripping boots and a fish pie to rival any other. Even better – they welcome canine friends too! The luxurious and beautifully decorated bedrooms are the icing on the cake.


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Red Lion Inn, Burnsall

In the heart of Wharfedale in the little village of Burnsall, The Red Lion is a family-run pub on the banks of the River Wharfe which dates back to the 16th century. The oak-panelled bar was made by local craftsmen and is enjoyed by villagers and visitors alike. The great selection of ales and wines accompany a seasonally-changing menu which features locally-reared meat and game, as well as fruit and vegetables from the local area.

You could visit this delightful little pub while walking the Dales Way, which winds its way through two national parks. If you can’t bring yourself to leave after a generous meal and a long day of walking, the Red Lion has B&B rooms with views of the river and surrounding countryside.


For warming Yorkshire ales

Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw

Dales pubs don’t get more traditional and cosy than the Green Dragon Inn in Hardraw. Painstakingly restored from the 13th century, the quintessential interior of the Green Dragon Inn recently featured in the TV remake of All Creatures Great and Small, based on the well-known books by James Herriot (who inspired the beautiful Herriot Way).

No visit would be complete without sampling the delicious local ales available. With regular spots on the bar for favourites like Theakston’s Best Bitter and Old Peculier, and Yorkshire Dales Brewery’s Muker Silver and Buttertubs, beer lovers will be in heaven spending an afternoon here.


House of Trembling Madness, York

For something a little different, the House of Trembling Madness in York is well known for its enormous beer collection in the setting of a medieval ale house full of quirky decor. A mixture of Georgian architecture with gothic renaissance art and a smattering of taxidermy, it’s an onslaught for the senses.

They don’t take bookings and it’s a popular place, so securing a spot in this famous pub is a must when visiting York. With their extensive and impressive collection of craft beers, the on-site shop won the UK’s Independent Beer Retailer of the Year in 2019. Why not pop in during a self-drive tour of Yorkshire?


For accommodation in the Yorkshire Dales

White Lion Inn, Cray

The White Lion in Cray is a former drovers hostelry which has been refurbished to provide luxurious accommodation, combining stylish decoration with quaint Yorkshire charm. Superior bedrooms have underfloor heating and sumptuous robes, so you can cosy up and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

All guests are reserved a table in the restaurant, where the wooden ceiling and huge hearth provide a warm relaxed dining atmosphere.


The Blue Lion, East Witton

On the eastern border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the 15 beautifully decorated bedrooms at The Blue Lion in East Witton are the perfect base for exploring the nearby area.

With the pretty market towns of Richmond and Masham a short drive away and the dramatic ruins of Jervaulx Abbey just around the corner, there’s plenty to see nearby.


Discover Yorkshire with Absolute Escapes

If this has inspired you to try a pint of Theakston, take a long walk in search of a delicious Yorkshire meal or wake up with a view of the Dales, Absolute Escapes offer award-winning walking holidays and self-drive holidays in Yorkshire.

Why not take advantage of our team’s extensive knowledge and start planning your trip before all the good tables are taken!

Daisy Andrews
P.S. Enquire now to start planning your perfect Yorkshire escape.

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