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Monday, 30 May 2016

Beer Trekkin–The Pubs

pub to pub 118

And now it’s time to reflect on the pubs visited, or not visited, or, even avoided on England’s Highest Pubcrawl (still not settled on a proper name for this walk – suggestions welcome as long as it’s not Pub McPubFace).

There were four main target pubs – The Travellers Rest at Flash, The Cat and Fiddle, The Tan Hill Inn and The Kirkstone Pass Inn.

pub to pub 004pub to pub 006

So we begin at The Travellers Rest at Flash – or, to give it it’s Sunday name “The Knight’s Table at the Traveller’s Rest” This was closed. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, apparently.  Daft name for a pub anyway – so we progressed…  Flash has another pub; The New Inn. This looked more walker friendly but was also closed.

pub to pub 014pub to pub 015

Onwards we went – to The Cat and Fiddle, the second highest pub in England. Closed. And it was blowing a hoolie and chickingit down . By any measure of success, this wasn’t anywhere on whatever scale you measure success. We repaired to Buxton. Buxton has 19 pubs, apparently. The first wouldn;t let us in due to us having a dog. The Eagle let us in, though and it was here that we waited for the bus back to the campsite. God Bless the Eagle. We have started. We have landed. I liked The Eagle.

pub to pub 027

Next came the Devonshire Arms at Peak Forest. They let us in. They sold us beer and apologised that they’d got no food. The locals were friendly. I was going to return for more beer after putting up the tent and eating somethig rehydrated, but I fell asleep. I wasn’t well anyway.

pub to pub 035

Onwards we went – to Edale which has two pubs, both of which were open. We went in the Nag’s Head. They let us in, didn’t whinge about the dog. We had beer and pea and ham soup which was all very nice. It was OK if a bit pricey. But it’s Edale, innit? A honey-pot. You have to take their money, innit? It’s expected.

We crossed the thin bit of Kinder and lighted at The Snake Pass Inn. I knew they were friendly here, following the TGO chally reunion back in March. We beered and fed – I had a broccoli bake and it was nice.

pub to pub 063

The next pub was miles away….The Great Western at Standedge. This was closed. It looked like a permanent closure. Never mind, there’s another pub just down the road – The Carriagehouse which also has a campsite. Both pub and campsite were heaving with families and a rugby club coachparty. WE sat outside for the beer and didn’t eat there, but some Pennine Wayfarers were eating and the food looked good.

pub to pub 074

The White House above Rochdale was the next pub. This has been heavily done-up since I was last here and, again we sat outside with the dog and scoffed beef sandwiches. They used to hate smelly Pennine Wayfarers here many years ago and had insulting poems about hikers on their walls. That was long ago, though..

pub to pub 082

Next, after a big gap, during which we passed many pubs in and around Todmorden I found myself in the Cock and Bottle in Skipton for a proper session with an old school pal. Both this pub and it’s sister pub, The Royal Shepherd, declare themselves to be dog and family friendly. Its a good , friendly pub, probably helped that Howard seems to be a local. It seems not to have changed very much since I was last in there in ?1972..

pub to pub 093

We rejected The Angel at Hetton due to a sign on the door asking us to remove our boots, waiters in unforms and a general air of being much too far up it’s own bottom. This may be unfair, but first impressions count and, clearly, we were much too poor and scruffy to spend any of our money in there. So we didn’t.

pub to pub 107

Pubs in Malham were much too far away from the Gordale Scar campsite, so we had to wait till the next day to visit the King’s Head in Kettlewell. This has been “done-up” too quite recently. We sat outside for thye beers. The shop around the corner provided pies for later.

pub to pub 116

There was another hiatus in pub-visiting here, due to a heavy rainstorm at Buckden which saw us seeking early shelter and it was too early for the pub at Cray which we passed somewhat above on a limestone shelf, so the very next hostelry was The Crown in Hawes. This is dog and walker friendly and was one of my favourites. Very welcoming, in fact.

pub to pub 120

The plan was to camp at the Green Dragon at Hardraw and eat there. They were surprised by our request to camp but agreed to open up the campsite. And they’d no food at all. It was their first night open after buying the place and they were’nt doing food till the next day. We managed, though. In the bar, there was a tight clique of locals, and my feeling was that they’d rather not have strangers in there. You could talk at them, make a comment or an observation, but there was no response at all. I suppose it’s because I’m a southerner (I come from Earby)

pub to pub 128

pub to pub 130

The Tan Hill Inn was the star of the walk. The place is friendly and welcoming, specially to yer doggies AND had two lasses from Ravenstonedale playing instruments and singing excellent folk music, including “She walked through the fair” which appears on this very blog and which I’ve been obsessed with for weeks now. And beer from Dent Brewery and a cracking Lamb Shank. Dawn suprised me by sneakily getting a room. This turned out to be a smart move since by dusk it was chucking it down outside.  I liked Tan Hill.

The next pub wasn’t till Shap. There are pubs available in Kirkby Stephen, obviously, but we were intent on slicing a lump off the long walk to Shap, so we just shopped and plodded on.

pub to pub 150

The Crown at Shap was visited on last year’s Coast to Coast walk and was found to be friendly and nice to dogs. And it hasn’t changed. Somebody brought Lucky a bowl of water and demanded I remove his pack and locals chatted to us and it was all very pleasant. It got even better when we ordered and received a roast lamb dinner each. I’m afraid I shovelled mine down a bit.

pub to pub 177

Finally, after leaving Dawn to the crows, I arrived at Kirkstone Pass. I must say that this was a bit of an anti-climax. It was all very friendly and so on, and they accepted Lucky with no problems and I managed to neck three pints of mild before asking about food. They had no food till the next day. I asked about the bunkhouse. It was full.  I used to work in Personnel, y’know. And A&E at one time. I can tell, fairly easily, when somebody’s not beng truthful. I believed the bit about not doing food, but there’s was something else going on about the bunkhouse.

So – the best – in approximate order were:

Tan Hill Tan Hill's website

Crown at Shap Crown Inn's facebook page

Crown at Hawes Crown Hawes website

Devonshire Arms Peak Forestdevonshire arms facebook page

Snake Pass Inn.snake pass inn website

The Cock and Bottle Skiptoncock and bottle website

The worst were the ones not open and the Angel at Hetton.

There’s a rematch for the pubs between Todmorden and Skipton, so this will be updated – probably in July this year.



Howard Barker said...

The Royal Shepherd has re-opened. Don't know if it's the same landlord but I heard it was closed because somebody was buying stock in from non-brewery suppliers.

Dawn Linney said...

Tan Hill was my favourite, I suppose I could make a mention on the different shandies served up in the differing pubs?

Louise said...

Have I missed your Chally write up?

Quinn said...

I can only imagine the depth of disappointment after a very long walk, finding the pub(s) closed. I would probably weep.
And as for that footwear regulation, good gracious, how rude. And shortsighted, too...I would much rather be sitting in a roomful of people with muddy boots than even ONE person in sweaty socks - whew!

Phreerunner said...

That's a cracking route Mike. Really quite tempting. Well done sir.

Tommy said...

There used to be a law (I think) which said that if you had licensed premises they had to be open at the regulation times to serve customers but that was when a pickled egg was the most you could expect. I have been let down on long pedals by looking forward to lunch only to find the pub closed 'because there are no customers'. That was like the time that I went into an outfitters and asked for a felt cap. "I'm sorry," I was told, "but there's no demand for them."