It was a huge relief to 'alight' at Kilnsey, a beautiful Dales village, and with the warm early Autumn sun beating down, I was feeling a bit better about the 4 mile walk in front of me - no pavements of course meant it was always a lively trek!
By the time I finally arrived in Arncliffe for my next alphabetical North Yorks 'tick', I was exhausted but ready for pint, food and a couple of hours of downtime. I just hoped the pub was a good one .....
|What a relief! I've finally reached Arncliffe|
689. Falcon Inn, Arncliffe
And it didn't disappoint. I was soon "well in" with the landlord by commending his decision to un-brand the Tim Taylor Boltmaker back to the original "Best Bitter", a move which also went down well with Mrs Falcon who was more in charge of bringing food outside. This was an unspoilt no-frills pub which was actually the original "Woolpack" in Emmerdale Farm, but it didn't milk it like Askrigg's All Creatures Great and Small theme. The Best Bitter was served straight from a jug and was delicious. I sat outside on the village green with the hills all around, it was so tranquil at this point and I sat in the sun reading and getting bronzed (burnt). I went in for a swift half of Dark Horse Hetton Pale, the only other ale on and it was even nicer, apart from when a wasp drowned in it. The calm was spoilt when a young guy in Range Rover ("Prick Prince Harry") arrived and was noisy and posh with his friend and Grandad. I learnt that last week, John Inverdale had been in this pub (no doubt to abuse French tennis women for being ugly) and Eric Cantona was fishing near here - what a nightmare scenario. Speaking of which, a chavvy Wedding Party soon arrived to disrupt the calm further (third time recently, do wedding planners consult the GBG these days?) so I had to guard my picnic bench carefully. Even they, though, couldn't spoil a classic BRAPA pub experience.
|The excellent Falcon in Arncliffe|
Back in Kilnsey half an hour before the bus after an even livelier walk, waving at cars, chatting to bikes, scowling at motorbikes, I thought I should probably sample their village pub as a pre-emptive of sorts.......
Tennants Arms, Kilnsey
It didn't look stunning apart from the backdrop with abseilers all over this sheer rock-face at the rear of the pub. Some people and their leisure pursuits eh? I'd rather be BRAPping any day! Anyway, I entered this dark pub geared up for food with the traditional country North Yorks knives, forks and placemats everywhere. I was glad to see a couple of ales, so had a half of Otter Bitter all the way from Devon, served by a blonde barmaid with a child's voice, and I smuggled two Cheese n Onion pasties in the main food room! I think she noticed but didn't say anything on the matter. Again, the tranquility was broken when a group of middle aged annoying Yorkshire men descended on the bar like a pack of particularly upbeat Zombies, but I was on my way anyway.
50 minutes of painful bussing later, I was back in Skipton for my second trip here this year, third pub trip here in total ..... as there is a new pub in the guide.
690. Beer Engine, Skipton
Skipton has lots of pubs (no Sam Smith's ones sadly for annoying bus man) but it didn't stop this new micro pub being 'packed' on a Saturday afternoon. It was bigger than the Cardiff one, but smaller than most I've visited this year so being 'packed' probably means about 20-25 people were present. It had a pleasing range of ales but I chose badly as I didn't enjoy my bland Dawkins Green Barrel. I was pleased just to a) find a stool for my bag b) find a wall to lean on c) work the sliding door to the loo and d) be allowed to rest my drink on the bar temporarily to find out Hull City had been disappointing as usual. Like most micro pubs, the average age of clientele was probably about 40-45 and it was a real friendly vibe, nice staff, you'd think this was an old Skipton institution that had been open for centuries, well, if you were blind maybe! I probably got the timing wrong, but a welcome addition to the Skipton ale scene.
|Micro fun in Skipton - note a lot of people out and in!|
September continues to yield a huge amount of ticks and we are back on the midweek trail Wednesday (instead of the usual Tuesday as I have a gig to attend in Leeds). I have not made a final decision but it won't be too far out of Leeds.
And next Saturday will probably (but not definitely) be my second shot at Beck Hole & Grosmont. The Grosmont pub only opens daytime on special occasions and there is a steam gala on so it may be too good an opportunity to pass up - especially as the war weekend clashes with a Hull City day. It should also give me the chance to get out on the train to places like Danby, Egton, Lealholm or even Whitby again so I'll have to do my usual thorough planning and hope it isn't a nightmare like last year's attempt. Really, I should be doing Austwick (it's near Clapham) as this is my final North Yorkshire "A"
And September concludes a week on Tuesday with a return trip to Hebden Bridge and possibly somewhere else.
A few days quiet recovery is all I'm interested in now though!