Sunday 2 November 2014

BRAPA - Spanish Hangover Special (Keighley, Bingley and Baildon)

It could have been that I was suffering from "Spain-brain", but buying an off peak ticket when I knew full well I'd be travelling at rush hour was not the best start to the evening.  Combine this with a sore foot that had me hobbling, and a worry that my credit card wasn't working, and it was a bad start to my return to the ale after my Spanish jollies.

With the clocks having gone back, I was starting a BRAPA day in the dark for the first time.

485 - CRICKETERS ARMS, Keighley - Just a 5 minute walk from the railway station off a side street near the Boltmakers was this brilliant little one roomed pub.  Despite the limited space, it had all the ingredients to make it a cracker, and after the Brown Cow which I visited on Yorkshire day, I can actually now see that people might WANT to come to Keighley!  An interesting range of beers was on, I went for a Durham White Velvet which was beautiful after all that Spanish lager.  The barmaid was friendly, the local hipster wannabe (resplendent in hat, beard and rolled up trousers with no socks) told me "good choice" whilst an older man had the pub laughing when he tried to answer a call on his mobile from his elderly mother.  Two grizzled old chaps opposite me started singing along to some old 50's hits.  It was that kind of place.  Definitely recommended.

Cricketers Arms - Great pub.  What else do you need? 

486 - FOUNDRY HILL, Bingley - New to the 2015 GBG, this bar is linked to a bigger eating place just down some steps, and as such, it suffers that "waiting room" feel a bit, although having said that, it was small enough to be cosy and despite only counting 7 people in, I struggled to get a seat.  Most of the people were families or female wine drinkers so another point off for lack of hubbub.  However, my Slightly Foxed 'Urban Fox' was an amazing porter and pint of the night.  The barman was helpful and friendly but £3 a pint seems a bit much for Bingley.  When the families left, it was better, on the way out I heard a woman telling the barman (as she pointed at her child) she'd not really wanted kids but they were worth it for the comedy value alone!  I felt that summed things up.

Immaculate pint at the Foundry Hill, Bingley

After a train to Shipley, a 2 mile uphill walk on a bad foot seemed like a bad idea so I tried to hop into a taxi so to speak.  Word of warning, never ever use Powercarz.  They could be the front for a paedophile ring, I was appalled at their service.  I rang Shipley Central who were superb.

487 - BULL'S HEAD INN, Baildon - I blame myself for not enjoying this pub experience as much as was possible.  There were 2 rooms, to the left something that sounded like a buzzing, jolly hive of activity.  To the right, a quiet more basic room occupied by one local old man at the bar, and 2 young couples of the local chav variety.  Obviously, I chose right and spent the whole time wondering if I'd got a comfy seat in the left, what type of experience I'd have had!  As it was, the barmaid was good and sold me a Children in Need themed ale which was as average as the charity itself, with that annoying bear on the pumpclip.  There was some free food (I think) in the bar I was in, minced beef and buttered bread but I wasn't offered any and only late on when a group of local young men walked in, did anyone touch it.  It was only lukewarm by this time from what I could tell.  So a bit of a non-event, pub didn't have the x-factor for me, but maybe things could have been different.

Bull's Head, Baildon - It could've been better, but I'm to blame.

I headed back to York via Leeds (using another taxi back to Shipley) pleased with the night's pub ticking, glad to be back in the swing of things, and sore foot allowing, lets hope for an incredibly productive November.  I'm thinking 25-30 pubs.  BRAPA til I die!



  1. Considering you could get through the barrier at L**ds with your pass, were you actually charged the £2.40 excess (£8.00 - £5.60)?

    Just as a helper, which may be useful should any new Baildon pubs get in future guides, would it be better to use a Drabford FS - Ilkley train up the hill than a taxi? Every thirty minutes, should only be a couple of minutes run Shipley - Baildon.

  2. Hi Tom, yes I think that is what I paid for the excess. Sounds right. I was looking out for Baildon trains and yes I would have done, but the timings were all wrong and being an evening, I didn't have much time to play with. Also, both Baildon guide pubs are still quite a walk from the station (one is nearer Shipley).