Explore the best pubs in the Yorkshire Dales — what’s better than a cold pint in one of the area’s historic pubs? The Yorkshire Dales is a vast area of valleys and hills. Sparsely populated with the occasional market town, it has been a National Park since 1954. The beauty of the area attracts tourists from the surrounding area and further afield.
Whilst the small towns have more conveniences on hand such as cafes and restaurants, going further into the Dales, a pub is often the weary traveler’s best bet of finding refreshment. This perceived lack of choice may seem unexciting, but the Yorkshire Dales’ array of pubs serve the Dales explorers well. There’s not many prouder than a Yorkshire man or woman, something they’re sure to let you know when discussing other regions of the UK. With this in mind, many pub proprietors work tirelessly to serve locally sourced beers, spirits and ingredients.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park spans a vast area, so we’ve done our best to highlight the best range of pubs to visit whilst exploring the Yorkshire Dales.
Craven Arms, Appletreewick
Nestled in Upper Wharfedale in the tiny hamlet of Appletreewick, the Craven Arms is only a few miles away from Burnsall, a well-known spot for paddling in the river next to the iconic bridge. The pub building itself dates back to the 16th century and is named after William Craven who, born a pauper worked his way to become Lord Mayor of London during the 16th century, making his fortune along the way. The pub not only specialises in serving local beer but the kitchen prides itself on having a reputation for creating soul warming pub food using locally sourced ingredients. With an ‘olde worlde’ authentic interior, the pub has ample dining space and seating outside, allowing for visitors to sip a pint overlooking a stunning Yorkshire view. The pub also has a historically built cruck barn which is ideal for larger events, as well as accommodation and shepherd huts. As a popular location, expect the pub to be busy especially on warm summer days.
The Red Lion, Burnsall
A favourite destination of many a day tripper, Burnsall sits at the base of the dale with the Wharfe river meandering through the centre of this small village. Next to the historic bridge is the village’s pub; the Red Lion. Having recently undergone some much-needed renovations, the pub has a variety of accommodation options as well as a fantastic outside dining space next to the river. A large car park is also situated at the rear of the pub allowing for easy access to the establishment. Serving traditional pub food, the pub has multiple of rooms and whilst booking is recommended during the weekend, visitors are likely to be easily seated during quieter times.
The Red Lion
The Lister Arms, Malham
As it happens, the Lister Arms, is part of the same Thwaites Brewery group as the Red Lion at Burnsall. The fact that a number of pubs in our list are from the same group suggests the quality of their offering.
As with most pubs on our list, dogs are welcome at the Lister Arms — the pub serves classic pub grub that is carefully created; food that won’t disappoint. Accommodation is available for those wanting to stay over, or if you’re popping in for a beer you’ll be pleased to see many local favourites on the hand pulls.
Situated in the tourist hotspot of Malham, the pub is a favourite of walkers and day trippers so it can get extremely busy during the weekends. There is a small car park to the rear but most visitors will likely park on the road or at the Yorkshire Dales National Park car park as they enter the village. This is often your best bet to secure a parking spot.
The Lister Arms,
Angel at Hetton
Angel at Hetton is not your average country pub; over the years it established a reputation for fine dining. Classing the ‘pub’ as a gastropub doesn’t do it justice. In recent years the restaurant achieved a coveted Michelin Star. The kitchen is headed up chef Michael Wignall who leads his team to deliver modern cuisine. The modern decor creates a contemporary environment to enjoy a meal. We would certainly suggest that the Angel is the perfect location for a weekend away or to celebrate a special occasion.
Angel at Hetton,
Kings Head, Kettlewell
Going further up the Dales brings you the Kings Head at Kettlewell. A welcoming pub with everything you expect from a country Yorkshire pub. Flagstone floors, a large studded front door and a roaring fire all help build the ambience of a pub, ideal for hiding from the weather on a winter’s afternoon.
Locally sourced food is marked up on the large blackboard — the menu changes regularly but you can be sure that pub staples will be there as well as some more interesting options. To wash your food down, there’s a variety of local beers that regularly rotate. If beer is not your thing, there’s a well-stocked wine cellar. Should you need to stay, the pub has six rooms available, each one named after a monarch.
The King’s Head,
The Sportsmans Arms, Wath-in-Nidderdale
Heading further north brings you to Wath-in-Nidderdale where the Sportmans Arms is located. It’s a classic country pub where you will find a wide range of beers, a British style menu and warming fires. The small menu is reassuring, ensuring that the food is well thought out and importantly fresh. This family run pub can safely be described as cosy; the building is covered in ivy on the outside, whilst the interior is best described as modern country.
The Sportsman’s Arms,
The Fountaine Inn, Linton
On the winding back road to Grassington from Burnsall, it’s easy to cruise past the turn-off to Linton. A tiny road leads to the small hamlet of Linton. Upon arriving you will see the picturesque scene: a small river crossed by an old bridge with classic Yorkshire Dales properties forming a rough square. At the centre sits the Fountain inn; low ceilings create a cosy atmosphere inside where fires roar and a healthy selection of beers is available at the bar. Modern British food is served daily with an ever-changing specials board available. There’s also plenty of seating outside, on warm summer days, there’s not many a better spot to soaking the sun whilst enjoying a beer. As with most dales pubs, accommodation is available at the Fountaine Inn.
The Fountaine Inn,
The Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw
If you ever find yourself wandering through the charming village of Hardraw, you might just stumble upon a little slice of history – the Green Dragon Inn. Nestled just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the breathtaking Hardraw Force waterfall, this inn has been standing tall for over 700 years, playing host to weary hikers, curious tourists, and loyal locals.
From the outside, it’s every bit the quintessential Yorkshire inn with its sturdy stone walls and those unmistakable, green-trimmed windows. But step inside, and you’re in for a treat. The warmth hits you immediately, both from the roaring fireplace that’s especially delightful on those nippy days and from the genuine hospitality that’s a hallmark of this place. And those walls? They’re practically a history book, lined with old photographs and keepsakes, each whispering tales of days gone by.