Black Horse, Skipton

By this point during the day, we were in our fifth pub. So far we have taken in the Woolly Sheep (Timothy Taylor’s Golden Best), The Castle (Drop Kick from Acorn Brewery, as well as a pint of chips), The Narrowboat (My Generation from a spin-off of Black Sheep) and the fantastic Beer Engine (a Foxy Blonde).

The rest of the party had joined us by now, and we had wandered around quite a few pubs trying to find somewhere to eat. On a busy Saturday night, with England about to take on Wales in the Rugby World Cup semi finals, it took us about 20 minutes to find somewhere with a table free. The Black Horse is enormous, so we stood a good chance of finding a table, even with the rugby on.

The day finished with a disappointing pint of Copper Dragon bitter, not bad per se, just the worst of the day, and it had a lot of good beers to beat. A chicken and bacon burger was a tasty way to soak up some of the previously quaffed ale. Very standard chain pub stuff.

Of all the pubs visited, I would order them as follows:-

  1. The Beer Engine
  2. The Woolly Sheep
  3. The Castle
  4. The Narrowboat
  5. The Black Horse

After dinner, we returned to Fawlty Towers for some card games and reflection.

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The Beer Engine, Skipton

You know that phrase about saving the best until last? We did it today. If you define a pub as a place to enjoy a good beer, this is the very ultimate definition of that. A tiny little place, that is so full of beer, there is not a lot of room for customers, probably around 20 of them. This is what we call in the modern world a “micro pub”. And it is a great example of this thing.

Lots of beers to choose from, plenty from the local area, and more exotic items from further afield. A brilliant little place and the perfect end to our walking tour. To finish off the tour, a nice pint of Foxy Blonde.

Without doubt, the best pub for beer in Skipton, despite the incredibly annoying people on the next table, talking about “London swearing”.

The Narrowboat, Skipton

Stop number three on the walking tour brings us to the Narrowboat, a lovely little pub set back a little way from the canal. Just 8 ales to choose from, with 4 local ales permanently available, Black Sheep, Landlord (#obvs), Ilkley Mary Jane and Okell’s bitter. And there are also another 8 keg pumps, which gives more than enough choice for everyone.

My choice was “My Generation” a new spin-off from Black Sheep brewery, hoppy, golden, and perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon in Skipton, setting the world to rights.

A very nice pint indeed.

We also sneaked a look at the menu for later on, full of pub classics like fish’n’chips, burgers and pie, as well as specials. Sadly, when we did attempt to return for dinner, they were not serving food because they had another party in, which seemed like an odd decision. Anyway, a nice place for an afternoon drink.

The Castle, Skipton

The second stop on the Skipton walking tour. We’ve had a nice morning just trundling around the lovely little market town of Skipton, and needed to find somewhere for more refreshment and a spot of lunch. The Castle had been mentioned a few times, as the bus driver taking the ladies to Yarndale had pointed it out as the current “best pub in Yorkshire”. That, and the massive banners both outside and inside, proclaiming this fact. They’re certainly not milking it or anything 🙂

Refreshment first, a pint of Drop Kick from Acorn brewery, very topical and a classic bitter. We were also joined later on by Yarndale escapee Ali, who was taking a break from the wooly madness to enjoy a pint in the sunshine on this lovely day.

My drinking companions opted for some Theakston’s, the classic Old Peculier.

A nice little sandwich menu is available at lunchtimes, lots to choose from:-

Roast Beef & Onion Gravy
Southern Fried Chicken & Garlic Mayo
Chicken & Bacon Club
Tuna Mayo & Cheddar Melt
B.L.T
Pulled Pork Shoulder & Apple Sauce
Bacon, Brie & Cranberry

Regular MOFAD readers will have instantly narrowed down my choices to those containing pork, since triple pork nirvana is on today. I suspect my predictability will give me away, because it had to be the pulled pork:-

As pub pulled pork goes, it was very tasty, juicy and with a good sauce, not too sweet, and a nice apple sauce to accompany. The salad and coleslaw accompaniment were also very nice. And yes, that is a pint glass full of chips (they are sold by half or pint here). This did spark some debate about whether the pint glass should be filled with gravy, but I’m very much in the salt & vinegar camp, as I was born near the Thames, not the Aire.

A very nice lunch and a very nice pint, The Castle is certainly MOFAD approved.

Woolly Sheep, Skipton

Today, ministerial duties find us in Skipton. Mrs MOFAD is spending the day at Yarndale, the festival of wool (and other crafts, but mostly wool), along with regular MOFAD companions Hazel, Caroline and Ali.

The gentlemen were not particularly interested when the invitation was extended to us, so an alternative plan was formed. A “walking tour” of Skipton, where we would wander around the town, have a bit of a laugh, an impromptu game of I Spy and then maybe visit the odd pub or two. Maybe.

Somehow, we found ourselves in our first pub before 11am. No idea how that happened. No idea at all. We were also joined by regular camping companion Shaun, who lives just down the road. After that long drive, he needed refreshment, so we somehow managed to find ourselves a pub serving Timothy Taylor’s, the local brew 🙂 And how appropriate that it is called the Woolly Sheep, given that wool has brought us all here.

My day began with a pint of Golden Best, a lovely golden ale to start the day, and perfect for starting to put the world to rights. We moved on after this, although not before sneaking a quick look at the menu, which has lots of interesting dishes on such as pulled lamb shank press, or chilled braised ham hock (posh ham, egg and chips).

We did try to pop back for dinner later, but it was fully booked so we went elsewhere.

The Woolly Sheep is certainly MOFAD approved, and we’ll certainly be back on our next visit.