The Narrowboat #2, Skipton, September 2017

A trip back here for a drink, with regular MOFAD companions Matt & Hazel. Mrs MOFAD was hoping that they had found some more Passion Fruit Gose from Hawkshead (she has declared it her favourite beer ever, in the history of the world, ever).

Sadly it had definitely run out this time, so she was out of luck.

My final Skipton pint for this year’s visit was Galaxy by Brewsmith, from across the border in Lancashire. Full of fruity Galaxy hops, a quality cask pint.

Mrs MOFAD opted for the Tiny Rebel Mojito Sour, a heavy mint sour which for me needs loads more lime and hence some more sour. It was too dry for Mrs MOFAD but Hazel liked this one.

Nice to finish our Skipton visit in this good pub, it’s equally suited for drinkers and diners (despite their pie problems last night).

The Woolly Sheep, Skipton, September 2017

The walking tour of Skipton is over for another year. During the 2015 walking tour, we liked the look of this pub, and had wanted to eat here back then, but it was fully booked. We didn’t make the same mistake this time, we got ourselves booked in so we could guarantee our table for dinner tonight.

We strolled over from our hotel and made ourselves comfy, ordering drinks and perusing the menu. The evening started with a surprise, a new beer from Timothy Taylor, Knowle Spring, a gentle golden ale.

Lots of interesting things on the menu, pub classics such as gammon, sausage and mash, fish and chips, steak pie and steak and chips.

I opted for the burger, a really lovely effort in ciabatta with redcurrant, grape & port chutney. A burger is not always considered the highest of art forms but when it is done well it is a thing of beauty. I’ve had a few crackers this year, and this was right up there with them. Look at those lovely chunky chips too, none of this skinny fries nonsense with not enough potato inside them.

Mrs MOFAD chose from the specials board, with this lovely mediterranean lamb dish which was full of flavour, but a touch heavy on the salt.

Despite all of the effort expended as part of our earlier walking tour, we skipped pudding and moved on to another pub for another drink.

The Woolly Sheep is a lovely town pub, good standard local beers paired up with honest pub grub. If you’re looking for a nice meal in a town full of choices, you won’t go far wrong with the Woolly Sheep. Lovely stuff.

Filmore and Union, Skipton, September 2017

The walking tour of Skipton is drawing to a close. We’ve got a couple of pubs to visit later on, so for now a coffee and cake break. Filmore and Union are a small northern cafe chain, who started out in York in 2012 and have opened another ten sites since then.

There’s quite a lot of what might be termed “weird hippy food” on the menu in here, but this chocolate brownie and latte were very nice.

It’s the kind of place were you’d expect to find “smashed avocado on vegan toast”, “egg white omelette” and a bowl of granola for 7 quid. So yes, you’ll find all of those, but if you just want a decent coffee and a bit of cake, this will do nicely. Makes a nice change from Costa.

Wine Rack, Skipton, September 2017

The next stop on the walking tour of Skipton saw us take a small detour for a spot of shopping. Despite being called Wine Rack, there’s a decent range of beer in here, lots of local stuff in cans and bottles, alongside some big names from home and abroad.

This photo was originally taken to taunt missing MOFAD drinking companion Steve, who had to pull out of the weekend at the last minute due to illness. So we merely wanted to show him what he was missing, and encourage him to get well soon, and enjoy some delicious beer.

Some tasty Belgians ilustrated above, alongside appropriate glassware. I picked up some good cans from Roosters and North Brewing, as well as an interesting cranberry sour from Cascade in the US. This was courtesy of Matt, who got it free with his purchase of  some of the rather wonderful Brooklyn Intensified Barrel Aged Coffee Porter.

Both that and the cranberry sour are not the kind of things I’d expect to find in a shop like this, the target market for those beers would not be many of the locals I suspect. Which explains why the cranberry sour was free – it just hadn’t sold.

So next time you see a branch of Wine Rack, take a trip back to 1987 (yes it is an 80s icon) and step inside. Invigorating surprises await.

The Beer Engine, Skipton, September 2017

The walking tour of Skipton continues, and we find ourselves in our favourite pub from 2015’s walking tour, The Beer Engine. This year there was no-one in talking about “London swearing” just lots of people enjoying good beer on a Saturday afternoon. It is a place that knows its market and caters to them. There’s not much point sticking 5 keg lines in here and trying to convince local drinkers to have thirds of double dry hopped triple IPAs.

There are 5 cask ales on hand pump, ideally suited to the local market. There are around 4 ciders and some good bottled beers including some nice Belgian numbers. The perfect place to enjoy a relaxed pint and a chat.

My relaxed pint was Vale Ale by Three Castles Brewery from Pewsey in Wiltshire, a tasty caramel bitter.

A quick atmosphere shot to give you a sense of the place:-

A lovely little micro pub. Whenever we are next in Skipton, we’ll be back.

Stanforth Butchers, Skipton, September 2017

More food? Yes. It is dangerous to conduct a walking tour without sufficient calories. Award winning calories are an added bonus, so when there’s a traditional pork pie available that’s been made to the same recipe for over 80 years, at a shop where they regularly queue out of the door for them, it’s got to be worth checking out.

This pork and apple pie was probably the best pork pie that I’ve ever eaten, well worth a very brief stop on the walking tour of Skipton. Perfect fuel for any walk. I wonder if there’s anywhere else round here where we can get a drink?


The Castle Inn, Skipton, September 2017

A familiar venue from the 2015 walking tour. We stopped here for lunch then, and we did the same today. We had two pints here.

The first pint was Barista Stout from Theakston, a lovely sweet coffee stout. I remember having this one on a walking tour of Loughborough, and it’s still a lovely pint that could stand up to having a bit more coffee added.

The second pint was a pint of chips. We had pints of chips last time, so we had to have them again. Plates are always preferred, but the occasional quirky pint of chips is ok, especially when they are decent chips. It does make it hard to get the salt and vinegar evenly distributed though…

A lovely Skipton pub, and we sat outside watching the world go by.