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Spotlight on Sutton/Cross Hills - Autumn 2018

As we bask in the final days of a summer of wonderful warm weather, our LocAle spotlight shines upon a quintessential British pub nestled in a lovely village with ancient roots and a modern “micro” version of the “pub is the hub” situated at the heart of its sprawling sister village.

Over 12,000 years ago the Aire Valley was formed by glaciers and colonisation by man began during the Iron Age. Throughout the centuries, numerous towns and villages have grown and developed along its length. One such village is Sutton-in-Craven, listed even before the Domesday Book of 1086: 900 years ago it was known by the name “Sutun”. In the 14th century it was Sutton in Ayrdale before it took its present name in 1620. Historically farming, corn mills and eventually textiles helped keep Sutton-in-Craven residents duly employed. Today, over 3,700 souls live and work in a beautiful village that boasts over 40 organizations that offer community support as well as sports and leisure pursuits.

The Kings Arms, Sutton-in-CravenThe Kings Arms, Sutton-in-Craven

The Kings Arms was originally sited at Kings Court and beer was supplied from a small stone brew-house out back. In 1854 William Longbottom purchased cottages and a croft on the corner of High Street and North Road and built the Kings Arms we know today. A solid stone structure, its single bar serves two well-appointed carpeted areas which are made cosy by warming fires. The front area has traditional bench seating and a darts board. The walls are adorned with photos, maps, war service memorabilia and other snippets of local history. An interesting collection of clocks are scattered around the pub. The small back room has more seating and a pool table. At the back of the pub, a covered patio leads to a newly created sun-trap of a beer garden.

Belinda and Nick (who took over from long-time licensees Steve and Sue) have run this friendly community pub for the past year and provide a warm welcome and efficient service. The LocAle beer on offer is the iconic Black Sheep Best Bitter. Another hand pump serves guest beers which come from breweries further afield like Otter, as well as more local breweries such as Beer Monkey, Moorhouses and Ossett. Charitable events are held regularly, with the most recent a Mini Music Fest in the beer garden to raise funds to provide defibrillators for the village. Race nights are also held and Morris sides visit to showcase their traditional dances.

Family- and dog-friendly, the Kings Arms is a traditional public house in every sense, a home from home for locals yet always happy to welcome visitors. Jump on a bus and hop off in Sutton-in-Craven to spend some enjoyable time there! Open: Monday-Thursday 4-11.30; Friday-Sunday 11-11.30

The Kings Arms, High Street, Sutton in Craven BD20 7LP, telephone 01535 636854. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/SUTT-1-KING

Gallagher‘s Ale HouseGallagher‘s Ale House, Cross Hills

Just a mile away is the larger village of Cross Hills. It is separated from Sutton-in-Craven by a beck which flows into the river Aire just east of the village. This forms part of the county boundary between North and West Yorkshire. Enjoying great views of the Aire Valley, Cross Hills is split in two by the Airedale railway line. Although the station closed in 1965, the community (which encompasses nearby Glusburn) is a busy cross roads, enjoys many amenities and is home to over 7,500 residents.

In the middle of Cross Hills is Gallagher‘s Ale House. Situated in a former bookmakers and coming up to only its third birthday, this cosy micro-pub has become a magnet for both regulars and occasional visitors alike. LocAle beers are ever-changing, a least one (and sometimes most) of the five on offer will come from a brewery based within a 25 mile radius of the pub. Breweries that feature are, Saltaire, Leeds, Bridgehouse, Goose Eye, Abbeydale, Salamander, Rat, Timothy Taylor, Wensleydale and countless others. A range of Farmer Jim‘s ciders are also available.

A chilled, yet fun atmosphere awaits you, with the welcoming bar staff ever knowledgeable about the beers and traditional ciders on offer. The pub is the sister outlet of the well-known Beer Engine in Skipton and is simple in design, with a wooden floor, small tables and stools and some bench seating. The tidy cellar is visible through a glass window and a serving hatch behind the bar can service a large group of thirsty customers (such as cyclists) without them needing to tramp inside! There are no electronic machines or music. It is dog-friendly, has a good stock of newspapers and a rack of books to read and offers free Wi-Fi. Bar snacks in the form of pork pies and scotch eggs are sometimes available.

Annual fund raising events and open mic. nights take place. Social trips are held regularly and a solid customer base has built up over the three years it has been open. An updated modern version of the traditional village pub, go there for great beer and cider and a good old chin wag! Open: Wednesday and Thursday 3-11; Friday 1-11, Saturday 12.11, Sunday 12-8.

Gallagher‘s Ale House, 1-3 Keltus, Cross Hills BD20 8TD. Phone: 07834 456134 (shared with the Beer Engine). WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/41

For information on the buses which serve this area visit: Keighley Bus Company for times.

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