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Pubs on day 1 of Le Tour - Spring 2014

The Grand Départ of the Tour de France visits the Keighley and Craven CAMRA branch area on Saturday and Sunday the 5th and 6th of July. The two pubs highlighted in this issue are situated along the Stage 1 Leeds to Harrogate route on the Saturday. A list of all of the pubs in our branch that are on or close to the route both race days can be found here.

The Albion, Skipton

The Albion, SkiptonSkipton is the renowned gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and a town steeped in history. Sheep farmers settled there in the 7th century and the name Skipton is derived from the Saxon word for Sheep Town. Nowadays the bustling market town boasts a good number of public houses, many of which are on the main roads of the town. For one just slightly off the beaten track, go halfway up Skipton High Street and find Otley Street, a narrow cobbled lane peppered with traditional shops.

Walk a little way along and you‘ll see the Albion, a stout Yorkshire stone pub. Go inside and you‘ll find a clean and modern style with a tiled floor, dark wood and trendy lighting. Soft music plays in the background and six hand pumps greet you on the smartly appointed bar. The LocAle beer is Theakston Best Bitter with Butcombe Bitter, Caledonian Golden XPA and two guest beers also on offer. Open plan, the area in front of the bar has a number of tall tables and there‘s a more lounge-style area to the right. There‘s also a slightly more private area with tables to the rear.

Ably run by local girl Sera Howard and partner Andrew Brook, the Albion still remains a locals‘ pub, always warm and welcoming. Although modernized, it‘s still a back-street boozer full of customers enjoying their pint and adding to a buzzing conversation. There‘s a beer garden to the side of the building which is said to be an excellent sun-trap. A popular pub quiz is held on Wednesdays from 8.30pm with bar nibbles supplied. Since a tasteful refurbishment last year the food menu has been expanded and the fresh ingredients are all from local suppliers. Meals are served Mon-Fri 11-2.30 and (except January to March) 5.30-8.00, and 12-6 Saturday and Sunday. Daily specials are also available. Well-behaved dogs are welcome outside of food times.

The next time you‘re in Skipton, get away from the main drag and drop into the Albion for a well-kept pint of real ale, a friendly chat and a freshly cooked meal. Follow the Albion on Facebook.

The Albion, 27 Otley Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1EL. Tel 01756 794793 Open: 11-11 (1am Wed/Fri/Sat), 12-11 Sunday. Skipton is well served by public transport, the railway station is a 10 minute walk and the bus station just a few minutes down the High Street. The Leeds to Liverpool canal runs through the town, so you could arrive by narrow boat! View the Albion on WhatPub.

The Blue Bell Inn, Kettlewell

Kettlewell is a lovely village boasting drystone walls and the meandering river Wharfe, and is situated in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Throughout the centuries cotton, lead mining and mills brought prosperity to the village. Today it bustles with locals and tourists alike and still benefits from a local post office, art gallery, various shops and tearooms, many B&Bs as well as two busy pubs.

Travel across the stone bridge in the heart of the village and you‘ll find the Blue Bell Inn. The blue and white building is Kettlewell‘s oldest hostelry and is a rambling inn owned by Copper Dragon Brewery. At the front there are numerous tables which enjoy good views and a place to soak up the Yorkshire sunshine. Upon entry a comfortable seating area to the left has a welcoming wood-burning stove. The dark wooden floors lead you to a bar boasting eight hand pumps. The pub is run by Julie and Dave who offer friendly service and comfortable surrounds in which to enjoy a pint or two. LocAle beers are from the Copper Dragon stable and include regulars Black Gold, Golden Pippin, Best Bitter and Trueman Ale as well as the brewery‘s seasonal specials. Changing guest beers are also available.

Thick stone walls abound and the inn continues on through into two slightly more formal dining areas. Dog are always welcome as are well-behaved children, with a special children’s menu and games to keep them occupied. Food is available daily with regularly changing menus using local ingredients. Accommodation is in the form of four double and two twin en-suite rooms and there are seasonal offers on mid-week and longer stays.

The Blue Bell Inn is a thoroughly pleasant place to drop into for a pint and a chat after a days walking in the dales or if you are just passing through the village.

Blue Bell Inn, Middle Lane, Kettlewell, North Yorkshire BD23 5QX. Tel 01756 760230 Open 11-midnight daily. Kettlewell is on the B6160 in Upper Wharfedale, Pride of the Dales run buses Mon-Sat, check DalesBus for Sunday services. View the Blue Bell on WhatPub.

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