Spotlight on two great “winter” pubs in the Worth Valley - Winter 2017

When the days are short and the nights long, we pub-goers naturally seek out establishments which are bright, cheery and welcoming. In this issue we have a look at two long-established, well-known public houses in the heart of the Worth Valley.

Haworth is world-renowned as the home of the Bronte literary family which lived in the village from 1821. By the time they arrived it had already enjoyed a long history, first mentioned as a settlement in 1209, with subsistence farming, wool-combing and hand-loom weaving the local trades for centuries. Slowly, the economy turned from domestic to industrial when water-powered mills first appeared in the 1790’s. In modern times, the village also became famous for being the home of a preserved railway, the Keighley and Worth Valley, ensuring that tourism remained a major factor in the lives of the 6,300 souls that reside there. The heart of Haworth with its main street of traditional stone setts, is a conservation area boasting eighty listed buildings which include independent shops, pubs, tearooms and restaurants.

The Kings Arms, HaworthThe Kings Arms, Haworth

The Kings Arms sits at the top of the cobbled Main Street at the corner of West Lane and Church Street. Built in the 17th century, owned by the Lord of the Manor until being sold, it was the manor courthouse up until 1870. Through the years it had also been used by the local undertaker to store bodies in the cellars and there was even a slaughterhouse out back! A black and white photograph from 1916 shows it as the Kings Arms Hotel proudly selling Tetley’s Fine Ales. Today, the Kings is a busy pub run by manager Caroline and her team, who will greet you in Victorian dress and provide cheery efficient service. Bridgehouse Brewery in partnership with Punch Taverns undertook a renovation which has resulted in a bright, clean interior. The flooring ranges from flagstone to wood and carpet in an open plan layout. Light grey panelling is enhanced by photographs and local maps of days gone by.

LocAle beers on offer are Brontë themed from Bridgehouse Brewery. The single bar boasts six hand pumps with Emily (Airedale Bitter 4.1%), Anne (Blonde 4.0%), Branwell (Porter 4.5%) and Charlotte (Holy Cow 5.6%). These are supplied by the new Bridgehouse Brewery situated behind the Airedale Heifer in Sandbeds, near Keighley. The other pumps have either a seasonal offering from Bridgehouse or guest ales. Lytham Blonde and IPA were seen recently. The Kings offers a “Victorian-inspired” food menu daily. Special events include a Monday Cask Ale Club with all beers offered at a discounted price. Monday is curry club, Tuesday steak night and Wednesday is quiz night. The pub is dog- and family-friendly. There’s a good-sized beer garden at the back and the pub offers free WIFI. Situated at the heart of the Brontë village, welcoming locals and visitors alike with excellent service, great atmosphere and a range of local beers, you can‘t beat it.

Opening hours: 11.30-10 Mon-Thu; 11.30-Midnight Fri & Sat; 11.30-10 Sun. Meal times: 12-8 Mon-Sat; 12-6 Sun.

Kings Arms, 2 Church Street, Haworth BD22 8DR; telephone 01535 645197. Website: http://www.kingsarmshaworth.co.uk/. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/HAWO-1-KING

The Fleece, HaworthThe Fleece, Haworth

Just a few minutes stroll down the main street is the Fleece Inn, a substantial building, originally a coaching inn dating from the late 1800s. Situated halfway up the street (or down, if you like), the Fleece is a well-known Timothy Taylor tied establishment. The film company of Railway Children fame based themselves here when the movie was being filmed in 1970. Photos of the stars adorn the walls, as do images of old Haworth and the Brontës. The bar area is flagged, there‘s a small side room to the right and the rest is open-plan with a split-level area used for dining. Roaring fires greet you on the cold wintery days that the Worth Valley offers up. Landlady Trudy is proud to say that the Fleece is a traditional pub that offers accommodation and food. There are en-suite single, twin and double rooms furnished to high standards

LocAle beers from the Timothy Taylor stable include, Golden Best 3.5%, Boltmaker 4.0%, Landlord 4.3%, Knowle Spring Blonde 4.2% and Ram Tam 4.3%. There‘s a hand pump for rotating guest beers and the latest is also from Timothy Taylor: Poulter‘s Porter 4.8%. There&lsquols a large range of foreign bottled beers available as well.

The unique beer garden is 3 storeys up from the bar. Loyalty cards are offered. The pub is Cask Marque accredited, has disabled access and is dog-, family- and hiker-friendly. Free WIFI is available too. A pub for all, well supported by locals and by Brontë pilgrims alike. The Fleece offers the best of what Yorkshire has to offer, a warm welcome, great service and traditional cask-conditioned beer from a family brewery established in 1858. Pay a visit soon.

Opening hours: 11-11 Mon-Thu; 11-11.30 Fri and Sat; 11-10.30 Sun with meal times: 12-9 Mon-Sat; 12-8 Sun

Fleece Inn, 67 Main Street, Haworth BD22 8DA; Tel 01535 642172; Website: http://fleeceinnhaworth.co.uk/. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/HAWO-1-FLEE

Haworth is reached using the Keighley Bus Company‘s Brontë Bus services, or, for a more nostalgic means of arrival, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

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