Pubs links

Pubs home

Pub of the Year

Pub of the Season

Improved pub award

LocAle - Promoting locally brewed beers

Local pub guides

Clubs which sell real ale (July 2016)

Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to the staff at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to Nicci and Darren at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Front view of the Craven Arms, AppletreewickThe Craven Arms, Appletreewick

The small village of Appletreewick must be one of the most picturesque settings in Wharfedale. It also has probably the best pub in the dale: The Craven Arms. Independently run, the pub has a unique character – there‘s nothing corporate here! As you approach the creeper-clad stone building, gas lights burn at either side of the pub sign and the weather stone and ‘health and safety’ notice at either side of the door offer the first touches of self-deprecating humour that are one of this pub‘s hallmarks.

Health and Safety is taken seriously at the Craven Arms!The building dates from about 1600, although there are signs of an earlier building on the site. Like many Dales pubs, it started as a farm and at some point the occupant started selling beer, probably brewed on site. It was still fulfilling the dual roles of farm and pub in the 1950s. When the Aynesworth family bought the Craven Arms in 2004, they moved the bar back to its original location at the rear of the building and put back the internal wall which now separates the tap room from the main bar area. There is also a dining room and a cosy snug, which leads to the cruck barn.

The Tap Room, photo taken during the 4th Craven Beer Festival, hence the non-standard beer rangeManager Mark Cooper is a real ale enthusiast and prides himself on offering a varied range of beers from local micro-breweries. The ground level cellar is small so, to maximise the number of beers he can sell, Mark stores the casks vertically and uses the Caskwidge system to draw off the beer. Up to eight beers are usually available, a typical range being Cruck Barn Bitter and Hetton Pale Ale from Dark Horse Brewery, Ossett Yorkshire Blonde, Thwaites Nutty Black and Original, Ilkley Mary Jane, Moorhouse‘s Black Witch and Timothy Taylor Golden Best. In October 2008 the first Craven Beer Festival was held and this has been an annual fixture (middle weekend of October) ever since.

The range in the main bar at the Craven Arms, AppletreewickThe pub is decorated throughout with a quirky collection of artefacts, some relating to the history of the pub, others to the local area; some serious but many light-hearted: a receipt for £14 being the annual rent for the pub in 1916-17; a display of local metal-collecting finds; the jar of pickled mobile phones on the mantelpiece “caught being used in this pub”. A collection of birds‘ eggs bears a notice explaining that it was found in a local attic and that collecting eggs is now illegal – but how on earth did the ostrich and emu eggs get there? Even the ‘Inspirational Ladies’ provides food for thought with pictures of heroines (I‘m told the gents are inspirational too!). The tap room has a dart board and ‘ring the bull’.

View of the cruck bar from the top of the beer garden at the Craven Arms, AppletreewickThe cruck barn was built in 2006-07 by a team led by Rob Aynesworth using traditional methods and materials. The massive cruck frame, formed from split oak trunks, supports a lofty roof of ling thatch, the heather for this being harvested from the Bolton Abbey Estate. At one end is a large open fireplace and at the other a wooden staircase leads to a minstrel gallery offering further seating. The barn is available for private functions.

The Minstrels‘ Gallery at the Craven Arms, AppletreewickThe pub is open all day. Food is served 12.00 – 2.00 (2.30 Friday) and 6.30 – 9.00 (8.30 Sunday) and this summer they have trialled serving food all day at weekends. On a sunny day, the road-side tables at the front of the pub are a real sun trap. Alternatively you can relax in the beer garden.

Tight security surrounds voting for the Beer of the Festival Award at the October 2011 Craven Beer FestivalThis is not the first award David Aynesworth and his team have won. The pub was the West Yorkshire SPBW (Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood) Pub of the Season in Summer 2008 and in 2009 David and Rob Aynesworth were jointly awarded the “Beer Drinker of the Year Award” by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group at a dinner held at Westminster. This award of Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub of the season is thoroughly deserved and, in my opinion, long overdue.

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick, Nr. Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6DA. Phone: 01756 720720. Website:

Tamsin Candeland

The Loud Minority perform provide entertainment in the Cruck Barn for the Pub of the Season presentation.The presentation took place on Tuesday 13th December at about 8.30 p.m. A great night was had by all, and we would like to give special thanks to the Loud Minority, the local drumming band who provided the entertainment and to the kitchen staff for such delicious nibbles.

Disclaimer and Privacy Policy | Contact Keighley and Craven CAMRA | Copyright © Keighley and Craven CAMRA 1998-2019