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Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017

New Canalside Pub wins Pub of the Season

View of The Boat House, Spring 2016Our “Pub Of The Season, Summer 2017” is unusual in that 18 months or so ago it didnít exist! The building, owned by neighbouring Pennine Cruisers, used to be a café and didn‘t sell any real ale. In March 2016, however, there was a major change when it became the Boat House and commenced selling real ales through handpumps (seen on the bar to the left as you enter the front door). Shortly after opening, on April 11th, John Garton (Spike) started work as manager and is still here today. He used to work at the nearby Narrow Boat, which is well-known for its range of ales and ciders.

Presentation of Pub of the Season to The Boat House, SkiptonPlaced right next to the Leeds to Liverpool canal, the pub is heavily influenced by its locality. It‘s pretty near impossible to not notice the narrow boats just a few yards away, run by the aforementioned Pennine Cruisers (very busy in Summer). In good weather the bi-fold windows can be fully opened onto the canal basin, or you can sit outside in a covered, cobbled drinking area to get an even closer look at what‘s going on. In colder conditions a log-burning stove is very welcome. Inside the Boat House there are several features to interest those into canals, e.g. the two piece Fairey Marine canoe on the ceiling which now functions as an extraordinary lampshade. The main room (to the right when you enter) has ships‘ navigation lamps placed to provide soft lighting. There are hand-made buffets which look like capstans, each with 15 metres of rope wound around. If you want food, the staff won‘t ask for your table number, as each is named instead, e.g. Jack, Jill, Leo, Rosie. There is a picturesque representation of the route from Liverpool to Leeds via the canal on the wall and also interesting paintings. Even the beer mat holders (they have these too) are made from pitched pine wood which has been reclaimed from the canal. The two “mileposts“ are situated to tell you itís 0.00158 miles to the bar, but 0.00159 miles to the seating! Another feature of interest across the canal is the bronze statue of Fred Trueman bowling.

The canalside outside the Boat House provides a wonderful alfresco drinking venue.However, the pub has won this award on the quality of its beer. There are five changing beers, always featuring a dark one (e.g. dark mild, stout, porter) and frequently featuring a locally brewed beer. One semi-permanent beer is Wishbone Tiller Pin, which Spike and others from the pub helped to brew to celebrate the Boat Houseís first anniversary in March this year. Real cider and perry are also on sale. Food offerings include Boat House Burgers (beef) and Boat House Sausage Rolls (Cumberland sausage and chorizo). Once a month there is a music night and, also, once a month, a themed food night. The pub has WiFi and is both family- and dog-friendly.

The Boat House is possibly a unique place to have a relaxing drink and is well worth our Summer award. The Boat House is accessed via an arch from Coach Street (or by walking along the canal from the bridge where Coach Street crosses it). It is open in Summer from 8.30am to 10pm. Food is available from 8.30am to 5pm (7pm from Friday to Sunday). Winter hours are from 11am to 10pm (food hours vary).

Contact: The Boat House, 19 Coach Street, Skipton BD23 1LH Telephone: (01756) 701660.Twitter: boat_house_bar. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/45

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