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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

Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub Of The Year 2010: The Maypole, Long Preston

The Maypole Inn, Long Preston has been announced as the winner of our prestigeous 'Pub of the Year, 2010' award. A fine example of a popular, well-run village pub, the Maypole does an excellent job of balancing the needs of the local community, tourists to the southern Dales and passing traffic on the A65. Now with the assistance of daughter Rosie, the pub has been in the capable hands of Robert and Elspeth Palmer for over 26 years. In that time it has notched up 5 Pub of the Season awards and it has featured in all but two of CAMRA's annual Good Beer Guides since 1986. (It might have been in 1985 but I no longer have my copy of that one.) It is also has Cask Marque accreditation. Congratulations are due to the Robert, Elspeth and Rosie and their staff on winning the award.

Robert, Elspeth and Rosie show off their Pub of the Season Spring 2009 plaqueIn many respects the quintessential English village inn, this 17th century building sits right beside the A65 in the centre of Long Preston, overlooking one of the two village greens and its eponymous maypole. Entering by the front door, the tap room is to the left, with its Victorian carved oak benches, unusual leather-topped cast iron tables and a roaring fire in winter. Darts, dominoes and various pub games are available and there is a television screen, which is only used for major sporting events. Dogs are welcome in this room, which has a serving hatch at the rear of the single bar. The bar itself faces the lounge, which is situated to the right of the entrance. This cosy, comfortable, carpeted room also has a real fire and is furnished with both tables and chairs and relaxing settees. Both rooms are decorated with a mix of sporting prints and old photographs of village and surrounding area. Locals will tell you that the majestic stag's head mounted on the wall above the fireplace in the lounge has occasionally been known to talk to them, especially around Christmas and New Year! Perhaps they've probably been sampling one too many of the excellent ales! Beyond the lounge is a smartly-appointed dining room, which is ideal for family meals, and for fine days, the pleasant back garden has picnic tables with umbrellas. Smokers are catered for with a small heated outside drinking area to the rear.

External view of The Maypole Inn, Long Preston, Keighley and Craven CAMRA Pub of the Year 2010A board in the lounge lists every licensee from Ambrose Wigglesworth in 1695 up to the present incumbent, Robert Palmer, in 1983. Robert and Elspeth are almost certainly the longest-serving licensees in our branch area, and it is this continuity of management, very rare nowadays, that makes the ambience and the welcome at the Maypole so special.

There are four constantly-used handpumps on the bar, dispensing Moorhouses' Premier and Taylor's Landlord as the regular beers, plus two guest ales from local independent breweries - Bowland and Copper Dragon being the current favourites. The fifth pump is used at busier times of year for an additional guest beer. Two traditional ciders are also available (both from Weston's). The kitchen turns out large portions of excellent traditional home-cooked meals, which can be eaten in the lounge or the dining room, and the specials board usually has a few, more exotic surprises. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available with six four-star letting rooms, which should be booked well in advance, such is their popularity.

The Maypole makes an excellent base for walking, cycling or fishing in the Southern Dales and Ribble Valley and, with a little careful planning, can easily be reached by public transport. The hourly Pennine Skipton-Giggleswick bus service (route 580) stops outside the door (not Sundays or evenings) and Long Preston station is less than 10 minutes walk away, with a regular, but infrequent service on the Leeds-Skipton-Lancaster/Carlisle routes. Mondays to Saturdays the last train back towards Leeds is at 9.20 p.m.

Bar opening hours are: 11-11 Mon-Fri, 11-12 Sat & 12-11 Sun. Food is served: 12-9 Sun-Thur, 12-9.30 Fri and Sat.

Written by Richard Candeland, who stole much of the above from Andy Grant‘s excellent Pub of the Season Spring 2009 article.

The award was presented on 18th May 2010.

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