THE King’s Arms in Askrigg, better known as James Herriot’s local in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small, has been taken over by a North Yorkshire hotelier.
The pub achieved worldwide fame in the 1970s and 1980s as the Drovers Arms, where the young vet would unwind over a pint with brothers Siegfried and Tristan, who was often to be found chatting up the barmaids.
Charles Cody, the owner of two Dales hotels, has taken over the lease at the 18th-century coaching inn, which is popular with Herriot fans visiting the Yorkshire Dales.
“The opportunity to run one of the most famous Dales TV pubs was too good to miss,” said Mr Cody.
The pub has a range of James Herriot memorabilia on display in the bar and restaurant, drawing visitors following the “Herriot trail” from as far afield as Australia and the US.
The much loved TV drama, All Creatures Great and Small, which brought to life James Herriot’s tales of Yorkshire vets in the 1940s, ran from 1977 until 1990 and is still aired in hundreds of countries around the world.
“The King’s Arms is a great historic Yorkshire inn with a unique atmosphere,” said Mr Cody.
“The added heritage of the television series is fantastic, and just adds to its character. We have introduced an exciting new menu of traditional favourites and more contemporary dishes, all made with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.”
Mr Cody will employ a total of 12 staff at the pub, including up-and-coming chef, Tristan Prudden.
“We have put a talented new chef, Tristan Prudden, into the King’s Arms and there is a completely new kitchen too, as our food offering is central to our success in all our venues,” said Mr Cody.
The head chef joins the King’s Arms team after training for a cordon bleu diploma with Gordon Ramsay at the Tante Marie Catering School.
He also gained experience at the Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey.
“As well as great local ales and a good selection of quality wines, we try to ensure we use local suppliers and offer the freshest and best local meat, vegetables, cheeses and fish we can source,” said Mr Cody.
“The addition of the third restaurant to our group will be a boost to many of our local suppliers.”
Mr Cody also runs the 19-bedroom Charles Bathurst Inn in Arkengarthdale and the 11-bedroom Punch Bowl Inn in Swaledale, which he bought as a derelict property.
The hotelier is one of the largest employers in the area with 60 staff.