Pub Of The Week: Helwith Bridge

Standing beside the eponymous bridge over the River Ribble a few miles north of Settle, this much-loved pub has bags of character and draws customers from all over Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Many are hillwalkers calling on their way home or ramblers on the 73-mile Ribble Way which passes the door. Others are cavers from the area’s labyrinthine caverns, or fly fishermen casting for trout in a nearby lake, or trainspotters admiring landlord Colin Hall’s huge collection of railway memorabilia, some of it from the Settle-Carlisle line on the opposite side of the river. The Helwith is also popular with Ribblesdale residents, and sometimes you could be forgiven for thinking this is a family’s sitting room rather than a pub.

As frequent winner of the local Camra’s Pub of the Season, you’d expect the bar to bristle with handpumps, and at least eight real ales are on offer. One of them is called Helwith Bridge and brewed specially for the pub by Settle’s Three Peaks Brewery.

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Colin likes his home comforts and lights the coal fire even in summer. In winter, it’s the place to head after a cold day on Pen-y-ghent or Ingleborough. There’s a full menu of traditional bar meals from Thursday to Sunday but at other times, if you look hungry enough, chances are you’ll get pie and peas on request.

Music sessions by local folkies, including one well-known name, are often spontaneous affairs. If you check the pub’s website,, you’ll find it’s really a spoof, dedicated to the pub’s fun-loving regulars.



Drinks selection*****