The Craven Arms, Appletreewick: The 16th Century Yorkshire pub with an open fire, wonky floor and gas lighting

The light and temperature were dropping, and home was calling but I couldn’t resist the detour to Appletreewick. It’s been too long since I’ve been, and it really is my idea of the perfect pub.

If you’re a fan of open fires, wonky stone floors, well-conditioned beer and gas lighting – yes, I’m not kidding – it’s probably yours too.

The Craven Arms is a 16th century pub in the heart of Wharfedale, in an amazing position, perched above the valley with long views over the unfolding countryside.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sit outside on a good day at the trestle tables, drink in the stunning views and cask conditioned ale and toast your good fortune for having stumbled across it.

The Craven Arms in AppletreewickThe Craven Arms in Appletreewick
The Craven Arms in Appletreewick

Inside, an original Yorkshire range, usually lit, battered oak settles, rag rugs and gas lights that flicker and hiss and create a wonderful atmosphere, especially on a gloomy winter’s afternoon.

Ancient beams are hung with farming ephemera, there are fading photos and old prints on wobbly walls, and no music. Heaven.

On the pumps, Dark Horse Brewery’s Craven, Night Jar and Hetton Pale Ale, Wasdale Blonde, Best Bitter and Tim Taylor Boltmaker, and Old Peculiar too.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The wine list is decent with several by the glass and the coffee is ground and suitably strong.

I can’t honestly report that there are clocks ticking, slowly, but it feels like it. Time certainly ambles to the point of stopping altogether.

One change since my last visit is the menu – always good, but it’s gone up a notch or two. A good-looking menu features local beef and game, and the likes of bubble & squeak with duck egg and crispy prosciutto, venison with Jerusalem artichoke puree and pickled wild mushrooms.

There are of course ‘Craven Classics’ – steak and ale pie, fish and chips ‘cooked just like the chip shops do’ and liver and onions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you just want a sandwich, how about Jackson’s pork sausage with red onion marmalade and smoked cheese, or roast topside of beef. There’s a menu for kids, and you and your muddy dog and boots are welcome too.

The cosy snug leads to the Cruck Barn, an astonishing cathedral-like structure with soaring oak rafters and heather roof, built in 2006.

The walls are lime and horse hair plaster and it’s insulated with sheep’s wool – and very atmospheric.

Used mainly for weddings and parties, it’s worth considering if you’ve got a big birthday coming up. If you fancy overnighting there are three really nicely furnished shepherd’s huts tucked behind the pub.

Welcome 5/5

Food 5/5

Drinks choice 5/5

Prices 5/5

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6DA t: 01756 720 270,

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.