The Horse and Groom, Armthorpe: 'A lovely place of refuge' in a tiny Yorkshire village

There are many communities in South Yorkshire which have, or had, what you could justifiably call “split personalities”.

They existed pretty cheerfully for centuries, muddling along with their rural ways. And then the industrial revolution made its impact – it could have been coal, or steel, or the mills. From an economy founded on the fields and the crops, it was changed almost overnight.

Armthorpe is a perfect case in point, a tiny village surrounded by rolling farmland one minute, and the next, home to thriving (and very dirty) pits. Coal was exported for decade after decade, and then, in a reversal of policies from on-high, everything shut down. With the mines went a lot of the nearby businesses.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But there were exceptions, and one, thank heavens, is the lovely little place of refuge that is The H&G. For the size of the building, the car park is enormous.

The Horse and Groom in ArmthorpeThe Horse and Groom in Armthorpe
The Horse and Groom in Armthorpe

The long, mainly rather low building, is transformed into a real eye-catcher are the abundant exterior floral displays, for they are real zingers, exuberant colour on even the dreariest day. It turns out that they are the work of the landlord’s parents. Full marks, and genuine thanks for cheering up the day of so many.

Inside, there are two main bars – the one to the left as you enter is dedicated to sports fans, and there is a shelf full of gleaming trophies.

To the right is a large and airy space carved out of what once was a cluster of smaller snugs, today, it looks out onto the well-clipped lawn of a large beer garden.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On a weekday lunchtime, the place was buzzing with lunch parties, a real social mix of families and groups.

At the bar, you’ll find ales such as Southwold’s Boat Trip, and there’s always a seasonal cocktail for the discerning tippler. Thursday night is quiz night and Sunday lunches are legendary hereabouts – and excellent value.

It’s worth having a look at the seven-strong pizza selection – all are hand-baked in the adjacent kitchen. Here, we’ve got a determined survivor with its own quirky character, fun, and friendly.

Welcome 5/5

Atmosphere 5/5

Drinks choice 4/5

Prices 5/5