The Angel Inn Pub with rooms in Skipton, North Yorkshire

Prices from:
£150 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Fabulously rural Dales location
  • Unspoilt, traditional bar
  • Personable hosts and friendly staff
  • Robust food and regional produce
  • Top-drawer wine cellar
  • Comfortable, contemporary rooms

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitClose to WaterVisit a Stately Pile

Call this inn 01756 649070

Overview

The Angel Inn Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT

The personal touch

Dating from the 15th century, this ancient, ivy-draped pub probably started life as a farm and drovers’ inn, and the stunning views haven’t changed much since then. Additions were made in the early 18th century, when the Angel became the focal point for the local farming community – although it now attracts crowds from far and wide (just look at the cavalcade of cars at weekends). Many of the pub’s original feature remain in the warren of rustic-chic rooms – think oak beams, a magnificent carved bar and some charmingly wonky walls. The Angel has been in the capable hands of the Watkins family since 1983, when chef-patron Denis Watkins revolutionised pub food, bringing fresh fish into the Dales and banning chips. Today, Pascal Watkins and his mother Juliet now look after everyone in the time-honoured way. There are endless possibilities here: eat and drink in one of the bars, choose the easy-going brasserie, pick the elegant dining room or go alfresco on the south-facing patio with its glorious views of the Yorkshire Dales.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome and there’s a little Angels menu

Muddy paws

Small dogs allowed in the snug and two of the bedrooms are dog-friendly (£15 charge per dog per night)

Alfresco

Spring and Summer dining on the terrace under Mediterranean Canopies with views looking on to the imposing Rylstone Fell. Expect the sporadic trappings of rural life, tractors bringing in silage and sheep herded up the road on several occasions

What’s on?

A twice-yearly wine dinner with local producers, and an annual seafood festival in September. ‘Thank Jazz its Fridays” last Friday of every month, twice a month in summer and every Friday in December

What’s the Damage?

9 doubles £150 to £200

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 5 Star & 2 Rosettes; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Sleep

The Angel Inn Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT

Do not disturb

Juliet looks after the bedrooms and she’s got a fine eye for detail; across the road are five country chic rooms in a handsome barn conversion – some are beamed, but all have fat mattresses, white linen and plump pillows, and most enjoy stunning views of the rolling Dales. There are two studio rooms and three suites, one of which is on two floors – Juliet’s a keen collector so you’ll come across some lovely antique and vintage items here and there. Adjacent to the pub are four contemporary rooms located in a more modern development – Sycamore Bank. The Garden Suite has two fabulous French patio windows that look out onto the fell. The Sycamore Suite is huge with a bed to ‘get lost in’, with a single glass door and an unrivalled view of the valley, looking all the way up to Rylstone Church.

Creature comforts

Honesty mini-bar (very well stocked); Fresh milk and lemon slices; Canapés at 6pm and Prosecco for returning guests

Gadgets

i-Pod dock; Wi-Fi throughout; Flatscreen TV

What’s for Breakfast?

Bleikers smoked salmon; Fresh fruit salad; Organic porridge; Angel’s full Yorkshire platter (Wensleydale dry-cure bacon, Olly’s hog sausage, free- range Rylstone eggs); East Coast smoked haddock; kipper fillets

What’s the Damage?

9 doubles £150 to £200

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 5 Star & 2 Rosettes; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Eat & Drink

The Angel Inn Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT

Mastering the menu

The late Denis Watkins, who originally owned the Angel with his wife Juliet, is widely regarded as the godfather of the gastropub; Bruce Elsworth picked up the baton for 18 years and now another Bruce – Bruce D’Aloia Jr, a New Englander of Italian-American descent is transforming the menu and taking the Angel to a new culinary level, whilst embracing Denis Watkins’ vision of simple food done really well. Dales-bred meat and game from the moors are deployed for the likes of mustard and herb-crusted lamb rack with rosemary roasted potatoes and Madeira jus, or oxtail braised in prune, shallot and red wine, with potato gratin, Swiss chard and pan roast jus. Seafood a staple Angel diet – perhaps Hake satay with saffron and yoghurt roasted potatoes, watercress and crispy shallots. Angel’s ‘little moneybag’ (‘a treasure of seafood’ baked in crispy pastry and served with lobster sauce) has been on the menu since day one and is still a bestseller. Sunday lunch is also a perennially popular treat.

On the menu

(Starters: £5.50-£8.95; Main Courses: £15.95-£26.95; Desserts £6.95)

Smoked haddock chowder or black pudding scotch egg & barbecue baked beans

Fish pie or salmon en croute; chargrilled rib-eye, hand-cut chips, Caesar salad, red wine sauce or Goosnargh Chicken Adobo, black bean puree, coriander rice, tomato, avocado & red onion slaw

Caramelised banana crème brulée or Sicilian lemon tart with almond ice cream

Sunday Roasts

Roasted sirloin of Yorkshire beef, Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy; Middlewhite pork leg with crackling and apple sauce a la carte in both the bar and restaurant

Time to eat

Breakfast: 7.30am – 9.30am (8am-9.45am Saturday & Sunday)

Lunch: 12 noon – 2.15pm (2.30pm Sunday)
Dinner: 6pm – 8.30pm (9.30pm Friday & Saturday)

Local, local, local

Lamb and beef – Steven Crabtree, Bolton Abbey Foods (www.boltonabbey.com)
Fish – Neve, Fleetwood (www.nevefleetwood.co.uk)
Cheese – The Courtyard Dairy, Settle (www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk)
Real ale – Dark Horse Brewery, Hetton (www.darkhorsebrewery.co.uk); Black Sheep Brewery, Masham (www.blacksheepbrewery.com)
Spirits – Masons Yorkshire gin, Aiskew (www.masonsyorkshiregin.com); Blackberry and sloe liqueur – Brontë Parsonage, Haworth (www.bronte.org.uk)
Own herb garden

Behind the bar

Dark Horse Brewery’s Hetton Pale Ale is a bestseller and it’s brewed just down the road. There’s Black Sheep Bitter too, and always one other guest local ale. Yorkshire is remarkably well represented in the spirits department too, with Masons Yorkshire gin (distilled in Bedale), Whitakers distilled in Harrogate. The icing on the cake is Brontë blackberry and sloe liqueur from the Haworth Parsonage; who knows what Emily would have made of it! Pascal has created a fabulous, largely French wine list, buying directly from small producers for the last 15 years: expect around 20 wines by the glass.

Bar snacks

Crispy pig ears with aioli and homemade pork scratchings

Time at the bar

12 noon – 11pm

What’s the Damage?

9 doubles £150 to £200

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 5 Star & 2 Rosettes; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Angel Inn

2

Yorkshire Food Finder Tour YO1 7DR

York's only gourmet guided food trek!Consummate foodie Sue Nelson will lead you round the city, dropping in on the best producer and makers in the city. The tour starts and ends at Michelin star holder Andrew Pern's Star in the City where a specially created menu featuring produce you've seen on the trail. A day of fun and great food.

4

Kilnsey Trout Farm, Kilnsey Park Estate BD23 5PS

Fishing, pony rides and nature trails with red squirrels and butterflies plus a cosy café. Their award-winning smoked trout is traditionally produced; hand gutted and filleted and smoked over oak shavings. Have a go yourself and enroll in ‘Lake to Plate’, one of a number of Masterclasses run on the Estate.

5

Courtyard Dairy, The Courtyard, A65, Settle BD24 9JY

Award-winning affineur Andy Swinscoe might look like a teenager but his knowledge of cheese is epic. His enthusiasm is completely infectious and of course you can try before you buy. The range is enormous and includes the likes of Stichelton, Tunworth Camembert, Hafod Cheddar and of course a fabulous variety of Yorkshire cheeses.

9

Craven Arms, Appletreewick BD23 6DA

There are many reasons to make your way to this 16th century pub; the stunning views, the gas-lit, stone-flagged, beamed bar rooms and a very accessible menu which features local game, smoked rabbit casserole and a deep, rich rib-sticking brisket of beef in red wine and star anise. Cruckbarn air-dried ham, anyone?

10

Stanforth’s Pie Shop, 11 Mill Bridge, Skipton BD23 1NJ

The queue does literally go round the block to buy possibly the best warm pork pies in the world! Take them home if you must, but they really are best eaten warm standing in the street, with the peppery juices running down your arms. The recipe hasn’t changed in 80 years and neither should it.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Angel Inn

Activities

2

Geocaching BD23 5LB

Geocaching is quite a new trend, involving hunting for carefully hidden caches using maps and GPS receivers. If you locate a cache (and some are very tricky to find) there are often items in them to swap, and a log book to record your visit. Once you're back somewhere with a signal, you can log your visit online. Check the geocaching website for co-ordinates of caches in the area you're after. If you forget to load the co-ordinates onto your GPS at home, the National Park centres in Grassington or Malham have dedicated 'geocomputers'. You can also hire GPS units from the centres at Grassington, Malham, Reeth, Aysgarth Falls and Hawes.

3

Canoeing HG3 5SY

The weather can have a huge impact on the upland rivers of the Dales, resulting in a number of exciting white-water opportunities and spectacular waterfalls after heavy rain.You need to do some research before plunging in, as there is no recognised right of access to some sites, while others have informal agreements in place and there are a few with a history of 'tolerated use'. Check with the River Information Service provided by the British Canoe Union (bcu.org.uk; 0115 982 1100).

Shopping

15

Settle BD24 9EJ

The North Yorkshire town of Settle has been described as a department store in the Dales, a pretty apt description considering the place is packed with independent shops brimming with character and personality. There's also a traditional weekly market

16

Skipton Antiques and Collectors Centre, The Old Foundry, Cavendish Street, Skipton BD23 2AB

You might have seen the Skipton Antiques and Collectors Centre on the BBC's Antiques Road Trip. It comprises four floors of specialist dealers selling jewellery, furniture, clocks, ceramics, books and loads more.

17

The Vintage Washhouse, 3 Court Lane, Skipton BD23 1DD

An unusual little shop with a 1940s theme, selling handcrafted dishcloths, vintage-inspired homeware and gifts as well as a wide selection of traditional cleaning products - soap flakes, white vinegar, soda crystals, laundry starch and traditional linen scrim, for example. Old-fashioned cleaning methods have made something of a comeback recently, giving excellent allergen-free results. The owner's 'Mrs Mop' outfit adds the finishing touch.

20

Skipton BD23 1DT

Skipton is a lovely town and a past winner of Britain's Best Street of the Year. You'll find pretty much everything here. Craven Court is a Victorian-themed shopping arcade, famously praised by Prince Charles for its architecture. The town is home to high-street names as well as more unusual shops. In addition there are lots of little side streets and alleys full of 'interesting independents' and 'one-off boutiques'.

21

Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton BD23 1NJ

The gallery is located in a canal-side building dating back to 1675 (said to be the oldest dwelling in Skipton), and is a showcase for the work of more than 20 talented local photographers and sculptors.

22

Cave & Crag, Market Place, Settle BD24 9ED

C&C specialises in clothing and equipment for climbers and walkers, plus camping gear, guide books, footwear, rucksacks, GPS - in fact, pretty much everything you might need for that outdoor adventure.

23

Harrogate HG1 1TE

A very stylish place, Harrogate has elegant shopping streets and handsome avenues. There are more than 20 antique shops in the town centre, as well as lots of boutiques and independent shops - especially in Montpellier.

29

Harrogate Antiques Centre Leeds Road HG3 1EW

At Harrogate’s largest antique emporium, situated on the outskirts of the town, you’ll find more than 60 stalls featuring vintage furniture, collectables, curios and jewellery.

Places to visit

5

Settle to Carlisle Railway BD24 9EJ

More like a cleverly designed visitor attraction than a vital lifeline serving countless communities in the wilds of Cumbria and North Yorkshire, the Settle-Carlisle Railway offers a constant backdrop of fells and moorland. Make a day of it and jump off at any number of stops en route.

6

Bronte Parsonage, Haworth BD22 8DR

The former home of the Bronte« sisters opened as a museum in 1928. This is where Bronte« fans get a feel for the daily lives of these extraordinary sisters and how they applied themselves as writers. If you feel like a walk while you're there, trek across the Pennines to Top Withins, thought to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights.

7

Browsholme Hall, Cow Ark, Clitheroe BB7 3DE

Pronounced 'Brusome', the hall is the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire, the ancestral home of the Parker family, who have lived there since it was built in 1507. Together with the gardens it is open to visitors from May to September. Chinese porcelain and antique oak furniture are among many fine items on display.

8

Skipton Castle, BD23 1AW

The massive twin towers of Skipton Castle dominate the town's High Street, and it's one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. You can explore the banqueting hall and kitchen or climb from the dungeon to the top of the watchtower.

9

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6EX

Taking its name from a 12th-century Augustinian monastery, Bolton Abbey lies on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The setting is superb and the tranquil surroundings are infused with fascinating history and legend.

10

Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes DL8 3NT

Housed in an imaginative conversion of the Hawes railway station in Wensleydale, this fascinating museum tells the story of the people and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, as well as the social and industrial history of the area - mostly relating to the period 1800-1950.

11

Malham Cove BD23 4DG

This huge cliff formation is curved like an amphitheatre. The cliffs themselves are about 260 feet high, with an unusual area of deeply eroded limestone pavement on top. People have been visiting the site for hundreds of years as it creates a unique habitat for wildlife and all kinds of rare wild flowers and ferns. You might recognise it as one of the places Harry and Hermione camp in during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

12

Malham Tarn BD24 9PT

England's highest freshwater lake drains at Tarn Foot into a stream that soon disappears beneath the ground at Malham Sinks. It used to be thought this reappeared at Malham Cove, but it actually emerges downstream as a source of the river Aire.

13

Settle to Carlisle Railway, Settle BD24 9AA

Considered to be one of the most beautiful railway lines in Britain, the Settle-Carlisle runs through remote and scenic regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, passing through numerous small communities and taking in a large number of tunnels and viaducts, including the stunning Grade II-listed Ribblehead Viaduct.

14

Fountains Abbey, Ripon HG4 3DY

This unique place is a World Heritage Site, with the ruins of a Cistercian abbey ruins, plus elegant Georgian water garden and a medieval deer park. It's been a tourist attraction for centuries.

25

Janet's Foss, Malham BD23 4DA.

A lovely waterfall and pool near Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss is set in a delightful woodland location. Used as a natural sheep dip and a place for wild swimming, it’s rumoured to be the home of Jennet, Queen of the Fairies. On the footpath you’ll see tree stumps full of ‘lucky pennies’ – if you add a coin and make a wish, maybe Jennet will look favourably on you.

26

Gordale Scar, Malham BD23 4DG

An immense gorge, created by Ice Age melt-water: a huge cavern was carved out by the water and eventually collapsed, creating the gorge and spectacular waterfall. It’s yet another limestone landscape and you’ll see ‘tufa’ on the stone, formed by calcium carbonate-rich precipitation.

27

East Riddleston Hall Riddlesden, Keighley BD20 5EL

This fascinating building, once the home of a cloth merchant, offers many artefacts and items of oak furniture dating from the 17th century. There are also exquisite embroideries and award-winning gardens.

28

Ripon HG4 1DD

This graceful cathedral city is one of Yorkshire’s little known gems. Its greatest landmark is Ripon Minster, surrounded by narrow streets and quaint alleyways, and a short walk from the rectangular market square with its medieval Wakeman’s House, where the wakeman or night watchman lived. The tradition of a horn-blower sounding a forest horn daily at 9pm continues to this day.

Walking

//www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

As you might expect, the Yorkshire Dales is a fabulous place to walk. There are lots of downloadable short walks on the website, including a number close Linton and Grassington. The long-distance walker is also spoiled for choice: the Dales Way starts at Ilkley and finishes at Bowness-in-Windermere in the Lake District, following riverside routes as far as possible. The challenging Yorkshire Three Peaks takes in the summits of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Lady Anne’s Way runs 100 miles from Skipton to Penrith, while the Pennine Way is 270 miles of dramatic and beautiful scenery, stretching from the Peak District National Park through the Dales, up into Northumberland, across the Cheviots and into the Scottish Borders. And there are more – this is definitely a walkers’ paradise.

Cycling

cycle-route.com
cyclethedales.org.uk

The Yorkshire Dales National Park offers the cyclist great variety and flexibility – from a range of easily manageable local routes to the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway, a 130-mile circular route taking in most of the main Dales. Again, the accent is on flexibility and the trail, which starts and finishes at Skipton, can be divided into sections to suit your fitness.

Events

yorkshiredales.org.uk

As you might expect, Yorkshire buzzes with festivals and events. Even on the Angel’s doorstep, at the rural heart of the Dales, you’ll find a range of dates and fixtures– from Grassington’s Dickensian Festival in December to Kettlewell’s Scarecrow Festival in August. Other themes include music, beer, books and drama.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Six miles north of Skipton: follow the B6265 towards Grassington, left at the duck pond and again at T-junction. The Angel is up the hill on the right

By Rail: The nearest train station is Skipton (6 miles) – just over 3 hours from London King’s Cross (change at Leeds); 45 minutes from Leeds and hour from Manchester

Address:

Hetton, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT

Rooms rates & booking

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