Birch Hall Inn

Beck Hole YO22 5LE

Pretty Beck Hole is made up of half a dozen cottages, one farm, one old bridge and one pub – and what a pub it is. Old-fashioned and idiosyncractic, certainly. Fabulous and full of character, you bet. In fact it's a famous place among pub cognoscenti, and much-loved for its quirky ways. Basically, we're talking two age-old bars with a fully stocked sweet shop in the middle and a terrace-garden out back, serving a handful of real ales to walkers, locals and in-the-know visitors (it's only a mile down the hill from tourist-heavy Goathland but you have to know it's here). The menu is simple and fancy-free – locally made pork pie with pickle, big flat butties known in these parts as 'stotties', scones, jam and cream, and the moreish 'Beck Hole Beer Cake'. You'll have to be prepared to be friendly because space is very tight – the record, if you're interested, is 32 people and 2 dogs crammed inside the 'Little Bar', once they'd got the door closed. It's a joy all round, unmissable if you're in the area – and if you're looking for a walk first, start at Grosmont (northern station of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway) and stroll the couple of miles up the lovely old rail path to the pub.

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