Blacksmiths' Arms

Anserdale Lane Lastingham YO62 6TN

If ever a pretty village had a pretty pub, it's Lastingham and its undeniably quaint Blacksmiths' Arms. The ancient church is the star turn as far as the village goes, but the pub runs it a close second – spruced up a bit inside, but still a recognisable row of old cottages with low beams, leading from a bar with a roaring range fire into two separate dining areas. The food is on the 'posh' side of things – game pie, salmon and chorizo kebabs, beef and dumplings in a merlot gravy are typical warming winter dishes, while real chips come in a little tin bucket. But the ales are largely real and northern, served in a keep-your-elbows-to-yourself bar covered in beer mats and hanging tankards. They're used to walkers ambling in and out again – it's a nice, easy walk from Hutton-le-Hole, for example – and a thoughtfully placed box of shoe-covers by the door helps keep mud and rain off the carpets.

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