The Great Inns of Britain hand-picked collection of independent hotels are #GoodToGo, ready to provide you and your family with the perfect summer staycation. Take a closer look at some of our Yorkshire and Lancashire inns and the starring roles they have played in some top TV shows and film.
The White Horse & Griffin, is one of the most iconic and charismatic properties on the old East side of Whitby and it perfectly captures the heritage, ambience and essence of this much loved coastal town.
Built in 1681 the White Horse & Griffin was the first coaching inn from Whitby to York and London and was also used as a meeting place for explorers Captain James Cook and William Scoresby who hired and fixed their crews from the building. Set in the heart of Whitby’s historic east side, the White Horse and Griffin is the perfect location from which to explore the town, the coast and surrounding North Yorkshire Moors.
The hotel has 10 en-suite bedrooms over four floors, each named after a well-known Whitby Ship and skipper. While the main restaurant sets a retro tone and transports the visitor to a bygone world of explorers, press gangs and smugglers.
Flagged floors, exposed beams and brickwork, old wooden tables, open fires and loads of flickering candles recall the past, but the locally sourced food is reassuringly modern, the most imaginative menu in town. Head Chef Andrew Pearson and his team serve up great food in a relaxed and unfussy style using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients with a strong emphasis on fresh seafood.
Together with delicious prawns and elegant Jet jewellery, Whitby has long-since been associated with the gothic melodrama and romance of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This dark anti-hero has known many incarnations from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee, Gary Oldham to Claes Bang, and just like Dr Who, each generation has its own Count. This night-walking bloodsucker has endless appeal and his story is inevitably intertwined into Whitby’s own sea-faring legend and dramatic coast.
Whitby is a delightful coastal town with a selection of charming shops, stunning views and historical landmarks. Close to the North Yorkshire Moors, it’s a great base to take in some fabulous views such as Kilburn’s famous White Horse and Roseberry Topping or a walk along the Cleveland Way coastal path takes you to the beautiful seaside town of Robin Hood’s Bay for more of the East coast of England’s chequered sea-faring past.
The Shibden Mill Inn
Journeying to North and West Yorkshire and our Great Inns owe a great debt to the writing behemoth that is Huddersfield born, Sally Wainwright, (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey) none more so than The Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax. For over 350 years, Shibden Mill Inn has been at the heart of life in West Yorkshire’s Shibden Valley. Beginning life in the 17th Century as a corn and spinning mill it was sold to Halifax brewers ‘The Websters’ in 1890 when it became a public house. Many years later the mill use has changed, but it is still bustling and thriving with activity – one of pleasure, fine food and world class wines.
Beautifully located in the stunning Shibden Valley, the Shibden Mill Inn is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. In summer, the valley setting and lovely gardens beside Red Beck provide a perfect spot for alfresco dining, whilst in the cooler months, the Inn’s open fires provide a warm welcome for visitors. The Inn has been sympathetically renovated to retain its original charm and character and the AA 5 Silver Star Inn accommodation and 2 Rosette dining is at its very best, at the highly-acclaimed Shibden Mill Inn and you will undoubtedly be planning your next visit before you have even left.
Already a hugely popular destination with holidaymakers and food lovers alike, it has gained a bastion of new fans, thanks to the success of Wainwright’s smash hit HBO/BBC television series Gentleman Jack. Set in 1832 West Yorkshire, starring acting royalty Suranne Jones, Amelia Bulimore and Gemma Jones, it’s inspired by the true-story of the collected and coded, secret diaries of Anne Lister and her attempt to maintain her family’s crumbling Shibden Hall and estate, seduce and marry her rich but timid neighbour, Anne Walker played by Sophie Rundle. The series has spawned an army of fans and the Shibden Mill Inn is a popular stop off point for those undertaking a Lister pilgrimage or popular walks to Shibden Hall, Shibden Dale and Calderdale Way.
Yorkshire is blessed with coastal views, historical sites, quaint market towns and beautiful rolling countryside, so it is no surprise it’s a hit with television makers looking for a dramatic backdrop. From Harry Potter to Heartbeat, Wuthering Heights to Victoria, God’s own county has it all. The Boar’s Head, Ripley Castle, is superbly located on the cobbled market square in the centre of the charming listed village of Ripley. It’s also situated only yards from its very own Castle!
Ripley Castle has been home to the Ingilby family for over 700 years and they still own and manage the Boars Head, indeed much of the furniture and many of the portraits belong to the family. All residents can take advantage of the complimentary tickets available to tour the ancient castle and stroll around its magnificent deer park and gardens.
The inn is renowned for its warm welcome, fine hospitality and mouth-watering dining with produce fresh and direct from the castle gardens and seasonally themed menu with daily specials. It’s also deep within Herriot Country and a half hour drive from the World of James Herriot in Thirsk. The BBC Series All creatures great and small, ran from 1978 until 1990 and it followed the trials and tribulations of hapless vet, James Herriot, played by Christopher Timothy, in a country veterinarian practice alongside brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon played by Robert Hardy and Peter Davidson. The enduring popularity of the fictional characters were based on the real-life adventures of vet turned author, Alf Wight OBE.
The channel 5 remake stars Nicholas Ralph in his debut as the young James Herriot and Sam West as the irascible Siegfried is due to on our small screens later this year. You don’t have to go far to find an impressive Dales walk associated with the series or the locality with Malham Tarn, Keld to Tan Hill, and Grassington, frequent locations of both series, within ten-miles of the Boar’s Head.
The Blue Lion, at East Witton has been welcoming travellers for hundreds of years as they journey through Wensleydale, North Yorkshire and is recognised as one of the region’s leading country pubs and the Good Pub Guide’s 2014 Inn of the Year.
The cosy, traditional bar, with its welcoming log fire and flag stone floor is a popular meeting place with locals and visitors alike, where an excellent choice of bar meals is complemented by the fine selection of hand-pulled beers.
Its fifteen en-suite bedrooms are individually designed in keeping with the inn’s comfortable, country style, with dark wood furnishings and old prints complemented by the expected modern-day comforts.
The charming candlelit restaurant is the perfect setting in which to enjoy the highly acclaimed a la carte menu which emphasises local produce and seasonal ingredients. Deservedly, the Blue Lion boasts a string of culinary awards and achievements for its fine food and wine and has been named Dining Pub of the Year twice as well as its Inn of the Year accolade.
If you visit the Blue Lion, then you owe it to yourself to take a trip to Wallace and Gromit’s favourite place, Wensleydale creamery, based in Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It has won over 400 awards for its cheeses, butter and yoghurt, made from the rich, creamy milk of happy cows that spend their days eating the lush green grass of Yorkshire.
Peter Sallis provided the voice for Wallace, but he already had a well-known association with Yorkshire as one third of an ageing trio of friends, Foggy, Compo and Clegg, growing old disgracefully in the BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine. Set in and around Holmfirth, the series ran for 294 episodes and made much-loved stars of Bill Owen, Brian Wilde, and Kathy Staff as the long suffering, stocking wrinkled and harassed, Nora Batty. The full box-set of this homage to the stunning Yorkshire countryside, unrequited love and enduring friendship is available on Britbox.
If you have a hankering for the nostalgia of North Yorkshire and walks with stunning views Ingleborough, Aysgarth Falls and the Ribblehead Viaduct have had their fair share of TV time. Heartbeat followed the 1960s lives of police constable Nick Rowan, played by Nick Berry from 1992 until 1998, and Niamh Cusack as his wife Dr Kate Rowan. The series followed the residents of the fictional towns of Ashfordly and Aidensfield, and the dealings of ‘curmudgeonly reprobate’ Claude Greengrass, played by Bill Maynard. The era was lovingly recreated in and around Goathland, Whitby, and Otley.
Our last Great Inn for our current TV trip of views is across the border to Lancashire at The Inn at Whitewell. Once a small manor house, the earliest parts of the inn date back to the 1300s, when it was home to Walter Urswick, Keeper of the King’s Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Residents are welcome to fish for salmon, brown/sea trout and grayling, according to season, on the Inn’s seven-mile stretch of the river. The surrounding countryside can also be explored on foot, bike or horseback; hampers and picnic lunches can be provided for guests planning a day’s outing. The Inn at Whitewell has a stunning private dining room that is also on the riverside.
The Inn has twenty-three en-suite bedrooms which have been individually designed with antique furnishings, paintings and prints; many have open peat fires with and overlook the river. Some bathrooms feature beautifully restored Victorian ‘bathing machines’ – canopied baths and showers with huge spray heads.
Food is an integral part of the inn and the team are renowned for their wholesome, delicious menus in the bar and dining room, with lots of seasonal and local produce in evidence. The bar serves a fabulous range of beers, wines and soft drinks, from some very local cask ales to some of the world’s best organic bottled ciders and beers.
The Inn had a starring role in the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon six-part comedy series ‘The Trip’ (2010), which saw the pair travelling around Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire posing as restaurant critics.
For stories of fantasy and quest they don’t come more epic than the odysseys of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, in J R Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fans of the books and films will love The Tolkien Trail, where they can embark upon a trail of areas said to have inspired the author during his many visits to the area. It takes in many woodlands and scenery that were the muse for The Shire together with some familiar names. The Forest of Bowland is an enchanting place and there are a number of walks with incredible views that are well worth a look as well as the breathtakingly beautiful Ribble Valley.
The Great Inns of Britain are ‘Good to Go’ and covid secure. There have applied stringent health and safety measure to reassure guests of an enjoyable, relaxing and safe stay at our inns, following strict protocols of enhanced cleaning, social distancing, hand sanitiser products and additional supplies of face coverings where required.
We look forward to seeing again soon.