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Traditional is the watchword for the pubs of Whitby, the north-east coast and inland to the North York Moors National Park – you’ll look in vain for trendy leather sofas or the Farrow & Ball paint chart hereabouts.
The watering holes in this corner of North Yorkshire are determinedly old school. Woodchip wallpaper and swirly red carpets are still in vogue, along with tankards and horse brasses – but there’s no argument when it comes to weathered beams, roaring log fires and pints of well-kept Theakston’s or Timothy Taylor’s Landlord after a yomp across the moors.
There are also lots of breath-taking views over the majestic coastline – best enjoyed during a summer stroll along the designated footpaths and walks.
A real treasure and one of the smallest inns in Britain, the Birch Hall comprises two tint bars separated by a sweet shop. Space is cramped, so budge up on a bench beside your fellow drinkers or follow the pack and take your beer to one of the seats outside.
Situated on the ‘old side’ of Whitby, the Black Horse is a typical 19th-century town pub made up of two small rooms and a bar that straddles both. Expect a changing roster of guest ales, a menu of ‘Yorkshire tapas’ and 12 different varieties of snuff on sale. Handy accommodation too.
There’s a warm glow to this low-ceilinged boozer in pretty Lastingham, whether it comes from the fire in the black-leaded Yorkshire range, the copper pans or the beams hung with pewter tankards and hops, old photos and a thousand beer mats. Theakston’s, Young’s and York Brewery ales are on tap.
The old stone inn that sits on the bridge by the village green in the heart of Lealholm is a real local’s local. The dining room has a prime view, while the lounge bar is as warm as toast after a bracing moorland walk. The licensees are keen to foster that community spirit and also rear their own livestock.
This famous pub, bang on the harbour's edge at Staithes, has a rich history – not least because it has been washed away and rebuilt three times. It’s safe enough now, and on a summer's day there’s nowhere finer than a seat outside with a pint of Landlord in hand and views of the boats bobbing in the harbour.
A time warp of an inn with black beams, hunting prints, miners’ lamps and the inevitable horse brasses. Seating in the bar is on thickly varnished old settles, while the back room is furnished with sofas and armchairs like your grandma’s front room – except she probably never had Black Sheep on tap.
The handsome 18th-century Horseshoe Hotel, (not to be confused with Ye Olde Horseshoe Inn at Egton) stands foursquare beside the river Esk at Egton Bridge. Its lush garden, riverside setting and tall pines make it a perfect haunt for a pint of Copper Dragon on a summer’s evening.
It may be a tourist trap in photogenic Robin Hood’s Bay, but the tiny Laurel Inn has pubby virtues aplenty – from cosy nooks, open fires, beams and a minuscule bar carved out of rock to excellent Yorkshire ales, guest brews and some fabulous views out to sea.
Superb views are a given at this greatly extended 16th-century inn at the highest point of the North York Moors National Park. Families, holidaymakers and coach parties make a beeline for the place, and it obliges with a crowd-pleasing menu, good Yorkshire ales and plenty of overnight accommodation.
There’s no better spot in Runswick than the terrace of the Royal Hotel with its views of picture-book pantiled cottages, blousy cottage gardens and the great sweep of Runswick Bay itself. And there’s nothing cosier than the back bar stuffed with historic seafaring photographs.