New book toasts the region’s best pubs

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NATIONAL pub chain Wetherspoon’s may have taken over the New Angel Hotel, but the recently-released 2012 Good Pub Guide is set to remind traditionalists about the good old-fashioned family-run pubs our region has to offer.

It features some of the best inns and bars in Whitby and district, recommended by those who know best, their customers.

When the guide started 30 years ago there was widespread fear that the genuinely unspoilt pub was rapidly disappearing and would soon die out.

However, the truly unspoilt pub, particularly in the hands of a caring landlord or landlady, has been remarkably resilient and the guide celebrates these traditional establishments.

The Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole is included once again, with the guide complimenting this “tiny pub-cum-village shop in stunning surroundings, two unchanging rooms (shop sells postcards, sweets and ice creams) and model train running around head-height shelf”.

Glenys Crampton has been at the pub for 30 years with her husband Neil and said: “Beck Hole’s a special place and the pub is even more special because there’s many like us left.

“Being in the guide makes a big difference to us, because we’re a little off the beaten track.

“People look through it and choose to come here as a result, so it’s very important to us.

“The other thing is, it means you know you’re doing your job right if you’re in there.

“It’s people who’ve been in several times that recommend you so you know you’re doing consistently well.”

Other pubs featured in the 2012 guide include:

l Wheatsheaf, Egton - “Village pub of real character, good choice of enjoyable well-presented food, charming service.”

l Horseshoe, Egton Bridge - “Attractively placed 18th century inn with open fire, spindleback chairs and a big stuffed trout (caught nearby in 19130).”

l Postgate, Egton Bridge - “Moorland village pub doing good imaginative food, traditional quarry-tiled panelled bar with beams and coal fire in an antique range.”

l Ellerby Hall, Ellerby - “Small, friendly, well looked after hotel with good pub atmosphere, well-kept ales, log fire, good breakfast.”

l Crown, Hutton-le-Hole - “Spotless pub overlooking pretty village green with wandering sheep in classic coach-trip country.”

l Board, Lealholm - “In a wonderful moorland village spot by wide pool of River Esk, old-fashioned stripped stone bars, big log fire, welcoming licensees and chatty, friendly staff.”

l Bay Hotel, Robin Hood’s Bay - “Friendly old village inn at the end of the 191-mile Coast-to-Coast walk, fine sea views from cosy picture-window upstairs bar.”

l Laurel, Robin Hood’s Bay - “Charming, welcoming little pub at the heart of an especially pretty unspoilt fishing village.”

l Duke of York, Whitby - “Busy pub in fine harbourside position, comfortable beamed lounge bar with fishing memorabilia.”

l Station Inn, Whitby - “Friendly three-room bare-boards drinker’s pub, wide range of well-kept changing ales.”

The Good Pub Guide is available from Ebury Press for £15.99.