Cleveland CAMRA pub of the year in 2007, the Birch Hall is a most unusual pub in the tiny hamlet of Beck Hole, near Goathland, in the North Yorkshire Moors. It consists of two distinct buildings - the public bar is located in the white-brick left cottage, and the shop/saloon bar are located in the brown-brick right cottage - the cottages were joined in the early 1800s, the brown-brick cottage having once contained tenements. The public "Big Bar" seats around ten in comfort - though the record is, apparently, "27... and a dog!". It has an open fire and local village pictures of yesteryear (including of the local quoits team, a favourite pastime here), with service through a small hatch. Over a glass of mulled wine (in winter) or a pint of the locally ubiquitous Black Sheep or the locally brewed "Beck Hole Watter" (sic), the barman will talk at ease to all present. The bar radiates a perfect air of serenity which is about as far from modern-day urban life as you can get, and is well-noted for its historic interior. The second cottage houses a small shop, much in the style of rural French cafés which sell "emergency" provisions. The shop catered originally for miners and railway workers and their families who moved here during the industrial revolution. Some of the sweets on sale have not been seen in most British shops for decades - we hope they are not old stock. The saloon "Little Bar", which welcomes children, is even smaller than the public. Overall, a wonderfully anachronistic village pub, set amid stunning scenery and well worth visiting. A word of warning though - check the opening times before travelling, especially in the winter months.
Review: 1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
Reviewed by kentish_man
15 Dec 2008