If you’re looking for a warm welcome this autumn or winter, you’d have to go a long way to beat the reception you’ll get at The Moors Inn at Appleton-le- Moors in North Yorkshire. Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, a small group of friends celebrating a special occasion – this friendly pub can certainly cater for your needs.
Located in a picturesque village, the inn offers peace and tranquillity in this rural idyll. Appleton-le-Moors isn’t what you’d recognise as a ‘destination’ village (like neighbouring destination towns of Helmsley or Pickering for example) but it’s all the better for that if you know the area well and are looking for somewhere different to try and there are great walks which start from the pub so you can leave your car in the car park and get walking. As well as the attraction of the footpaths, in the village, alongside the pub, there’s a spa, a ceramic artist, a pottery.
City folk will find charm in seeing sheep grazing on the common land – although, I’d hazard a guess that villagers may tire of the sheep’s relentless eating which makes it impossible to have prettily planted verges or low growing window boxes. For visitors, there’s also the excitement of seeing the local hare population at play, which is not something many town or city-dwellers get to do. For the adventurous foodies amongst you, occasionally, there’s the chance to sample hare on the menu – along with other game which comes into season in the autumn.
With the coal fire lit in the range and wholesome, warming dishes on offer, who could resist dropping into the Moors Inn? In addition to the extensive menu, which features ultra-local produce – from the inn’s own allotment and villagers’ gardens no less – there’s also a surprisingly good wine list (which is something which is sometimes overlooked by small country pubs which are more used to catering for real ale fans). The Malbec we were recommended to accompany the Lamb Shank, was exceptionally good.
The regular menu features such treasures as Pea and parmesan risotto and Mussels in home-made dill and cream sauce - served with a hunk of warm, farmhouse loaf – and, this type of treat is complimented by a regularly refreshed specials board. There are traditional meals such as gammon or steak and chips – but there is far more on offer here than ‘pub food’. This is a place for real home cooking and the pub owners pride themselves of the quality of the food they serve. Their full English breakfasts are also a testament to this. The portions are generous too so, make sure you pack your appetite along with your walking boots!
We enjoyed a mid-week break in September, taking in local attractions such as Helmsley, Thornton- le-Dale, Scarborough and the Ryedale Folk Museum at Hutton-le-Hole. We were particularly seeking dog-friendly activities as this was our first holiday with our rescue dog, Tilly. We found the Ryedale Folk Museum to be excellent in this regard and it made for a great wet weather destination too as you can pop in and out of each of the cottages and houses, taking you from the Iron Age, through a Victorian Cottage and some fabulous 1940s shops. As professional photographers, we especially enjoyed the exhibition celebrating the life and times of veteran Yorkshire photographer T Geoffrey Willey (who is now 101). There was even his home-made underwater camera housing which is a fascinating exhibit for any modern day underwater photographers to see.
The recently opened Harrison collection is a fabulous new addition to the museum: it’s an incredible collection of English antiques and rare curiosities put together by local brothers Edward and Richard Harrison. Spanning five centuries of history, the collection includes artefacts relating to food preparation, heating, lighting and family life.
At the museum, there’s also an exhibition garden and some farm animals to visit. Some of the craft shops in Hutton-le-Hole also welcomed dogs and there’s a local cafe with a garden, where dogs are welcome too.
Another great attraction for autumn/winter visitors is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. (Dogs are welcome on all trains (except dining trains) provided they are kept off the seats, tables and not in first class. Dog tickets are £2.50 each and have the same validity as the owner’s ticket.) Whatever the weather, this is a great day out. Wherever you start your journey – Pickering, Whitby or somewhere in between, hopping off at Grosmont is highly recommended: not only can you visit the engine shed but you can also pay a visit to the studio of our favourite local artist Chris Geall, which is handily located in a superb artisan café!
And after all that excitement, you’ll be glad to wend your weary way back to the Moors Inn for a sit by the fire and a glass of something soothing.
Dining at The Moors Inn: http://www.moorsinn.co.uk/dining.php (Advance bookings recommended)