In addition to the pubs and restaurants in Middleham there are several more within a short drive or a longer walk away, These include: The Blue Lion, The Saddle Rooms, The Wensleydale Heifer, The Friars Head, The Cover Bridge Inn, The Wyvill Arms and the The Queens Head.
THE BLUE LION, EAST WITTON
Distance - Just 5 minutes drive, 40 minute walk
The most beautiful village, and famed for Daniel Craig been seen at pub as he had a bolthole nearby. Kate Winslet, prince Charles and Jamie Oliver have all been seen here too. And it is dog friendly in some areas of the pub of course! The pub has a sterling reputation.
The pub is very old, but characteristically so, the bar is stunning, quintessentially English and very ‘Yorkshire Dales’ with a fire and Yorkshire stone floors that have seen hundreds of years of traffic. The hand pulled ales are apparently fantastic (they have Black Sheep from round the corner in Masham) and the wine list is impressive, however rather pricey for the good stuff.
A weekend afternoon in there is just sublime, the fire on, the seasonal menu’s are beyond impressive, studying them while you nurse a drink taking in the age and beauty of the place, the white linen napkins and high end attention to detail really does feel quite special and when you step outside your surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful.
The Blue Lion has had some poor reviews of late, but with staff furloughed and whatever pressures Covid has brought – we don’t tend to pay attention to reviews made in 2020. They have won Dining Pub of the Year three times, we think their food was impressive and all locally sourced (the lamb and beef was always spectacular) they have an excellent reputation in the area, often being fully booked so we recommend booking in advance.
THE SADDLE ROOMS, LEYBURN
Distance - 5 minute Drive, 40 minute walk
The Saddle Rooms are in a very impressive estate, the grounds and even the drive is just stunning. This is a unique dining experience, being that it is a restaurant that features a fabulous wine cellar and bar area which was converted from race horse stable. Some of the tables are virtually in a stable cubicle its quite impressive and they have multiple private dining options including a vaulted cellar. They are super dog friendly but only in the bar area.
It is situated within the same beautiful estate as the amazing The Forbidden Corner an exceptional tourist attraction in the dales. It’s virtually a day out just wondering around the grounds.
They have been awarded 5 stars by the AA and also won the prestigious Herriot Award For Local Restaurant of the Year. As well as Best Family Dining Restaurant. I am almost certain that they carve the meat at the table for Sunday lunch, which of course is stunning (2 courses £23ish)
The owners have not scrimped on this property, it’s is simply beautiful and the service and efficiency is impeccable. They have a lovely nibbles menu for grazing, lighter lunches an open charcoal grill for meat which is just divine. The produce of course is high quality and locally sourced. We spent a long evening starting and ending in the bar area, we weren’t rushed and the team are very welcoming friendly and very helpful. The wedding venue attached is one of the most be beautiful I have seen.
WENSLEYDALE HEIFER, WEST WITTON
Distance - 1 minute walk
This is our favorite restaurant in the region!
#1 for Sunday lunch in the UK in our book, and we consider ourselves Sunday lunch experts 40 years in the making. There is a menu of dreams if you love seafood or meat, however they have always catered well for a milk intolerance with no prior notice. I have dreams about their lobster, scallop, pancetta warm maple salad – it is simply the best thing I’ve ever eaten. They have their own smokery, I have heard the kippers are exceptional and their own pastry chef is a genius, the deserts are exciting and different.
An evening meal with wine, starters and deserts can easily get quite pricey however it is worth it and we have been so many times, taken family on special occasions. Sunday lunch is around £28 for 2 courses, £32 for 3 courses and although on the high side it is worth every single penny.
The best part is you can choose to eat in the dining room with white table cloths, or in a variety of little, more casual snugs around the building (they allow dogs in those areas but not the dining room).
The service is impeccable like a 5* luxury hotel but the welcome is like a local pub you have known for 10 years. All I can say is you must go. Oh and they smoke their own fish.
THE FRIARS HEAD, LEYBURN
Distance - ??
The exterior and interior of this pub are absolutely beautiful, it’s a social media dream for photos and there are no shortage of beautifully restored stone walls and lovey white twinkly lights in the evening. I am not sure of the age of the building but I’m pretty sure it has turrets.
Now we love a nibbles menu and this place does not disappoint. Every dish is delicious, looks ‘photographable’ they really are on the ball here. We genuinely love the vibe, friendly and casual but good quality food and setting. It’s great for a Friday night drinking or a long meal with friends grazing over lovely food, there are quite a number of people on holiday here and everyone is in high spirits and chatty. We always meet new people when we come here.
This pub is attached to a high end caravan park, for some reason that put us off going initially, perhaps believing it would be clicky, anyway we went and we were so pleasantly surprised.
THE COVER BRIDGE INN, EAST WITTON
Distance - 2 mins drive, 20 mins walk
A very traditional olde worlde Yorkshire pub serving quality traditional food and lots of it, they have a reputation for delicious pies and also randomly ham and eggs.
The jewel in their crown is the beer garden next to a beautiful old stone bridge and a babbling brook (its actually a river but its very small). You could easily pass a few hours there relaxing. It’s not the prettiest of pubs but the river side location is lovely and it’s on the route of a few walks that start or end in Middleham making it perfect for a pit stop for a pint and a little paddle to cool of your feet (or it is just me that does that?).
We haven’t yet had Sunday lunch there, but if its anything like their pies then you are in for a ‘Like Grandma used to make’ style Sunday lunch!
Dog friendly and open all day everyday.
The WYVILL ARMS, CONSTABLE BURTON
Distance - 8 minutes drive
We haven’t actually been to this restaurant, we are usually quite last minute and they are very busy. It’s a family business with a solid reputation and virtually 5* reviews, the produce is very specifically local and all suppliers are proudly listed. The restaurant is classy, intimate and has the quintessential roaring fire of course in both the bar and the bistro.
Outside, the lovely beer garden is at the rear of the pub gives and gives magnificent views out over the Yorkshire Dales.The North Yorkshire landlord/chef Nigel Stevens has been named The Good Pub Guide, “Licensee of the Year” 2020, its rarely given to a Northern Landlord.
THE QUEENS HEAD, FINGHALL
Distance - 10 minutes drive
The pub is traditional with log fires, in a very pretty ‘through’ village, the service and reviews are fabulous. They have a lovely beer garden with great views, you can see for miles!
It isn’t as well known as the other pub/restaurants we have mentioned, they don’t seem to market themselves a lot, They have a great selection of Gins, which are great and an array of local beers from local breweries. They are very welcoming and warm, the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable.
We haven’t eaten here but I have heard the food is lovely, fresh and the portion sizes are generous. They seem to do a lot of seafood and the reviews are also quite impressive.
This pub is not dog friendly.