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» North Yorkshire » White Lion Inn, Cray 

Full Postal AddressWhite Lion Inn, Cray, SKIPTON, BD23 5JB [Map]
Telephone Number01756 760262Pub's Own Websitehttp://www.whitelioncray.com 
Opening Times11-23 MO-SA; 12-22:30 SU
FacilitiesAccommodation, Car Park, Evening Meals, Real Fire, Beer Garden, Lunchtime Meals, Quiet Bar, Campsite At / Near Pub

The White Lion Inn, Cray, Christmas Day 1996

The pub's an old drovers hostelry and it's the highest pub in Wharfedale as it's about half way up Buckden Pike and quite often it'll be above the snow line during the cold dark winter months. I stayed there over Christmas in 1996 and whereas most of Wharfedale didn't see a flake of snow on Christmas day, the White Lion had a good couple of inches on the ground. I can recommend their Christmas breaks and if you venture outside the fire in the main bar will quickly warm you through upon your return.

The pub's very easy to find. Just follow the B6160 north of Skipton along Wharfedale and you'll eventually come across it on the left had side of the road in the tiny hamlet of Cray a mile or two beyond the village of Buckden where the local bus now terminates. It's useful service if you fancy a linear from Kettlewell or Kilnsey following the Dales way or via Buckden Pike.

B&B here is good value for money as they run a '3 nights for the price of 2' offer and you do get a very generous breakfast if you can stomach it after a night on the Moorhouse's Pendle Witches Brew (abv 5.1%, full-bodied, very sweet and malty) - the beer that drew me to the pub in the first place. After a few pints of that hefty brew you might start to see the besom suspended from the ceiling in the main bar start to twitch. Kevin and Dee, who took over running the pub from Frank and Barbara in 2002, have further expanded the range of beers available and are always open to suggestions if you have a particular favourite. They also do a good selection of lunchtime and evening meals too including a tasty trout dish, the fish coming from the Kilnsey trout farm a few miles down the road.

Do make sure that you take a torch with you if it's a cold, dark, windy winters night as if the lights flicker more than 3 times you could be plunged into darkness, the room lit only by the roaring fire.

It's very simply furnished with flagstone floors and wooden chairs around tables. If the weather's favourable you can always wander outside and sit there as there are fine views of Wharfedale. Oh, and if you've time, have a go at their Ring O' Bull game. It's harder than you might at first think!

Well worth reading is a fascinating account written by Richard Fusniak whose father, Joe, was saved by the inn keeper of the White Lion Inn in 1942. His plane crashed near the summit of Buckden Pike in a snowstorm and badly injured he followed the footsteps of a fox down the hill. Later his cries for help were heard by the landlord's daughter who fetched her father and they took him into the pub to safety. Click here for a link to the site.

The pub now have a website athttp://www.whitelioncray.com/.

AJ on top of Buckden Pike on a windy October day in 2001

Pocket Pub Walks North Yorkshire,
K Wadd, 2006
A collection of fifteen circular walks each based on a local pub serving good food, this title includes routes at Ravenscar, Pately Bridge, Giggleswick, Reeth, and Harrogate, with maps, and photographs.

Country Pubs & Inns of Yorkshire,
B Vesey, 2006
This guide will provide readers with the most comprehensive choice of pubs and inns in the countryside of Yorkshire.

Huddersfield Pubs (Images of England),
D Green, 2006
This fascinating collection of over 200 archive images provides a nostalgic insight into the changing history of Huddersfield's pubs over the last 200 years.

Yorkshire's Historic Pubs,
P Thomas, 2005
If you enjoy the occasional pub meal, several pints at the bar, or if you're interested in Yorkshire's social history, you'll find something entertaining in Peter Thomas's introduction to the county's pubs.

AA Pub Walks and Cycle Rides: Yorkshire & the Yorkshire Dales,
AA Publishing, 2005
This guide includes 25 walks and 15 cycle rides with colour photographs throughout showing sites, views and pubs along the route. A full colour map accompanies each walk and cycle and there is practical information such as distance, minimum time and level of difficulty to make sure you make the most of your family day out.

Adventurous Pub Walks in West Yorkshire and the Dales,
K Wadd, 2004
Twenty circular walks varying in length between 7-12 miles and based around good local pubs including routes near Leeds, Skipton, Huddersfield, Malham, Bainbridge and Pateley Bridge.

The Inn Way to Black Sheep Pubs - 2nd Edition,
M Reid & J A Ives, 2004
A collection of 25 circular pub walks in the Yorkshire dales ranging from 5-1/2 to 14 miles in length. Includes information on history and points of interest along the way.

Pub Walks in the Yorkshire Dales,
L Markham, 2003
Twenty short circular walks based on good local pubs. Routes included near Sedbergh, Grewelthorpe, Middlesmoor, Chapel le Dale and Wath.

Pub Strolls in the Yorkshire Dales,
L Markham, 2000
Thirty short circular walks based around good local pubs and pleasant countryside. Includes maps and colour photographs.

The Inn Way to the North York Moors,
M Reid & J A Ives, 2000
The 4th book in the award-winning walking guidebooks.

The Inn Way to the Yorkshire Dales,
M Reid & J A Ives, 1999
The 3rd Edition of Mark Reid's excellent guide to the pubs of the National Park.

Pub Walks on the North York Moors and Coast,
R Musgrave, 1997
25 circular walks around some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery on the North York Moors and Coast, including descriptions of historical and architectural points of interest. Ranging from 3 - 8 miles, all the walks include a visit to a traditional country inn.

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