Otley is a famous Yorkshire pub town. For a town of its size, there are a surprising number of traditional pubs serving real ale and good beer. Indeed Otley has vied with a select handful of towns in England for the distinction of having the most pubs per head of population.
Otley Pub Club is a way for local people to support Otley’s pubs and a way for the pubs to communicate what they are doing, to customers and potential customers. It is also a way that the pub lovers of Otley can campaign together to support and protect their local pubs.
Otley Pub Club is a community organisation, run by the community working in conjunction with local pubs. It is therefore not an organisation led by the pubs or publicans or Otley PubWatch, though Otley Pub Club will work closely with the pubs and Otley PubWatch.
The Club will be run by the committee and the committee all agree to the terms of the constitution and to abide by it.
Otley Pub Club has the following purposes: –
- For people to be kept informed of what is going on in the pubs.
- To campaign against pub closures and on other issues affecting local pubs and be the ‘voice of pub supporters’ in the town (including in the press and other publications).
- For people to support, identify with and feel some ‘ownership’ of Otley’s pubs as a community.
Unique to this country, the ‘public house’ is part of our history and heritage and that is very evident in Otley. There are currently 18 pubs, 16 in the town and The Roebuck and The Royalty on the outskirts of the town, with the Spite actually located in North Yorkshire. Plus, there are 4 bars located in the town centre. At its highest number, Otley had over 30 pubs!
There are historical reasons why Otley has so many pubs. Otley is a medieval market town and old licensing laws permitted public houses to open all day on market days. Until recently there were two livestock markets – and the one which survives remains busy. There is also of course the street (central) market, for which the town has had a charter for about 800 years. The sites of the markets have changed over the years, and the pubs established to serve their traders reflect this. As the town grew, more pubs were opened, to serve the workers in the various manufacturing industries. There were also several hotels constructed, one of which continues in its original role.
The Historic Otley Ale Trail is your guide to Otley’s pubs. The trail takes you round all 18 pubs and shows you where Otley’s lost pubs used to be. In Otley, it is almost a case of what hasn’t in the past been a pub!
But it is the current pubs we want you to celebrate. The range of Otley’s pubs offer something to suit all. From the younger and livelier to the more sedate and mature, at present there is an Otley pub to suit all pub lovers.
We hope you enjoy visiting the pubs and exploring Otley.