May News Letter






At last we’ve had some beautiful weather, and been able to make the most of the beer gardens and back yards and patios of our favourite pubs. For once, Otley show managed to take place without its usual covering of clouds and backdrop of freezing rain and mud. And as the evenings get lighter as well as warmer, a midweek trip to a town centre pub doesn’t mean tripping over a kerbstone in the rain while you’re trying to run home!


And there’s more good stuff soon – with Otley Walking Festival; Otley town centre bike races; and the Tour de France. But that’s all next month, so here’s what’s happening now.


– – / / – – / / – – / / – –




MILD MONTH – For some reason Mild beers aren’t as popular as Bitters, but May is CAMRA’s ‘Mild Month’, so why not give one a try if you don’t usually drink it. There’s a bit more information at – and at least one pub in Otley stocking Ossett Brewery Majestic Mild [see below] – so check out your favourite pub to see if they have mild on offer as well.


OTLEY #FAMOUSPUBTOWN – We often say that Otley has laid claim in the past to having the most pubs per head of population of any town in England. Well here’s a BBC article [from way back in 2008!] that proves we used to be a contender, Britain-wide. Unfortunately we were beaten by Rhayader in Wales which had 12 pubs for just over 2,000 people! [That’s hardly a town – is it? And how on earth did they all stay profitable?]


DIMPLE GLASSES RETURN – Are you one of those people whose forearm muscles have never been as strong since ‘dimple’ pint beer mugs disappeared? I remember hardly being able to lift one after a particularly strenuous game of badminton once! Well, if so you’ll be delighted by this article that says they are becoming popular again    I don’t agree that they’re ‘traditional’, or that straight glasses only became popular after their demise [I certainly wasn’t drinking Tetleys out of a mug in the 1960s!] but it’s good to see where the Daily Express chose to come for a pub opinion again – Leeds!


OTLEY’S HISTORY ON A BLUE PLAQUE – A blue sign has gone up outside The Bay Horse pub in the Market Place, which is intended to give visitors and locals a quick insight into the heritage of the town. It was unveiled by local MP and Otley Pub Club Honorary President, Greg Mulholland, who paid tribute to the work done by John Morgan, Jo Allen, and the late Elise Brumfitt in researching and delivering the plaque, and said that Otley certainly has a rich and fascinating past.


FATHERS’ DAY – This year it’s on Sunday June 15th, and just like on Mothers’ Day some of Otley’s pubs will have special offers – like a free drink for dad if you’re having a meal. Why not shop around beforehand, to see where you can get the best bargain [including calling in once or twice to try out the beer that you might get free?]


TOUR DE FRANCE – Don’t forget that several pubs in Otley, including some directly on the Tour route, have large dedicated car parks. From the look of Leeds City Council’s map of street closures in Otley

you won’t be able to get to any of the ones on the route itself on Saturday morning, July 5th, so you’d have to contact the pubs involved if you wanted to park there overnight. Two pubs have specifically mentioned the possibility of Motorhomes being parked in their car parks while the Tour is passing through. One is The Royalty, up on top of The Chevin, and the other is The Cross Pipes, which is right on the route itself. Imagine having a hearty breakfast in the pub (see below), then standing with a drink as the whole cavalcade whizzes right past your door!


– – / / – – / / – – / / – –




‘DIRT WHEELS’ shop @ 66 Boroughgate – The application for change of use from a shop to a bar has been approved, and we now know from a sign in the window, that it will be called ‘The Otley Tap House’. The sign also says it will be opening in “mid to late June”, so just in time to make the most of being directly on the Tour de France route a week or two later. As soon as we find out any more about what it will be like [we’ve probably heard the same rumours you have!] we’ll let you know.


THE BLACK HORSE – We’ve been assured by Enterprise Inns that an experienced landlord will be re-opening the pub before the Tour de France comes through the town. There has certainly been some activity inside the pub, with lights on and people inside over the last couple of weeks, but we still haven’t got any firm details. Once again, we’ll be chasing them for a specific progress report.


THE SUMMERCROSS – The site has been tidied up, and murals will be painted on boards surrounding it in time for the Tour to pass by. [At the moment, it still has home-made signs on the fence saying “Danger – Derelict Eyesore”!]


– – / / – – / / – – / / – –




[AS ALWAYS – Apologies for missing out any pubs or events from this list. I try to get round every establishment, but I can’t always get back again if the information’s not available when I visit. I would be delighted to accept any information at this email address at any time though, from pubs or individuals, letting me know what’s coming up. Thanks – and keep enjoying Otley’s pubs!]


OTLEY TAVERN – As usual, do check the Tavern’s own Twitter, facebook and website or call in for specific details, but in summary:

·         Alternate Thursday nights are open mic nights;

·         Friday and Saturday nights, live music;

·         Alternate Sundays 4-8pm live music; and

·         Monday night darts – do go along if you’re interested in joining in and playing!

[The Tavern is also the pub where I sampled Ossett’s wonderful ‘Majestic Mild’ mentioned above]


THE BLACK BULL – Not only do they provide home-cooked meals every lunchtime, but they probably have the widest choice of vegetarian options in the town centre – there were 4 on the board when I called in.


THE BAY HORSE – Continuing the town centre food theme, if you’re not vegetarian you really should sample the famous roast beef and dripping sandwiches here at only £1:50.


THE ROEBUCK – On the 25th and 26th of May, there’s another family fun weekend, with a bouncy slide outside and an ice-cream van on site, as well as a variety of roast meals.


THE YEW TREE – Those of you who are used to eating here might like to know that the usual Sunday carvery will NOT be available on the 1st of June, and there will be no hotplate available on Wednesday the 4th.


THE ROYALTY – Has a rapid turnover of different guest ales, so there’s often something new to sample. This week it’s Caledonian 3 Monkeys, and a welcome return of Theakston’s Old Peculier. Look out for their Fathers’ Day menu and offers.


THE WHITE SWAN – As well as the quiz every Tuesday, and all cask ales at £2:50 every Wednesday, their new regular event is Bar Room Buskers open mic night every Thursday, which is turning out to be a great success. The Restless Natives [covers band] will be here on the 24th of May, and watch out for two music festivals later on next month!


THE OLD COCK – If it’s a choice of real ales you want, the Cock’s the place to go. What many people don’t realise is they also have folk music nights. Join in with the jamming upstairs every Tuesday at 9 pm, with alternate weeks concentrating on Irish music.


THE ROSE AND CROWN – Check out the two sides of this pub – a nice place to have a meal and a quiet drink during the day, then lively karaoke between 9:30 and 11:30 pm every Friday and Saturday night.


THE FLEECE – Has an acoustic music evening coming up on Sunday the 1st of June, and some open mic slots are still available if you want to get in touch. And all cask beers are only £2:50 a pint on their ‘ale club’ night every Tuesday.


THE CROSS PIPES – Pulling out all the stops for summer, they’ve refurbished their beer garden and will have barbecues throughout every weekend if the weather is kind enough! From the 1st of June, they’ll be doing meals at lunchtime and evenings; starting to provide breakfasts from 7 to 11:30 am; and getting their letting rooms open in time for the Tour. Also for the Tour, they reckon they can get up to 6 motorhomes in their car park, so if you know anyone who’s looking for a parking spot for a night or two [even if it’s just for a car], do tell them to contact the pub. And as if that weren’t enough, they have live music every Sunday afternoon; disco karaoke every Friday and Saturday; and live bands in the beer garden – again if the weather permits! Check the ‘A’ board outside the pub for details.


THE RED LION – Will be showing the England-Peru pre-World Cup friendly on Friday May 30th, in the upstairs bar that’s being converted into a ‘World Cup Lounge’ for the duration of the competition itself. They’ll be showing all the England games, no matter what time they kick off, but some might have to be by [free] ticket only, so the room doesn’t get overcrowded. There’s still karaoke every Friday at 8 and every Sunday at 5, and free pool every Monday. On top of that, the pub’s dog friendly [with its own friendly dog!]


WHITAKERS – Quiz every Thursday, then it’s music all the way:

·         23rd Peculiar Blue

·         24th Blueprint

·         30th Redhouse

·         31st Roadkill

·         7th The Names

·         14th Steve Chapman Smith

With Karaoke on the 6th and 13th


THE HORSE AND FARRIER – Following the success of the Marble Brewery beer and food evening, similar events are being planned. In the meantime, Otley A Capella group will perform on Sunday June 8th at 7:30 pm with the Otley Ukulele Orchestra at the same time 2 weeks later. [Food stops being served at 6 pm on Sundays]




Bob Brook

OPC Membership Secretary

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!