Here in Skipton, beer gardens line the canal, stylish bars hide in the shadows of the castle, countryside inns boast some of the best eating in the area, and micropubs punch well above their weight. Whether you want a spot of day drinking or a night on the cocktails, we’ve gathered some of our favourite bars and pubs to give you great nightlife options in Skipton.
Nightlife in Skipton
We’ll get our pub recommendations started with a great all-rounder. The Bay Horse on Keighley Road is conveniently located just a ten-minute drive or taxi from our Skipton North (Gargrave) hotel. It’s a lovely scenic inn overlooking the canal which has recently been refurbished, so the decor’s up to date, there’s a great selection of drinks to choose from, and you can rely on the food being good. The Bay Horse dates back to 1822 and used to be the watering hole of choice for workers on their way back from the local spinning and weaving mills. Today, it’s still a popular choice, whether you just want a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord, or to tuck into one of their delicious pies.
If you’re looking for somewhere in the heart of Skipton, the Woolly Sheep Inn is a Timothy Taylor’s pub on Sheep Street. It goes without saying, the ales are excellent. On top of that, the wine selection is very good, and the cocktail menu is surprisingly extensive if you want to spice things up a bit. Food wise, the menu of home cooked eating is absolutely delicious, the beef stew is a banger, the Sunday roast is among the best in Skipton, while the duck confit and black pudding scotch egg is a revelation.
Planning a visit to Skipton Castle? It’s our top recommendation activities in Skipton. If you fancy a pint, or start feeling peckish, The Castle Inn sits in the shadow of the Holy Trinity Church, and ranks among the best pubs in Skipton. Whisky enthusiasts will love the selection. Foodies will love the restaurant quality food, as well as the gastropub portions and prices. If you’re looking for a recommendation, the game pie is properly pukka.
The Cock & Bottle is next to Belmont Bridge. It’s a traditional pub with a roaring open fire, exposed beams, and burgers that’ll bring a tear to your eye. It prides itself on being ‘Skipton’s friendliest local’; out-of-towners are greeted wholeheartedly by a great selection of cask ales behind the bar. On top of that, there’s live music every Friday and Saturday, an open mic night on Thursdays, and if you rock up on a Wednesday you can wrack your brain with the weekly pub quiz. However, our favourite is Thursday’s burger night, when you can get one of The Cock & Bottle’s famous burgers with any drink for a tenner.
We’ve saved the best until last; The Beer Engine is a tiny micropub that’s punching well above its weight. It was Skipton’s first micropub and remains the best. There’s always five ales on tap, they’re always changing, and there’s always fine wines and ciders for non-beer drinkers, too. We weren’t joking when we said this place was tiny; don’t be surprised to find it packed to the rafters, brimming with characters and bustling with nothing but the beautiful noise of conversation. There are no TVs, no music – except live music, no fruit machines, no pool tables, nothing but good beer, comfy seating and some books if you’d like something to read.
If you like micropubs, we’ll throw in a bonus boozer for good measure – the Boat House is on the canal side, a hop, skip and a jump away from The Beer Engine. It’s got good beers, good food, and good craic.
Bars in Skipton
Skipton Sound Bar is one of our absolute favourites. It’s a record shop, so you can rely on the soundtrack being great while you enjoy something from their excellent selection of real ales, continental beers, wines, and gins. It’s on Swadford Street, just around the corner from the bus station. There’s regular live music, the atmosphere is always fantastic, and in the evening it’s great for the dancing.
Gin fans simply have to pay VSQ a visit, they have around 250 to choose from. It’s chic, the array of spirits is quite sensational, and the cocktails are grand. The staff couldn’t be friendlier, so if you need help deciding what to drink, or you just want to chat about some of the specialist gins from around the world, they’ll be happy to help.
Last up, if you’re looking for a bar near Skipton castle, we’ve already mentioned the excellent Alexander’s in our page dedicated to places to eat in Skipton. Alternatively, you can make your way down the road to Ackroyd’s, an excellent bar that’s equal parts as stylish as it is cosy. Whether you’re calling in for quick G&T, a couple of cocktails by the fire, or for a night out, somehow Ackroyd’s manages to cater for everyone.