The Durham Ox Pub with rooms in Crayke, North Yorkshire

Prices from:
£120 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Foodie haven in idyllic village
  • Top British cooking; seasonal food
  • Country-chic rooms; Studio for views
  • The Ibbotson’s; great hosts
  • Great views across Vale of York

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitGreen FingersVisit a Stately PilePrivate Dining

Real Time Booking Available
Overview

The Durham Ox Crayke, North Yorkshire, YO61 4TE

The personal touch

Michael and Sasha Ibbotson’s unassuming 300-year-old inn stands on the hill of ‘grand Old Duke of York’ fame in the heart of beautiful Crayke, and affords stunning views across the Vale of York, taking in York Minster, from the rear cottage bedrooms and the garden. Within easy reach of York, Castle Howard and the North York Moors, this civilised retreat is a favoured local dining destination and draws foodies from afar for top-notch pub food and very comfortable rooms. Beyond the lively locals’ bar, the cosy and smartly traditional lounge bar sports a red-and-black tiled floor, warm terracotta walls, unique carved panelling, an eclectic mix of pine and oak dining tables, and a pair of worn leather chairs fronting the huge inglenook fireplace with its blazing winter log fire. The adjacent dining room is just as smart and informal and a great place to dine away from the hubbub of the bar. There’s a fantastic private dining room upstairs, which comes with a relaxing sitting (deep sofas, antiques, log fire, honesty bar) and fine views up the village street to the church. The Ox Barn is a great space for larger celebrations and makes a cracking wedding venue, replete with its own bar and blazing wood burning stove.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome throughout the pub; they have their own menu, or smaller portions are available; extra beds can be added to some of the rooms (£30).

Muddy paws

Dogs are welcome in the bar and can stay in the rooms overnight, except for the Studio Suite.

Alfresco

Tucked away behind the inn is a fabulous terrace with posh brollies and smart outdoor furnishings – perfect for summer sipping.

 

What’s the Damage?

5 doubles/twin: £120; The Studio £150; Self-catering cottage (sleeps 6); £395-£795

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 16); Ox Barn for parties
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and cottage rooms
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn

Sleep

The Durham Ox Crayke, North Yorkshire, YO61 4TE

Do not disturb

Six comfortable, well-equipped rooms are split between the inn, converted farm buildings to the rear and a beautifully equipped 3-bedroom cottage (Ivy Cottage) a stone’s throw (literally) from the pub. All are individually designed with a country-chic feel and ooze charm and character – oak beams, exposed brick walls, big brass beds with crisp linen, warm throws and bright cushions, deep sofas to lounge in, rich fabrics, antique furnishings, fat lamps, magazines to peruse, CD players and smart, compact bathrooms with walk-in power showers and quality L’Occitane toiletries. The luxury self-contained Studio Suite has acres of space – super king size bed, double sofas, honesty bar, 42-inch plasma screen and a private terrace and balcony with view across the Vale of York and up the hill to Crayke Church. The large Cottage is the perfect bolthole for a friends or a family as it has two large bedrooms, a big bathroom with walk-in shower and separate tub, and honesty bar, and a galley kitchen.

 

What’s the Damage?

5 doubles/twin: £120; The Studio £150; Self-catering cottage (sleeps 6); £395-£795

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 16); Ox Barn for parties
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and cottage rooms
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn

Eat & Drink

The Durham Ox Crayke, North Yorkshire, YO61 4TE

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £5.95-£7.50; Main Courses: £10.95-£24.95; Desserts £5.95-£8.50; set lunch (except Sunday) 2-courses £17.95; 3-courses £19.95)

Choose a bottle of wine from the array of bottles and bin-ends on the dresser, or a tip-top pint of hand-pulled Timothy Taylor Boltmaker to accompany asparagus, prosciutto, poached egg and parmesan, peppered 35-day aged rib-eye steak, dauphinoise, asparagus and black truffle butter, and lemon baked Alaska, chosen from the May specials boards. Expect classic British cooking, hearty, big flavoured country dishes that make good use of local, seasonal produce, perhaps including seared king scallops, watercress and peas, caper butter, The Ox shepherd’s pie (braised lamb) with mash and seasonal greens, and hake, crushed new potatoes, samphire, shrimp butter. For something simple at lunchtime go for a steak sandwich with rocket, tomato, horseradish cream and onion gravy, or beer-battered haddock with hand-cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. Leave room for mouth-watering puddings, perhaps treacle tart with lemon curd ice cream or sticky toffee pudding, and an excellent cheeseboard, served with homemade oatcakes, grapes, chutney and a glass of port. Don’t miss the roast Sunday lunches – leg of Mount Grace lamb with roast potatoes and apricot and rosemary stuffing – perfect after a brisk walk around the Crayke Estate.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 9.30am (10am Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (3pm Sunday)
Dinner: 5.30pm-9.30pm (8.30pm Sunday)

Time at the bar

12 noon – 11.30pm (10.30pm Sunday).

What’s the Damage?

5 doubles/twin: £120; The Studio £150; Self-catering cottage (sleeps 6); £395-£795

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 16); Ox Barn for parties
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and cottage rooms
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Durham Ox

3

Cinnamon Twist, 17 Church Street, Helmsley YO62 5AD

Great little bakery and patisserie in pretty Helmsley; artisan bread is made daily to traditional recipes, including black-olive bread made in a rustic, continental style. And there are proper croissants and pain au chocolat, not to mention gorgeous lemon tarts and beautiful fruited frangipane.

4

Pearsons Soft Fruits, Strawberry Fields, Friars Hill, Sinnington YO62 6SL

Essentially this is a ‘pick your own’ business, but they sell their own preserves in a cute little shop on site – chef Darren reckons their jam and marmalade is the best, so why would you make your own if it’s this good?

5

Little Duck Cakes Bakery & Cooking School 7 Eastgate Square, Pickering YO18 7DP

Talented baker Von is making a real name for herself and not just for the wonderful bread and cakes she makes and sells – her courses are gaining popularity so best book in advance to guarantee a place. Planned sessions include everything from patisserie and savouries to bread and sponge cakes.

9

Yorkshire Food Finder Tour YO1 7DR

York's only gourmet guided food trek!Consummate foodie Sue Nelson will lead you round the city, dropping in on the best producer and makers in the city. The tour starts and ends at Michelin star holder Andrew Pern's Star in the City where a specially created menu featuring produce you've seen on the trail. A day of fun and great food.

10

York Cocoa House,3 Blake Street, York YO1 8QJ

The destination for chocoholics; join in a workshop, drop in to the fab cafe serving up both sweet and savoury chocolate delights and browse the library containing stories, histories and recipes.

12

Mannion and Co Deli & Bakery, 1 Blake Street, York YO1 9QJ

Great family-run deli, patisserie, artisan bakery and fab cafe in the heart of the city. Of course you're in Yorkshire but it's got a Parisian vibe about it - tres chic! Take home cheese and charcuterie from all over Italy and France, and meringues, macaroons and brownies for the sweet of tooth.

13

The House of Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS

It's easy to miss the door to this unique place, tucked away as it is on ancient Stonegate downstairs, an extraordinary craft beer shop with over 5000 bottles on the shelves and upstairs, a jaw-dropping medieval pub. If you don't mind a lot of dead animal's heads on a wall and sharing tables - this is the place for you. Food is simple, tasty and won't break the bank, with the likes of wholesome soup, pie & pickle and a dish of chorizo in scrumpy. Unmissable.

14

The Hairy Fig, 39 Fossgate, York YO1 9TF

It's surprising how much stuff you can pack into one tiny shop. Pop along to the Hairy Fig and be amazed. It is crammed to the rafters with cheeses, cooked meats, hams, sausages, biscuits, jams, pickles, olive oil, fresh figs, kumquats, beats, pickled pears and heaps of Yorkshire produce. When you've oohed and aahed over the contents of the shop, the cafe will serve you stonking boards of meat, cheese and pate with chunky bread or something hot from the specials board.

15

Meltons, 7 Scarcroft Road, York YO23 1ND

You might think a neighbourhood restaurant that had been trading for near 25 years would be getting a bit tired by now, but not Melton's. This fine little restaurant off Bishopthorpe Road just south of York's city walls remains one of the very best places to eat in the city. Chef/owner Michael Hjort is the brains behind the esteemed York Food Festival and what he doesn't know about local sourcing isn't worth knowing. His influences are wide so expect Middle Eastern and Asian dishes alongside Yorkshire classics.

16

Ampleforth Abbey, Ampleforth, York YO62 4ER

Ampleforth Abbey has been home to a Community of Bendictine monks since 1802 and the Abbey Church is still the centre of monastic life - it's a fascinating and beautiful place to spend a couple of hours. The monks have been making cider for centuries - take the tour then hit the shop!

17

Cropton Brewery, Cropton YO18 8HH

Beer has been brewed in Cropton since 1613, and in 1984, the Cropton Brewery was established in the cellars of the New Inn. In 1994, a brewery was built behind the pub and within a year production had doubled. The same year saw the introduction of their first bottle-conditioned beer. Daily brewery tours are perfect if you want to learn all about the process.

18

Botton Dairy, Danby, Whitby YO21 2NJ

Botton Creamery has been running for over 20 years and provides work and produce for the residents of Botton Village. Around 2000 litres of milk are used each week to make cheddar, Gouda and Brie-like cheeses.

20

The Grapes Inn, Railway Street, Slingsby YO62 4AL

Fabulous pub run by two of the nicest people on the planet - complete beginners to the trade but they've hit the ground running - it's a cracking place. In a previous life Katherine and Leigh dealt in antiques and most of them have ended up here - it looks as if it's been like this forever. A talented cook from the village makes THE BEST steak pie - the herbed suet crust is worth the journey alone.

21

Middleton Post Office Tea Parlour, Middleton YO18 8NX

(Yorkshire Life Afternoon Tea of the Year) Even the silverware and crockery is vintage in this charming tea room on the edge of Pickering; the afternoon tea is a belter but tuck in to a very good ploughman's lunch or the Middleton Savoury which includes a fabulous cheese scone and onion marmalade.

22

Feast Deli & Café, 3 Market Place, Pickering YO18 7AA

A fabulous café and deli (next door to and owned by The White Swan Inn) that certainly lives up to its name. Stock up in the Deli and take home some great Yorkshire produce, including meat from local farms, or linger in the café over morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea - the food is delicious, from the home-made black pudding scotch eggs and cakes, to the freshly made lunchtime quiches and salads.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Durham Ox

Activities

2

Helmsley Arts Centre, Meeting House Court, Helmsley YO62 5DW

A full programme of live theatre, music, dance, cinema, literature, exhibitions, classes, workshops, discussions and conferences.

4

Wykeham Lakes YO13 9QD

On the southern edge of the North York Moors, these landscaped lakes have been created from four former gravel pits. One is now stocked with rainbow, blue and brown trout, while the others provide a variety of coarse fishing.

5

Pickering Trout Lake YO18 8JH

Right in the middle of Pickering, this one-acre game fishery is mostly aimed at first-timers and novices, but caters for more experienced anglers as well. It's a great place for children who want to learn to fish.

6

Yorkshire Gliding Club, Sutton Bank, Thirsk YO7 2EY

Learn to glide or take a trial flight with an instructor. This is a brilliant and exhilarating way to experience Yorkshire from above, with stunning views of the Vale of York and the White Horse of Kilburn.

Shopping

26

Ryedale Artworks, Ryedale YO17 7HH

Ryedale is full of artists and craftspeople. Rydedale Artworks publish an annual directory of more than 40 galleries, studios, artists and specialists, including venues which can be visited throughout the year.You'll find printmakers, sculptors, oil and watercolour painters, ceramicists, jewellers, paper and textile artists, film and multimedia creatives, artisan blacksmiths, photographers, wildlife artists and more.

28

Give the Dog a Bone, 17 Fossgate, York YO1 9TA

Two floors of funky homewares and 'things you don't need but really, really want'. Pop culture pleasures like Moomins, Doctor Who, Tintin, comics.... If you need Minecraft-related goodies, Batman, Harry Potter or Star Wars, as well as pretty things, jewellery, tea towels... this is the place to come.

29

Mulberry Factory Shop, Swinegate, York YO1 8AZ

Mulberry make handbags. If you know this, then the idea of their factory shop will be quite exciting. They're a leading 'lifestyle brand' and famous for luxury leather craftsmanship that mixes traditional skills and creativity with modern design.

31

Pyramid Gallery, 43 Stonegate, York YO1 8AW

Right in the heart of the city, this lovely 15th-century building is home to Pyramid, where you'll see a fantastic selection of British-made contemporary jewellery, crafts and original prints. Expect work by many leading designers and makers in ceramics, glass, metal and wood.

32

York Glass, 34 Shambles, York YO1 7LX

Tucked into a beautiful listed building in the middle of the Shambles, this little shop sells handmade glass jewellery, spun glass, crystal, Murano beads, fused glass... you name it. Some of the objects are made on the premises and you can sometimes see glass artists at work.

33

Love thy Interiors, Kirkgate, Thirsk YO7 1PQ

A fine art gallery with a great reputation, where visitors to Thirsk can view and purchase a wide range of work by local, national and international artists. There are monthly changing exhibitions, featuring all manner of artists, media and subject matter.

34

Rural Arts, Thirsk YO7 1QS

Thirsk’s former Courthouse & Magistrate’s House is home to Rural Arts, an arts centre with regular exhibitions, children’s activities, workshops, performances, and film screenings. there’s a café, gallery and shop on site

36

The Antiques Centre, 41 Stonegate, York YO1 8AW

York's largest antiques centre, handy for the Minster and with five showrooms over three floors, you’ll find more than 100 dealers selling a very diverse selections of antique and vintage items. Whether you’re interested in something Roman, or a bit Art Deco bling, there’s plenty to discover.

37

Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk YO7 1PQ

A fine art gallery with a great reputation, where visitors to Thirsk can view and purchase a wide range of work by local, national and international artists. There are monthly changing exhibitions, featuring all manner of artists, media and subject matter.

Places to visit

7

North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering YO18 7AA

The world’s most popular heritage railway gives you the chance to take a trip back in time. Expect lovingly restored locomotives and rolling stock, rural stations and the fantastic scenery of the North York Moors National Park – plus plenty of special events throughout the year.

8

Hovingham Hall, Hovingham YO62 4LX

Owned by the Worsley family for 450 years, the house you see today is an outstanding example of Palladian architecture. The interiors are delightful and fascinating, but it's only open to the public in June.

9

Rievaulx Abbey, Rievaulx, Helmsley YO62 5LB

With its impressive Cistercian ruins set amid trees in the remote and secluded valley of the river Rye, Rievaulx is one of the most complete - and atmospheric - of England's abbey ruins. Though the remains are substantial - three storeys in places - a lot was demolished after the Dissolution of the abbey in 1538. Above, you'll find the Rievaulx Terraces and Temples, created between 1749 and 1757. One of the most popular visitor attractions in the North.

11

Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

Still privately owned and home to the Howard family for more than 300 years, this splendid 18th-century house is set in 1,000 acres of fabulous landscape in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are collections of paintings and furniture, as well as beautiful gardens to explore.

12

Byland Abbey, Byland, Coxwold YO61 4BD

These austerely beautiful ruins of what was once one of the greatest monasteries in England are very dramatic. The abbey inspired the design of church buildings throughout the North, and is an outstanding example of early gothic architecture. There's a museum on site, displaying archaeological finds and giving an insight into monastic life in Yorkshire. Sunsets here can be quite stunning.

13

Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York YO62 5UY

A picturesque Yorkshire manor house, nestled beside the River Rye. Famous for its delightful setting, it boasts an organic walled garden, spring-flowering meadows, flamboyant resident peacocks and a programme of art and photography exhibitions. Nunnington also houses one of the world's finest collections of miniature rooms.

14

Jorvick Viking Centre, Coppergate, Coppergate Shopping Centre, York YO1 9WT

A futuristic time capsule will transport you around this cutting-edge, ground-breaking museum, showing you what living in Viking York was really like - right down to the sounds and smells. Built on the site of the Viking settlement unearthed by archaeologists between 1976 and 1981, the results of the excavations can be examined at close quarters with hi-tech audio and visual displays.

15

York Minster, York YO1 7JN

York's cathedral is one of the biggest in Northern Europe, a stunning example of Gothic, Perpendicular Gothic and Early English building styles, and the Great East Window, finished in 1408, is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. The place really is vast, and full of treasures, fascinating architectural details and 'the best views in York' (if you climb the 275 steps of the Central Tower to the highest point in the city). A great interactive exhibition in the Undercroft explores 2,000 years of history.

16

Fairfax House, York YO1 9RN

With a fair claim to be the finest Georgian townhouse in England, Fairfax House is a delightful 18th-century building with fantastic stuccowork. The richly decorated interior was designed by York's most distinguished architect, John Carr, and contains the Noel Terry (of Terry's chocolate fame) collection of 18th-century furniture, clocks, paintings and ceramics, giving the house a lived-in feel and a real sense of the period.

17

Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington YO41 4AU

The largest original World War II RAF Bomber Command Centre open to the public. More than 40 planes can be seen, including the Halifax Bomber and modern jets such as the Harrier and Tornado. Special events include Thunder Days when you can see some of the aircraft in flight.

18

National Railway Museum, York YO26 4XJ

This is one strictly for steam fans. In the Great Hall you can wallow in nostalgia, marvel at some of the biggest and best-known locomotives and encounter history makers and record breakers. The museum is based near Bishop Auckland.

19

York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York YO1 9RY

Hundreds of years of York's history in one place, which includes a fascinating collection of social history such as the famous recreated 'Kirkgate' Victorian street with its shops full of once-common items. The museum is housed in a Grade I-listed former debtors' prison and the adjoining former women's prison, on the site of York Castle.

20

York Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR

Ten acres of botanical gardens right in the heart of the city, around the Yorkshire Museum, the Gardens were established in the 1830s by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. They're famous for their collections of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs, and you can explore the ruins of the medieval St Mary's Abbey as well as the corner tower of the Roman fortress built here in 70AD.

21

Fountains Abbey, Ripon HG4 3DY

This unique place is a World Heritage Site, with the ruins of a Cistercian abbey ruins, plus elegant Georgian water garden and a medieval deer park. It's been a tourist attraction for centuries.

22

Sutton Bank National Park Centre, Thirsk YO7 2EH

The Sutton Bank Centre provides the ideal starting point for exploring the North York Moors. All kinds of cycling routes and walking trails for all abilities begin here, including a walk to the famous White Horse of Kilburn. There's an interactive exhibition explaining the natural landscape, while and a feeding station (complete with camera) lets visitors watch the birds. In spring, a live webcam lets you see nesting kestrels and barn owls.

23

The Mouseman Visitor Centre, Kilburn YO61 4AH

Born in Kilburn in 1876, Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson was a furniture maker who specialised in handcrafted oak pieces, many featuring the signature 'mouse' that gave him his name. He was part of the revival of interest in craftsmanship in the 1920s that was inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement. The Centre includes a joiner's and a blacksmith's shop as well as a cottage furnished with original Mouseman pieces. Furniture is still made and sold here.

24

Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole YO62 6UA

Comprising atmospheric buildings and collections spread over six acres in the lovely village of Hutton-le-Hole, this museum offers a unique glimpse into the past. Thousands of 'everyday' antiques and curiosities tell the story of rural life in Yorkshire from the Iron Age to the 1950s.

25

The World of James Herriot, Kirkgate, Thirsk YO7 1PL

No. 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk was James Herriot's home as well as where he worked, and the living quarters and veterinary surgery appear as they did in the 1940s. There are sets from the BBC TV series All Creatures Great and Small, an interactive children's gallery and three rooms exploring the history of veterinary medicine.

35

York YO1 7DR

There is something for everyone in York, from high street favourites to independent shops, boutiques and galleries of all kinds. Many of them can be found in the most historic parts of the city, in characterful buildings in the lovely medieval and Georgian streets, so it's a great place for a wander and a bit of window shopping.

38

Thirsk Furniture Trail YO7 1PQ

There are a number of cabinetmakers and wood carvers living and working in and around Thirsk, and the Furniture Trail is a great way to explore the area and see them all. These craftspeople have incredible skills, honed over many years and the objects they create are the antiques of the future. Using a variety of hardwoods, they can also produce bespoke items to their customers’ designs. You can see them at work by following the trail from workshop to workshop.

39

Ripon HG4 1DD

This graceful cathedral city is one of Yorkshire’s little known gems. Its greatest landmark is Ripon Minster, surrounded by narrow streets and quaint alleyways, and a short walk from the rectangular market square with its medieval Wakeman’s House, where the wakeman or night watchman lived. The tradition of a horn-blower sounding a forest horn daily at 9pm continues to this day.

Walking

www.yorkshire.com
www.nationaltrail.co.uk
www.northyorkmoors.org.uk
It’s hard to beat North Yorkshire for walking, of course, and you’ll also find several long-distance walks nearby: both The Cleveland Way and the Ebor Way begin at nearby Helmsley. There are great circular walks through the Howardian Hills from the front door of the Durham Ox, and some wild walking on the North York Moors.

Cycling

www.forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest
www.dalbybikebarn.co.uk

Dalby Forest – there is plenty of variety of trails for cyclists, whether you’re looking for a challenge or something a little more sedate. Comprising 8,000 acres of a working forest, north of Thornton-le-Dale, Dalby offers waymarked walking and cycling trails for all abilities, and is considered one of the finest trail networks in the UK.

Events

www.visitryedale.co.uk
March sees the Yorkshire Cajun Festival in Malton, featuring dancing, great food and musicians from all over the world, while the Malton & Norton Folk Festival takes place in April. The Ryedale Festival (two weeks in July) features performances at Castle Howard, Hovingham Hall, Duncombe Park and Sledmere – as well as Ampleforth Abbey, Helmsley Arts Centre and many beautiful country churches in the region. The Ryedale Jazz Festival also takes place in July, in venues across Pickering, while Hovingham’s Quarry Festival showcases local bands in a family-friendly environment. The North York Moors Chamber Music Festival takes place in August, with performances in historic churches across the region. Galtres Parklands Festival is a family festival, with seven stages of music and cabaret, plus activities for children and young people – all in the beautiful setting of Duncombe Park. End of August. The Ryedale Book Festival offers a number of small events throughout the year, with the main festival taking place in October. Venues in Malton and Norton.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: From A19 north of York follow signs to Easingwold, go through Market Place and continue east for Crayke. Pub on the right as you head up the hill towards the church

By Rail: Nearest railway station is York, a 30-minute taxi ride away

Address:

Westway, Crayke, North Yorkshire, YO61 4TE

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