The Lister Arms Pub with rooms in Malham, North Yorkshire

Prices from:
£86 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Peaceful village in heart of Dales
  • Jaw-dropping views and great walks
  • Warm, genuine welcome
  • Attractively rustic bar
  • Simple, honest pub grub
  • Comfortable, spotless bedrooms

PerkInn Places Perk

Welcome Drink on Arrival

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelit

Call this inn 01729 809040

Real Time Booking Available
Overview

The Lister Arms Malham, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DB

The personal touch

Standing proudly in the heart of Malham, a National Trust-owned village, the Lister Arms is an ivy-clad 17th century coaching inn named after Thomas Lister of Gisburn Park, who became the first lord of Ribblesdale in 1797. Travellers arriving here were guaranteed a hearty dinner and a comfortable bed for the night – so not much has changed over the centuries. Darren Dunn and his cheerful young team make it their business to look after you from the moment you step into the big stone-flagged bar with its comfortably upholstered settles by a splendid inglenook – ideal if you want to kick back after a walk round mighty Malham Tarn. This wickedly handsome inn is great in the summer, when you can take lunch in the big sun-trap patio out back – although the place really comes into its own during those dark winter days; like weary travellers of yore, settle down in front of the roaring fire with a pint and a plate of warming food.

Sticky fingers

Children have their own menu with mini versions of fish and chips, burgers, creamy pea risotto and suchlike. Under-16s stay free in their parents’ room (cots and Z-beds available); you simply pay for their breakfast.

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed everywhere, apart from the restaurant. All the bedrooms are dog-friendly and there’s an extra charge of £15 per stay (10 per cent donated to the Search & Rescue Dog Association). Please bring your own basket and towels.

Alfresco

Choose from the smart, sun-trap patio at the back, or bag a bench overlooking the green and sup a pint while taking in the views over the hillside and village.

What’s on?

Easter egg hunt and lots of national events and celebrations, such as British Yorkshire Pudding Day, Farmhouse Breakfast Week, National Bramley Apple Week.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles/twin £97-£146; Lister Barn 8 rooms: £122-£171

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access (not to bedrooms)
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 4 Star Inn

Sleep

The Lister Arms Malham, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DB

Do not disturb

As you might expect of an old coaching inn, the eight rooms above the pub are particularly characterful: some have beams and wonky walls, while one or two also boast cracking views over the green to the hills beyond. They’re simply but comfortably furnished with big beds, soft wool blankets and calming colours. Much thought has gone into making your stay memorable – note the rather cute ‘sleep well’ goodie bag. By contrast, the seven ‘cottage’ rooms overlooking the smart patio are a little more contemporary but equally cosy, with snowy-white linen on good beds, tartan wool throws, feature wallpaper and the odd vintage Lloyd Loom chair. Bathrooms are modern and spotless: some have huge monsoon showers, whilst others have deep baths – perfect for a good soak after an epic walk. The stunning renovation of the nearby Lister Barn was completed in late 2016 and offers 8 smart feature rooms and a lounge area with deep sofas and a wood-burning stove, plus a boot room with drying facilities and a secret garden. Why not book the whole barn for a fabulous house party for family or friends.

Creature comforts

Flasks of fresh milk; ‘Woolly sheep’ tea cosy; free ear plugs and eye masks; home-baked biscuits.

Gadgets

Wi-Fi throughout; flatscreen TV.

What’s for Breakfast?

Freshly baked pastries; homemade granola; porridge; fresh fruit salad; full Yorkshire breakfast; eggs Benedict; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs; grilled kippers.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles/twin £97-£146; Lister Barn 8 rooms: £122-£171

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access (not to bedrooms)
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 4 Star Inn

Eat & Drink

The Lister Arms Malham, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DB

Mastering the menu

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of home-cooked food after a day spent exploring the glorious Dales countryside, and the Lister’s deliciously rustic fare doesn’t disappoint. Local growers and producers are abundant in this valley and the chef makes the most of them in starters ranging from homemade pork pies to venison liver parfait. Elsewhere, Drake & Macefield pork sausages come with bubble ‘n’ squeak and if it’s a sharing board you’re after, the Yorkshire Blue cheese version with roast local beetroot might be just the ticket. Steak, chops and cracking burgers are dealt with on the grill – don’t forget a side order of hand-cut sea-salted chips. Food is served all day throughout the pub, including the attractive, private patio – and no-one’s going to rush you. On Sunday, the table groans with roast beef, lamb and giant Yorkshires – so work up an appetite with a walk over the hills and dales.

On the menu

Fish stew with cheesy croûte
Parmesan gnocchi with sautéed wild mushrooms
Cheese and onion pie with creamy mash
Satay-glazed chicken with Thai salad
Apple and blackberry crumble with custard

Sunday Roasts

Beef, lamb and pork with giant Yorkshire puddings and ‘proper’ gravy (£12.50).

Foodies Extras

Fizzy Fridays (a bottle of Prosecco for £15 – goes down a treat with your fish and chips).

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Food: 12 noon – 9.30pm (10pm Friday & Saturday)

Local, local, local

Meat – Paganum Produce, Skipton (www.paganum.co.uk)
Rare-breed beef – Taste Tradition, Thirsk (www.tastetradition.co.uk)
Sausages and black pudding – Drake & Macefield, Skipton (www.drakeandmacefield.co.uk)
Chorizo – ‘local food evangelist’ Chris Wildman, Malham
Dairy produce – Oliver Kay, Bolton (www.oliverkayproduce.co.uk)

Behind the bar

The Lister Arms is one of Thwaites’ flagship pubs, so you’ll find an impressive line-up of seven hand-pulled beers including Lancaster Bomber, Wainwright and Nutty Black. Otherwise ring the changes with 13 Guns (an IPA) or quaff a pint of Rosie’s Pig cider. An appealing wine list plunders the New World for whites, and looks to Europe for most of its reds – starting at a price-busting £13.45 for an Australian Chardonnay. Otherwise push the boat out with a glass or two of something bubbly.

Bar snacks

In Kilner jars behind the bar: Bombay mix; salted peanuts; wasabi nuts; M&Ms; Jelly Beans; rhubarb and custard; homemade flapjacks and chocolate brownies.

Time at the bar

12pm – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles/twin £97-£146; Lister Barn 8 rooms: £122-£171

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access (not to bedrooms)
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 4 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 Lister Arms

2

Kilnsey Trout Farm, Kilnsey Park Estate BD23 5PS

Fishing, pony rides and nature trails with red squirrels and butterflies plus a cosy café. Their award-winning smoked trout is traditionally produced; hand gutted and filleted and smoked over oak shavings. Have a go yourself and enroll in ‘Lake to Plate’, one of a number of Masterclasses run on the Estate.

3

Courtyard Dairy, The Courtyard, A65, Settle BD24 9JY

Award-winning affineur Andy Swinscoe might look like a teenager but his knowledge of cheese is epic. His enthusiasm is completely infectious and of course you can try before you buy. The range is enormous and includes the likes of Stichelton, Tunworth Camembert, Hafod Cheddar and of course a fabulous variety of Yorkshire cheeses.

6

Craven Arms, Appletreewick BD23 6DA

There are many reasons to make your way to this 16th century pub; the stunning views, the gas-lit, stone-flagged, beamed bar rooms and a very accessible menu which features local game, smoked rabbit casserole and a deep, rich rib-sticking brisket of beef in red wine and star anise. Cruckbarn air-dried ham, anyone?

7

Stanforth’s Pie Shop, 11 Mill Bridge, Skipton BD23 1NJ

The queue does literally go round the block to buy possibly the best warm pork pies in the world! Take them home if you must, but they really are best eaten warm standing in the street, with the peppery juices running down your arms. The recipe hasn’t changed in 80 years and neither should it.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Lister Arms

Activities

2

Geocaching BD23 5LB

Geocaching is quite a new trend, involving hunting for carefully hidden caches using maps and GPS receivers. If you locate a cache (and some are very tricky to find) there are often items in them to swap, and a log book to record your visit. Once you're back somewhere with a signal, you can log your visit online. Check the geocaching website for co-ordinates of caches in the area you're after. If you forget to load the co-ordinates onto your GPS at home, the National Park centres in Grassington or Malham have dedicated 'geocomputers'. You can also hire GPS units from the centres at Grassington, Malham, Reeth, Aysgarth Falls and Hawes.

3

Canoeing HG3 5SY

The weather can have a huge impact on the upland rivers of the Dales, resulting in a number of exciting white-water opportunities and spectacular waterfalls after heavy rain.You need to do some research before plunging in, as there is no recognised right of access to some sites, while others have informal agreements in place and there are a few with a history of 'tolerated use'. Check with the River Information Service provided by the British Canoe Union (bcu.org.uk; 0115 982 1100).

4

Sailing and Windsurfing DL8 3DJ

Sailing high in the Dales is a pretty special experience. At the post-glacial lake of Semer Water, you'll find canoeing, sailing and windsurfing, and then there are the reservoirs at Embsay and Grimwith. Grimwith is the largest inland sailing venue in Yorkshire (371 acres), while Embsay is home to the Craven Sailing Club.

Shopping

14

Skipton Antiques and Collectors Centre, The Old Foundry, Cavendish Street, Skipton BD23 2AB

You might have seen the Skipton Antiques and Collectors Centre on the BBC's Antiques Road Trip. It comprises four floors of specialist dealers selling jewellery, furniture, clocks, ceramics, books and loads more.

15

Rasmus Design, 32 Commercial Street, Harrogate HG1 1TY

Rasmus is all about sophisticated Scandinavian-inspired contemporary design, and it promises to bring 'a combination of practicality and aesthetic beauty' to your home. Expect stylish lighting and classic furniture designs, as well as home accessories.

16

The Vintage Washhouse, 3 Court Lane, Skipton BD23 1DD

An unusual little shop with a 1940s theme, selling handcrafted dishcloths, vintage-inspired homeware and gifts as well as a wide selection of traditional cleaning products - soap flakes, white vinegar, soda crystals, laundry starch and traditional linen scrim, for example. Old-fashioned cleaning methods have made something of a comeback recently, giving excellent allergen-free results. The owner's 'Mrs Mop' outfit adds the finishing touch.

19

Skipton BD23 1DT

Skipton is a lovely town and a past winner of Britain's Best Street of the Year. You'll find pretty much everything here. Craven Court is a Victorian-themed shopping arcade, famously praised by Prince Charles for its architecture. The town is home to high-street names as well as more unusual shops. In addition there are lots of little side streets and alleys full of 'interesting independents' and 'one-off boutiques'.

21

Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton BD23 1NJ

The gallery is located in a canal-side building dating back to 1675 (said to be the oldest dwelling in Skipton), and is a showcase for the work of more than 20 talented local photographers and sculptors.

22

Cave & Crag, Market Place, Settle BD24 9ED

C&C specialises in clothing and equipment for climbers and walkers, plus camping gear, guide books, footwear, rucksacks, GPS - in fact, pretty much everything you might need for that outdoor adventure.

23

Harrogate HG1 1TE

A very stylish place, Harrogate has elegant shopping streets and handsome avenues. There are more than 20 antique shops in the town centre, as well as lots of boutiques and independent shops - especially in Montpellier.

26

Stanforth’s Pie Shop, 11 Mill Bridge, Skipton BD23 1NJ

The queue does literally go round the block to buy possibly the best warm pork pies in the world! Take them home if you must, but they really are best eaten warm standing in the street, with the peppery juices running down your arms. The recipe hasn’t changed in 80 years and neither should it.

Places to visit

5

Settle to Carlisle Railway BD24 9EJ

More like a cleverly designed visitor attraction than a vital lifeline serving countless communities in the wilds of Cumbria and North Yorkshire, the Settle-Carlisle Railway offers a constant backdrop of fells and moorland. Make a day of it and jump off at any number of stops en route.

6

East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley BD20 5EL

This fascinating building, once the home of a cloth merchant, offers many artefacts and items of oak furniture dating from the 17th century. There are also exquisite embroideries and award-winning gardens.

7

Brimham Rocks HG3 4DW

Fascinating and fantastical, Brimham Rocks is a dramatic collection of rock formations and a great place to explore, whether you want to climb or just admire the scenery. There are wonderful views over Nidderdale, while a labyrinth of paths leads you through heather moorland and beautiful woods.

8

Skipton Castle, BD23 1AW

The massive twin towers of Skipton Castle dominate the town's High Street, and it's one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. You can explore the banqueting hall and kitchen or climb from the dungeon to the top of the watchtower.

9

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6EX

Taking its name from a 12th-century Augustinian monastery, Bolton Abbey lies on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The setting is superb and the tranquil surroundings are infused with fascinating history and legend.

10

Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes DL8 3NT

Housed in an imaginative conversion of the Hawes railway station in Wensleydale, this fascinating museum tells the story of the people and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, as well as the social and industrial history of the area - mostly relating to the period 1800-1950.

11

Malham Cove BD23 4DG

This huge cliff formation is curved like an amphitheatre. The cliffs themselves are about 260 feet high, with an unusual area of deeply eroded limestone pavement on top. People have been visiting the site for hundreds of years as it creates a unique habitat for wildlife and all kinds of rare wild flowers and ferns. You might recognise it as one of the places Harry and Hermione camp in during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

12

Malham Tarn BD24 9PT

England's highest freshwater lake drains at Tarn Foot into a stream that soon disappears beneath the ground at Malham Sinks. It used to be thought this reappeared at Malham Cove, but it actually emerges downstream as a source of the river Aire.

13

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.

27

Janet's Foss, Malham BD23 4DA.

A lovely waterfall and pool near Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss is set in a delightful woodland location. Used as a natural sheep dip and a place for wild swimming, it’s rumoured to be the home of Jennet, Queen of the Fairies. On the footpath you’ll see tree stumps full of ‘lucky pennies’ – if you add a coin and make a wish, maybe Jennet will look favourably on you.

28

Gordale Scar, Malham BD23 4DG

An immense gorge, created by Ice Age melt-water: a huge cavern was carved out by the water and eventually collapsed, creating the gorge and spectacular waterfall. It’s yet another limestone landscape and you’ll see ‘tufa’ on the stone, formed by calcium carbonate-rich precipitation.

Walking

www.yorkshiredales.org.uk
As you might expect, the Yorkshire Dales is a fabulous place to walk. There are lots of downloadable short walks on the website, including a number close to Malham: one round Malham Tarn, one across the moors above the tarn, and a classic Dales walk that takes in Janet’s Foss and Malham Cove. The long-distance walker is also spoiled for choice: the Dales Way starts at Ilkley and finishes at Bowness-in-Windermere in the Lake District, following riverside routes as far as possible. The challenging Yorkshire Three Peaks takes in the summits of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Lady Anne’s Way runs 100 miles from Skipton to Penrith, while the Pennine Way is 270 miles of dramatic and beautiful scenery, stretching from the Peak District National Park through the Dales, up into Northumberland, across the Cheviots and into the Scottish Borders. And there are more – this is definitely a walkers’ paradise.

Cycling

www.yorkshiredales.org.uk
There are some great roads and trails for those on two wheels too. The Dales’ network of minor roads is a joy, and there are more than 800km (500 miles) of byways, ‘green lanes’ and bridleways to entice the mountain biker. Some trails include sections of Roman roads, monastic highways, mining tracks and ancient driving routes. There’s a wide variety of surfaces to make things interesting, and plenty of places to hire a bike or get advice. Some of the climbs are challenging, but the views are fantastic and make all the effort worthwhile. If you’re a road cyclist, there are some flat family-friendly valley-bottom routes; otherwise, tackle the challenging 210 km (130 mile) Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way.

Events

In May you’ll find the Skipton Waterways Festival — a free family-friendly shindig based around the Leeds-Liverpool canal. The Dales Festival of Food & Drink is on the first May bank holiday weekend. The Swaledale Festival involves walks and driving tours, and a varied programme of about 60 top-quality events, spread over two weeks in May. The Dentdale Music & Beer Festival is a weekend of live acoustic music, from folk and blues to jazz to country, usually held on the last weekend of June across a choice of venues throughout Dentdale. North Yorkshire Open Studios also takes place in June, when artists and makers across North Yorkshire invite the public into their studios. The Grassington Festival is 15 days of music and arts in June. The Kilnsey Show is in August, with dry stone walling, produce, handicrafts, horticulture, equestrian events, fell races and harness racing. Settle Storytelling Festival is in October, while November brings the Dickensian Festival, in Grassington, and in December it’s Skipton’s Yuletide Festival, a range of entertainment plus a Christmas market to get you in the festive mood.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Follow the A65 from Skipton towards Settle. Turn right to Malham at Coniston Cold. The pub is in the centre of the village, off Finkle Street.

By Rail: The nearest train station is Settle (7 miles) – a 3½ hour trip from London King’s Cross (change at Leeds).

Address:

Nr Skipton,, Malham, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DB

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