A famous film set, rock n’ roll venue, campsite, real ale pub, refuge from the elements, Guinness Book of Record entrant, what more can you ask for from a country pub?
The Tan Hill Inn has it all.
Set on the lonely moorland of the Yorkshire Dales the pub is a record breaking 1,732 feet (528 metres) above sea level. The highest pub in Britain. What’s more the Arctic Monkeys, Mark Ronson and British Sea Power have all played there, making it an unusual entry on anyone’s list of iconic music venues.
It’s even starred in TV ads for Everest Windows and Vodafone.
Don’t expect hordes of music obsessives or media luvvies though. The Tan Hill Inn’s charm is based on the fact that it must be one of the most remote pubs in Britain. It does not even have any other buildings within eyesight to keep it company. Built to serve the mining community, all miners left a long time ago. Even their dwellings were knocked down in the 1920s, leaving the Tan Hill Inn to stand proudly, alone amongst the open moorlands of the Yorkshire Dales.
You can get there by car (except famously on New Year’s Eve 2009 when all visitors were snowed in there for three days due to bad weather).
Many though choose to visit by foot, as it’s near the paths of both the Coast to Coast walk and the Pennine Way.
I remember my visit there clearly.
I was soaked through to the bone walking a particularly exposed part of the Pennine Way, when I saw the outlines of the Tan Hill Inn in the distance. My heart warmed at this prospect of some hot food and the chance to rest and dry out before I continued my trek northwards.
I remember clearly walking over the threshold and then trapped by indecision. Should I head straight in front and order food and much needed pint at the bar, or should I step to my right and head for the fire to warm myself (and my clothes) first.
Food and beer won that day. Pie and pint in hand I then camped myself out just in front of the fire.
I must have stayed there for an hour or so, until I eventually rebooted and put my wet weather gear back on, before heading for the door and a further seven miles hike.
This was some time ago, but the warm and sheer relief of ‘stopping’ at Britain’s highest pub for an hour last’s long in my memory.
The place has had mixed reviews recently and is still up for sale if you have a cool million!