The Craven Arms Beer Festival, Appletreewick. Oct 2014

Having had such a great time last year at the Beer Festival, we booked in again for the 2014 event which featured beers from Yorkshire and Cumbria.

We arrived at Masons Campsite around 1pm to find that Tony & Penny were already pitched up and that Gill & Alan had just arrived. After a bit of negotiation, we managed to make sure we  were all pitched together and that there was space for Simon when he arrived. This involved Tony moving their van which he did through gritted teeth…

The forecast all week had been for the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo which had caused destruction in Bermuda. The newspapers had been full of headlines of impending doom about how bad it was going to be, but in the end, we had a very calm weekend with some rain overnight but generally with lovely autumnal days and above average temperatures.

The fine weather meant we could all go for a short walk on Friday afternoon, so 6 of us set off just before Simon arrived (if we’d know we’d have waited for him) to walk along the River Wharfe to Burnsall. A couple of pints in the Red Lion were just the way to start a beery weekend and made the walk back to the vans even more enjoyable.


After a sandwich and a chill we set off to the pub up the road for the Festival. If anything it was even busier than last year and it took us a while to find a table for all of us to sit together. Once settled though we had a great night – playing one of Penny’s games which involved using two random initials to recall celebrity names – sounds easy but combine beer with a limited time slot and I can guarantee you that you’re mind will go blank. Strangely, when it’s someone else’s go you’ll have loads of names in your head to choose from!



Deep in concentration…

So, back to the van, and a fairly fitful night listening to the wind blowing the sun canopy. No issues though and everything was intact in the morning.

After breakfast we all decided to walk back to Burnsall and then on to Grassington further up the Dale. The river looked amazing and made me determined to get back into fishing when retirement comes…

It’s just under 4 miles to Grassington and we were ready for a stop by the time we got there. Fish and chips was the order of the day and we sat in the high street eating them and people watching. Some of the group went for a look round the shops and we agreed to meet at 2.15 at the Foresters Arms, just around the corner.


As it turned out Tony and I couldn’t wait that long so we grabbed a quick pint from the Devonshire Hotel first. Naughty…

The walk back was just as enjoyable and allowed our star photographer to take some fantastic photos. I’ve “borrowed” some, with his permission, but if you’ve not checked out Simon’s Blog then take a look here to see his work:

Mine, in contrast are quite dull, but one day I’ll get there…



Saturday night meant more beer, more games and some food for me. The menu at the Beer Festival is fairly small and is available from a “takeaway” at the rear of the pub kitchen. This year’s menu included Rabbit Drummers with Beer Flavoured Baked Beans which sounded too good to be true.

Unfortunately, the reality was less impressive – I managed to break two plastic forks trying to get any meat off the rabbit and eventually had to give up and eat it with my fingers. Next year I’m having fish and chips…

There was an opportunity to vote for your favourite beers and once again Yorkshire came out on top (what a surprise!)



The winning beers

Another great weekend then, which wasn’t quite over. Sunday morning was a bit grey so we all packed up and headed off. We drove to our static van in Sedbergh – a beautiful drive on a sunny day but as we got towards Hawes the heavens opened and the skies were leaden.

We had planned to stay overnight and shut the van down for winter on Monday but, after tea and a sandwich, we decided to finish it off there and then and head home. The M6 was stop-start all the way and we were glad to be home by 4pm.

The next trip is the last Forum event of the year – Halloween at Anita’s site in Mollington – check back soon for the Blog report.

There are more photos here: Flickr


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