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Review: The Sun Inn


Harrogate, United Kingdom

The Sun King

  • By SilverTraveller pb52

    208 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Nov 2013
  • Norwood Edge, Otley
  • Casual
  • British

99 people found this review helpful

A date engraved on the door lintel of this very popular and well known pub reads 1771.

Built in Yorkshire stone when it's position in the Washburn Valley gave it an isolated prominence, it still sits at the edge of woodland looking down imperiously over green fields.

Washburn Valley was then a very peaceful haven, lying between the now very popular Wharfedale and the more remote Nidderdale.

Before the days of public houses as we know them, people resorted to private dwellings known as 'beer houses' where ale was supplied to them by the housekeeper.

The Sun Inn has been a pub for over 200 years and pre-dates the Brew House Act of 1830 by some distance.

This Act allowed housekeepers to legally sell beer and cider from their own homes for a licence fee of two guineas. A princely sum in those days.

The nearby burgeoning cities of Leeds and Bradford had a thirst for clean water however, and at the end of the 19th century, dams were made in the river valley below, to create the reservoirs of Lindley Wood, Fewston and Swinsty.

Even this was not enough and in the 1960's the remaining hamlet of West End was evacuated and flooded to make the fourth reservoir, Thruscross.

Some people have claimed that the ghostly toll of the church bell can still be heard on some still nights.

Maybe they had been in the Sun Inn!

All of the reservoirs may be walked around on good paths in a single walk of 10 miles or so. An ideal start and finish point being the Sun Inn which has a large car-park. Ask first to be polite, I have never known a refusal.

A history of the Washburn Valley may be found at .

But to the pub. This is what many people would call 'a proper pub'. It is homely and welcoming with a great range of real ales and a warm welcome from the staff.

The menu is hearty 'pub grub' at a maximum of £9.45 for a main course. There are also sandwiches, burgers and jacket potatoes or filled giant Yorkshire Puddings, though at £13.95 for a large rib-eye steak, this won't break the bank either.

The famous Sunday Carvery served from noon to 4pm (if they don't sell out first) is superb value at £13 for three courses. Bring a trencherman's appetite for this one.

Be warned, this is a very popular destination pub, especially in the Summer months and on Sundays. It has always been very popular with walkers, cyclists and motor cyclists.

It can be a little difficult to find if you do not know the area. It is on the B6451 on Brame Lane, above Swinsty Reservoir.

Further details can also be found at

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • pb52
    over 6 years ago
    Called in with a bunch of hiking friends on a snowy and cold December Sunday afternoon. Great to see the open fires blazing away, a really welcome feature.

    The carvery was full of people enjoying Sunday lunch, though this time I went for the steak and onion sandwich with Cajun chips. Just the job. Thick slices of tender minute-steaks smothered in onions in a white bread cake.
    The giant Yorkshire Pudding with beef in gravy was also a substantial and tasty hit.

    Still as homely and friendly as ever, with superb hand-drawn beers.
  • ESW
    over 7 years ago
    This sounds a great place - especially as you can either walk up an appetite, or walk off your meal afterwards...