In contrast to St Helens, I can’t claim to have been looking forward to my necessary trip to Selby, despite my recent acclaim for small shipbuilding towns in the east. I doubt Selby sees Goole as competition for the tourist dollar though.

Pub Curmudgeon did recently highlight the appeal of the Abbey and at least one historic pub, which made the prospect of an expensive train journey more palatable.

Selby Abbey

It was worth the effort, and not just for the Abbey, which looked magnificent in those big, open skies I so love. A wedding party was just about to emerge as I arrived so I’ll have see the inside another time.

The town is spick and span, has the three main supermarkets (unusual for a town of 15,000) and seemed a cheery place. I assume they were just pleased at York’s relegation from the League, confirmed that afternoon.


I’ve always liked the industrial heritage on the way into the town, though the flour mill above towers over the centre. There’s some decent walks around the Ouse and Selby Dam, and a pretty cluster of almshouses south of town.

Nearly all the other buildings of interest are pubs, most of which were doing a good trade on early evening Saturday, and hardly any of it food.

The Spoons is the only Beer Guide entry, though Selby has been missing from the GBG altogether in recent years. It’s newish and extremely pleasant, with a good mix of food and booze trade, and a Pale Rider as good (NBSS 3.5) as I’ve had outside of Kelham Island. I saw more real ale served her than for a good while in a Spoons.

Just along Gowthorpe is the New Inn, one of the old Tetley Heritage Inns and a classic town pub. The gem of a snug, with its ornate serving hatch, was the place for peace and quiet. The lively bar had customers spanning the ages, few of whom were enjoying the decent enough Leeds Pale (NBSS 2.5), but who cares what other people drink ?

I’d have been happier with a John’s or a Tetley if I’m honest though; it didn’t feel like a Leeds Pale sort of pub, terrific though it was.

Snug, New Inn

Much more real ale being drunk in the Cricketers across the road, even at the scandalous new price of £1.90.

Image result for cricketers selby

There’s obviously a lot of classic Sam Smiths town pubs in North Yorkshire, but this was a cracker.  Not so much for any particular architectural features, exterior apart, but more from the sense of being in a lively but well managed boozer. Almost Boar’s Head good, and the OBB was superb (NBSS 3.5).

Cricketers Arms, Selby

So there you have it.  Gainsborough on the cheap perhaps, but a superb Spoons, a classic Sams and a Heritage Tetley pub within a minute of each other.  And a Chinese takeaway for every day of the month.

11 thoughts on “SAM SMITHS IN SELBY

  1. I went to Selby this year on 13th February 2016.
    I thought the town was quite nice and worth the train fare from Leeds,i did all but two pubs in the town 16 missing an estate pub the other i visited twice and rather annoyingly on the edge of town that never opened.
    I really liked the Cricketers and the New Inn was also decent,the Londesborough Arms was in a bit of a mess on my pre 11am visit with loads of unemptied tables and 6 handpumps all out of use.

    I did two pubs in Gainsborough about 18 months ago when out with my brother who was driving,what a dump,did the Spoons and the the White Horse and decided to leave to do some village pubs.
    Ime not normally bothered about visiting grotty areas in large cities but a town like that was not worth it.


  2. Great that you enjoyed Cricketers, we stumbled on it accidentally and were impressed after I had a pint of vinegar in the Giant Bellflower and proclaimed “this won’t be in the GBG any time soon”. It was! Must try New Inn.

    Lovely pic of Selby Abbey.

    I normally just go to Selby when Joe Johnson is opening a new branch of Greenwoods.

    Lincolnshire meanwhile just isn’t enticing me in a BRAPA direction somehow!


    1. rTHE Joe Johnson of Snooker loopy fame ?

      I knew you’d wrote about the Bellflower. Pale Rider was good, partly because bloke before me had it as well.

      I did get a lot of funny looks in New Inn for taking a photo of outside and in snug, felt I was being stared at a lot actually. Might have been my accent.


  3. Hello martin and all the other folks who have commented.
    Im Emma the manager of the cricketers arms and ive just read martins piece and your comments and i would just like to say thank you for the positive comments made. People are very quick to tell us when things are not to their expectations but seldom do we get positive feed back. So again a big thank you and please if you pop in to see us again nake yourself known so i can thank you in person.


  4. I’m a late middle aged lady and my husband and I have used the Crix for many years now .
    It’s the friendless pub in Selby …It has not got a very good outside are …but that aside it’s the ideal pub .Cheapest as well .You get a real sense of Community in there and are able to actually chat , we’ve put the world to rights many a time in the Crix ….Itsa bit like the’ Rovers Return’ with its booths.
    Great atmosphere great pub and all visitors welcome


  5. Ooh, exactly my own experience, so-so Leeds Pale, and “I’d have been happier with a John’s or a Tetley if I’m honest”. Given that you’ve been there recently, surprised you didn’t recognise the very distinctive stained glass window.

    In my experience, most NI entries are good pubs as well as good pieces of architecture, but this one didn’t really achieve that. Newspaper rack with 3-month-old papers doesn’t speak of attention to detail.


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