After Aberdeen I took a week off from pubs (“DryEarlyMarch”, anyone ?).  I felt no better for it, mind.

And I certainly wasn’t prepared for another lengthy bus trip to Masham.


I can’t even blame Beeching for the lack of a railway station in Masham.

I’d allowed myself an insane amount of time to rediscover the town, having somehow imagined it to be a thriving metropolis, rather than little more than a village of 1,205.

Outground for Yorkshire CCC
St Mary’s
Is that a maze ?

First time here since Mrs RM and I spent a drunken night in the White Bear, the only other GBG entry back in 1996. Old Peculier to blame, I think, though that seems almost a session beer these days.

Just like trains, or is it buses, you wait 23 years for a new GBG entry and two come along in the same new Guide. Mind you, with six pubs (and a golf club) in town there was always that risk.  And of course, by law every town over 1,000 people is guaranteed a micropub by 2025.

masham whatpub.PNG
One licensed premise per 172 residents

You can see both the Bruce Arms and the Bay Horse in this carefully crafted photo that nearly got me killed by those packs of Yorkshire cyclist rudely using the road I was standing in.

Vehicles contaminating my shot

The Bruce, as its friend calls it, reminds me of one of those pubs you get in honeypots like Malham or Grassington ?

Is Masham a honeypot these days ?


I wrote about good pubs being not always serving great beer recently, and that applies to both these places.

Ooh, you’ve been blown in like Mary Poppins !” said the frankly astonishing Landlady (I must see BRAPA’s report). Genuinely welcoming, unfussy, and running a delightfully airy if twee pub.  Which sounds like something my Mum would say.

Veggie menu strangely inviting

I felt a bit guilty that I didn’t eat, as they’d made so much effort with the menu, but they seemed delighted to serve me a half of Theakston Best.


The Best was a bit sherberty (Good) but also a bit sharp (Bad), but improved sufficiently to hit NBSS 2.75 and ensure the plants didn’t get a watering.

Elton John’s “Sacrifice” on a tinny HiFi was the musical highlight, which may indicate there were lowlights as well.


Oddly, though, I thought it was a great little pub, only needing a couple of dozen other customers to lift the beer turnover midweek.

The same could be said about the Bay Horse, with just a few diners and a dog that had probably not put much in the till.

A ten second hop to the next tick
Bay Horse, bay windows

Another six handpumps to give that all important choice to the real ale fan.

Waiting for the choice

And another cool foamy half of Theakston, topped up automatically by an efficient lady who had to deal with queries about J20 and the reason the risotto wasn’t on the menu, which she handled with aplomb.

Good pub, average beer.  As B*Witched were singing as I left “C’est la vie“.


20 thoughts on “SMASHIN’ MASHAM

      1. Get a large chip pan, fill with cheap sunflower oil and heat to 190C and slowly lower Scotland into pan. Fry until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove from pan, drain and place on large iron rack (made from recycled oil rigs) and it’s good to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Mrs B and I spent a lovely weekend in Masham a few years ago. The Bruce Arms looks to have changed a bit since then; was a bit basic but none the worse for that. Had lunch in the Bay Horse which had a completely mad black chihahua running around. Ate breast of pheasant stuffed with black pudding and wrapped in ham with mash and carrots for £7.95. THAT is what I call pub food. The beer was pretty good too.


  2. Chuckled at this: “though that seems almost a session beer these days.” –Indeed, I recall back in the mid 80s thinking that Guinness was an incredibly strong beer, and that attempting too many of them would have you flat on your back! How times have changed…


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