First off, eagle-eyed readers (probably Joe the Cocker) may have noticed the embryonic Blog Map on the front of this blog. Many thanks to IT wizz James for the excellent web design work,

Over the next few weeks I’ll link my blog posts to locations on the maap so you can navigate the map and read about street art and murk in Carlisle.  Or whatever.

Let’s go aerial, as we fly over Butter Tubs Pass from Hawes to Gunnerside.


The 15 minute trip across the Pass is a joy only diminished by the oncoming cyclists.  Sadly the dashcam doesn’t take great panoramic photos, though this one from Mudgie may compensate;

Photo : Pub Curmudgeon

From me, you’ll have to make do with this pastoral view from Gunnerside (pop. unknown).

View to Crackpot

Gunnerside gives great map.

More contours than humanly possible
View back to Butter Tubs

On the way in there’s a pretty sign for a pretty parking space (Donations to upkeep of the Village Reading Room) that suggests a thriving little community.

The only spectacle in Gunnerside is me, trying to reverse my campervan at 3mph as I reach a dead end at the foot of the parking strip with no reversing space.

Mary isn’t open

Five minutes away the wonderful Farmer’s Arms in tiny Muker looked packed at midday.

The King’s Head is very closed.


It’s mildly irritating for the ticker, rather more so for the residents of Gunnerside, who own the pub but have been struggling to find someone to run it.  (And I bet they’ll find the village better landlords than Sir Humphrey). I think they’re going to have a go themselves.

“They get knocked down, but they get up again” etc.etc.


It’s easy to think these picturesque Swaledale pubs are cash cows, dishing out £12 pies and Prosecco to loaded Londoners.  The truth is different.

I said hello to the two chaps hiding behind the concrete mixer (top), commiserating with them on the loss of their pub.  One chap was teetotal, the other recognised that pubs aren’t really about alcohol.

Do you fancy running it  for us ?”  he said.

Flat Draught Bass, cans of Carling, nuts and scotch eggs would be my recipe for pub success.  What do you think ?

27 thoughts on “BUTTER TUBS-THUMPING

  1. Firstly, thanks for the mention (link). Secondly, we just read your Runcorn blog as I was writing one with a pic of Society. Thirdly, my human worked in a Bass Brewery for 17 years and loved Draught Bass but hated Carling. He had to drink it as part of his QC job. Well, he said he had to drink it 🤣🤣🐾🐾👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought you’d check out the hand pump mine south of Keld on your map?
    10 years ago I remember the landlord of the King’s Head seeing us arrive early on our stroll. “Just go inside and tell the lad I’ve said you need serving.” Proper pub.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Flat Draught Bass, cans of Carling, nuts and scotch eggs would be my recipe for pub success. What do you think ?”

    Surely you just forgot to include Doom bar on that list – didn’t you…?

    Anyway it’s an academic point – Molson Coors will only sell you a keg Carling if you take a free keg of Doom Bar as well… 🙂

    Beautiful photos of beautiful scenery RM. I think your blog could also become the ‘go to’ resource for UK staycationer’s post lockdown (if it wasn’t already… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t forget the pork scratchings!

    There’s a stunning view down Swaledale as you come over the Buttertubs Pass, as I’m sure you will have noticed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was about a mile north of there one May morning in 2006, the previous night in Keld and then lunchtime in Reeth for the Buck Hotel, Kings Arms and Black Bull.
    It’s not too grim that part of Up North.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “the wonderful Farmer’s Arms in tiny Muker” –Are you sure you didn’t mean ‘tiny Murker’?

    I did have a chuckle at the “Do you fancy running it for us?” line. That’s the irony of pub enthusiasts. They’ve seen enough of what it takes to run one of these places that they’d never been so reckless as to take on the job themselves. 😉


    1. Actually, there was a long discussion about pubicans these days not liking hard work (i disagreed).

      When they asked if I fancied running their pub I said “Sounds too much like hard work”. It was funny at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if it’s Peculiar to Yorkshire but “asked if I fancied running their pub” reminds me of three of us being in the George and Dragon at Dent thirty years ago and the landlady asking if we wanted to buy the pub.

        Liked by 2 people

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