Time to tackle North Yorkshire, which I completed as a GBG county for the very first time as recently as August 2019, but failed last time out.

This year the NY contingent seems very gastro heavy, particularly in the region known as “Greater BRAPA”.

Thrillingly, Aldwark, best described as located in “Pashmina York”, requires a trip over the eponymous toll bridge.

Press PLAY on the video below to experience the visceral thrill of trundling over a dodgy bridge in pursuit of a ropey half.

A reminder, should you need a side-line to fund your ticking, that all you need to operate your own toll bridge is a small hut, a chair and a cap. I suggest you start on the Tyne Bridge and work down.

Aldwark is tiny (pop. 308), but apparently the population has tripled in a decade. An explanation is surely needed.

The other eternal mystery is the purpose of the little stool blocking the entrance to the old Post Office.

A nice solid village pub which is playing “I want to know what love is” as I enter in accordance with the 2008 Hambleton (’80s pop) regulations.

And the Aldwark Arms also has the obligatory microbrews, slightly obscured by those tremendous jam jars you last saw in Chemistry classes in 1979 and a glass of Shipyard with a yellow straw.

There was one table of gentlefolk diners, and a family of four whose main contribution to my blog was the line;

Do you like olives, Jack ?“. Of course he doesn’t ! He’s 8 !

I cannot lie; I expected the worst from the Hambleton Thoroughbred, but it was a rich, cool and tasty 3.5. And the Landlady seemed genuinely pleased to serve me without fuss.

A bit like the beer, whose lacings may make my Top 50 for 2021.

But you really should come here just for the Gents (I’ve no idea about the Ladies, sorry), where the art is so naff it’s loveable.

Oh yes, it’s pronounced “Owdwark” apparently. Now you know.


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