A Timothy Taylors of Keighley pub, ‘The Sheep’ offers the full range of their ales as well as a good selection of less well known continental lagers (as well as the usual tasteless Carlingsbergartoisfostborg etc.). We opted for Taylors Golden Best – an excellent pint which went down extremely well. We were served quickly by the friendly girl behind the bar who broke off from serving a group of indecisive lads to pour our pints, whilst they deliberated over which form of mass-produced chemicals they wanted.
We decided though, despite the full range of TT ales on offer, to give the beer choice a lower score than we first thought we would – based mainly on the fact if you don’t like Taylors ales (or any sort of lager), you’re a bit stuck.
The pub is accessed via side doors down the ginnel which runs down the side of the pub from Sheep Street. The first door leads into the front of the pub. This is the area with the most character and original features, with old oak beams across the ceiling, original stonework and a staircase leading up to the first floor with steps showing hundreds of years of wear on them. There are comfy leather sofas and an open fireplace which, from memory, kicks out some comforting heat in the winter months.
The rear entrance leads into the dining area where the pub serves food from a good looking menu – the specials board looked particularly appetising (well the list of dishes on it did anyway…the board itself looked a little…wooden). The ginnel continues out to the rear of the pub, to a spotless modern toilet block, and then past this out into one of the best beer gardens in Skipton. A great place to enjoy a few drinks on a summer afternoon.
There was a sign up at the bar warning customers that they’d soon be closing for a short time for a refurbishment. The rear dining area is starting to look a little tired, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do with the place. If they lose any of the original features at the front though, they’ll be missing a trick. Along with alleged ghostly happenings in the beer cellar and the upstairs hotel rooms, its history is the main selling point of this pub. It would be very sad if it lost the very thing which makes it stand out from most of the other pubs in town.
This is a very cosy and welcoming pub and can be recommended highly to anyone looking for (what seems to be) good food, and a good drink, in an authentic historical setting.
Beer Choice (1 – 5): 3
Toilets (1 – 5): 4.5
TOTAL: 30.5 (out of 40)