Monday, 8 August 2011
Friday evening and I needed to get some space after a heavy week at work so I decided to drive up to the edge of Bingley Moor, to a pub known as Dick Hudson's. I didn't go in (sorry Alan!) so I can't tell you what it's like inside or what the food is like, though it was busy. It underwent a major refurbishment earlier this year, but it seems to be getting mixed reviews. It sits in a lovely spot though, with panoramic views over Bingley and the Aire valley, right over to the city of Bradford on the skyline. On a pleasant evening it would be good to sit in the garden and enjoy a glass of real ale and the scenery. I had a bit of a walk and appreciated the 'wide' end of my new lens, great for capturing the view and all that sky.
There has been a tavern up here since the 17th century, a traveller's rest on the old pack horse trail from Ilkley to Bingley. The pub moved to its present site, Highgate Farm, when a road down to Eldwick was built. In 1850 the farm and pub, then known as The Fleece, were taken over by landlord Dick Hudson and it has been known as Dick Hudson's ever since, though for a long time the sign still said The Fleece. In Victorian and Edwardian times, the pub became very popular with working class families escaping the nearby textile towns at weekends and Bank Holidays to enjoy a bracing walk over the moors to Ilkley. The pub made a good halfway house for dinner and tea and apparently did a roaring trade in roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and ploughman's lunches. (Not much changes then..) For an interesting write-up of its history, see here.