Take a look inside the tiny UK pub which usually serves just 10 customers a day


This tiny pub in Beck Hole, Scarborough, was once a cottage and was extended to offer a refreshing pint for the village locals

Glenys Crampton
Glenys Crampton

For those wanting to visit the best and most unique pubs that the UK has to offer, this cottage-conversion pub has got to make the list.

The quaint boozer, which is situated 10 miles south of Whitby in the tiny valley village of Beck Hole, has been compared to the “front room of a small cottage” by its owner.

Beck Hole itself is made up of just nine homes, sat in the North Yorkshire Moors – which attracts walkers year-round as they traverse the routes and visit the nearby waterfalls, Yorkshire Live reports.

But visitors to The Birch Hall Inn pub can also sit in the garden area and watch historic trains go by on the famous Moors Railway line.

The pub which also houses a small sweet shop was purchased by Glenys Crampton and her brother in 1981.

Glenys bought the pub with her brother 40 years ago – now she runs it with her husband
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“I still love it to bits,” she told YorkshireLive.

“The customers we have are amazing. Take this morning, for example, I came downstairs to find the beer delivery was dropped outside the shop.

“I’ve had a new hip so I asked the customers ‘could one of you strong men take this in’ and they did.

“We just get such lovely, lovely people. It makes every day great.”

At 70 years old, Mrs Crampton said that the regular interaction with the walkers and regulars who travel from the likes of Whitby, Newcastle, York and Leeds makes her feel 17.

The tiny pub has only ever had a maximum of 30 people in at once
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She said: “The people in the nine houses in the village are elderly and retiring.

“They will pop in for a drink or to the shop for a Kit Kat but we don’t see them often. Most customers are regulars but from a distance.”

Mrs Crampton compared the pub’s size to that of a “small cottage front room”, with the punters sitting at the closely concentrated tables being left with no choice but to converse with one another.

She said: “It’s just amazing how people get on. There are three tables at the bar and sometimes we have three groups at each one. Being Brits we don’t make eye contact or chat if we can help it but here you don’t have a choice.

“You have to drop a pebble in like putting a log on the fire to get things started but then they’re off. You have to be really rude not to talk to everybody else.”

Glenys hasn’t changed a single thing since she bought the pub from the last owner, who had it for 50 years before her
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But working life at the pub also means you have to be comfortable in your own company as the pub goes can go periods without any punters and has an average of 10 customers a day, according to Mrs Crampton.

The most people to have been at any one time was 30 people and two dogs.

Some of the joy for the owners comes from seeing the repeat visitors over the years as they grow up.

Mrs Crampton said there are some visitors who came as babies in the 1980s who are now bringing their children.

“There’s a sense of continuity and institution,” she said.

The outdoor area is a great place to watch trains go by on the historic railway
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This continuity stretches to the owners, as Mrs Crampton explained that she bought it from a lady who had owned it for over half a century prior.

She said: “She put her life into it. It’s a very personal place.

“She hadn’t changed it during most of that time and she was desperate for it to stay the same when she was looking to sell.

“Other people were looking to do stuff with it and there was a lot of that happening in the late 70s and 80s – people changing old buildings.

“My brother and I were able to get it out of pure serendipity. We didn’t have any money so she chose us because she knew that we couldn’t do anything to the pub!

“40 years later it’s still here and still the same.”

The pub was once a cottage but was extended to have more local amenities
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The desire to keep the pub in its current state is inspired by its unique history and charming character.

Originally a cottage, it was extended in 1860 to house a grocer and bar for the locals before coming to the centre point for the small community as industry and tourism developed.

Mrs Crampton’s brother retired in 2004 and she has since run the pub with her husband Neil, who is 12 years her junior.

The two run the pub together and will employ an extra pair of hands during the summer period if and when it gets busy.

The couple don’t plan on going anywhere soon but hope one day someone will continue the legacy
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Despite still being as enthused by the work as ever, the Cramptons have bought their own place to build up for when they eventually retire.

But finding someone to take on the reins of the Birch Hall Inn could be a challenge.

“We just hope we find someone mad enough to take it on from us”, said Mrs Crampton.

“We are still fit and enjoy it though so we’re not going anywhere soon.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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