Tan Hill, North Yorkshire

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The Tan Hill Inn and the surrounding countryside
The Tan Hill Inn
Tan Hill sign

Tan Hill (NY896067) is a high point on the Pennine Way in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies north of Keld in the civil parish of Muker, near to the borders of County Durham and Cumbria, and close to the northern boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is in an isolated location, with the nearest town of Kirkby Stephen being an 11-mile (18 km) drive away.[1]

Tan Hill Inn[edit]

The Tan Hill Inn is the highest inn in the British Isles at 1,732 feet (528 m) above sea level.[1] The second highest pub in the UK is the Cat and Fiddle Inn in the Peak District with an elevation of about 1,690 feet (520 m).[2]

The building dates to the 17th century and during the 18th century was used as a hostelry by workers digging coal pits.[1] The last mine on Tan Hill closed in 1929, although the pub was able to remain due to the custom of local farmers and the development of the motor car.[3] The building is unusual for its isolation, but it used to be surrounded by miners' cottages, until these were demolished after the closure of the mines in the 1920s.

From 1974, border changes moved it into County Durham, but this was reviewed in 1987 after much protest, and it reverted to within the Yorkshire boundary.

In 1995, the Tan Hill Inn became the first public house in the UK to be granted a licence to hold weddings and civil ceremonies, after new laws were brought in to allow couples to marry in places other than churches or registry offices, although it no longer holds the licence.[4]

During the 1980s the pub appeared in an advert starring Ted Moult for window fitting company Everest,[5] and it appeared in the first Vodafone advert, broadcast during the 1990s.[1] Everest returned in 2008 to film a new advert with Craig Doyle and installed new windows and solar panels.[6]

The pub is a free house and tends to serve a range of beers from the Black Sheep and Theakston breweries.[7]

Visiting bands have included Arctic Monkeys, Mark Ronson and British Sea Power.[1]

In May 2007, Kentucky Fried Chicken threatened legal action against the Tan Hill Inn for trademark infringement over the use of the term "Family Feast" on the inn's Christmas Day menu. But on 10 May 2007 KFC confirmed that it would not be pursuing the case.[8][9]

The inn was visited by James May and Oz Clarke in Oz and James Drink to Britain, first broadcast in 2009.

Revellers celebrating New Year's Eve at the pub on 31 December 2009 were unable to leave the pub for three days as they were snowed in.[10]

It was described in 2012 in The Observer as "eccentrically run...with something of a reputation for being the Fawlty Towers of north Yorkshire...The landlady, the kind-hearted but sharp-tongued Tracy Daly, has been called 'the rudest in Britain'."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f McVeigh, Tracy (5 February 2012). "At the lonely Tan Hill Inn, the snow is falling… and business is booming". The Observer. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "More top stuff". The Angry Corrie. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "The History, Heritage and Stories Surrounding the Famous Tan Hill Inn...". Tan Hill Inn website. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Weddings & Civil Ceremonies - Swaledale & Yorkshire". Tan Hill Inn website. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "TV AD: Return to Tan Hill Inn and Ted Moult -Everest home improvements". www.everest.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Stokes, Paul (30 May 2008). "Row over Everest pub's solar-panel makeover". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Brown, Pete (13 June 2009). "Tan Hill Inn, Swaledale, North Yorkshire". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Pavia, Will (10 May 2007). "KFC climbs a big hill to fight tiny pub". The Times (London: Times Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "KFC licked by pub in menu fight". BBC News Online (BBC). 10 May 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "New Year revellers stuck in the pub for THREE nights thanks to the heavy snow". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°27′21″N 2°9′34″W / 54.45583°N 2.15944°W / 54.45583; -2.15944