Hotel/accommodation/pub preview: The Wombwell Arms
Wass, North Yorkshire, YO61 4BE
The Wombwell Arms/Wass – map
By: Alexa Williamson
The Wombwell Arms and Wass are a totally unexpected surprise en route to visit Byland Abbey. Technically, the abbey probably is in Wass, but depending on how you arrive there, you may come across the tiny village of Wass and this pub before you reach the Abbey, which is in a stunning area of hills and countryside.
According to their official site, the inn was originally built in 1620 as a granary, “probably using stone from nearby Byland Abbey” and later “became an ale house in about 1645″.
The Wombwell Arms attracted me as it is a characterful and a single building on a quiet rode. I visited, at dusk, after visiting the Abbey and loved the look of it from the outside – and also the little bits of the pub I could see on the inside. Fortunately, unlike a lot of British pubs it was not twee on the inside or “overly stuffy” with too many rugs or cushions. The pub is a great old space and has, as they proudly and rightly state on their website, that is has “stone flagged floors, beamed ceilings and a log fire”.
Whether you are eating or staying here, or stopping by for a drink, you are in for a wonderful and historic visit as not only are the proprietors and locals who live in the village nice, the latter have thankfully restored the entire building in a traditional manner. It feels airier than a lot of British pubs – some of which are in nearby Helmsley and look great from the outside, but then you go inside and they are horribly stuff and have terrible 1970s carpets and upholstery.
In regards to accommodation, three bedrooms at the inn are modest, but have nice architectural features and are all en-suite. The Wombell Arms makes an excellent base for anything you would want to do in the area. It is a quiet retreat and you can easily go walking, cycle riding or visit Byland Abbey. I did not find any horsebackriding on my route to Wass or to visit the abbey, but that is also probably around.
The Wombwell Arms also caters for people with food allergies or special dietary requirements and the prices of their meals are also reasonable and the food looks fresh.
Definitely worth a visit as The Wombwell Arms and Wass are quiet, peaceful and still a wonderfully hidden secret.