One of the reasons I love living in Leeds is that you’re only a few minutes away from the countryside. At the start of the bank holiday weekend, I discovered a new area: Scarcroft. It’s a village north east of Leeds, on the way to Wetherby. Prior to being sent an invitation to The New Inn, I had no idea this place existed. In fact, I confused it with Seacroft. Can you blame me?
Googling what to do in Scarcroft, the first result recommended to visit Hetchell Woods so that’s what we did, before stuffing our faces at The New Inn at Scarcroft.
Hetchell Woods is well hidden but such a treat when found. Walking towards it on the footpath leading from the main road, it’s hard to believe you’ll soon find yourself in a massive woodland. It’s really impressive how such a huge area of woods can be hidden so well.
But, a fair few people know of it so we weren’t alone spending time here. We came across many dog walkers, small children families and even the police on horse. If you’re a climber, I have a feeling the Millstone grit is a popular rock formation to climb. We took the long way up it using the footpath instead and the view from there is stunning. Not as high as the Yorkshire Three Peaks (of course) but still you feel like being on top of Yorkshire, overlooking Scarcroft.
I was surprised to see not many came to stay for a longer while, it’s the perfect picnic spot. There are so many areas with different vegetation so you can easily find a spot you’ll like. At the bridge and creek on entrance, up on the Millstone rock, tucked away at the Limestone Quarries or on the open plains by the sand dunes or Beaches as the area is called. A few spots have evidence of barbecues taking place so people do come here to socialise.
There are a couple of signs showing where in the woods you are and what wildlife there is to see. In the beginning of the year, mainly flowers. We just missed hectares of bluebells blooming. Later in the year, more flowers but also birds and even deer. Aside from that, it’s quite tricky to navigate.
We stumbled on a “playground” (which I’ve now realised is the Limestone Quarries we were looking for) with swings which I HAD to go on. Not your normal swings but actually feeling like Tarzan swinging from a tree vine. These swings are obviously man made using ropes. It’s all fun and games jumping on and swinging high from the ground but more complicated getting off. Tina tried to help me, bless her, but I managed to come off without hurting myself. I did double check with Tina first to make sure we had signal and could call an emergency ambulance, just in case. I’m still a child in that sense: always keen to try something without thinking of the consequences.
Hetchell Woods is a nature reserve looked after by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust so if you want more information about when to go and what to see, check out their website.
The New Inn at Scarcroft
The New Inn at Scarcroft has a central location in the village. A stone throw away from the golf club, I assume many of their guests are indeed golfers, but also locals and people driving through as it’s located on the main road. It’s a huge brick building with an extension that forms the Restaurant part and outside a big garden full of outdoor seating. Sadly it was raining when we arrived for dinner so indoor seating was our only option. I’m not sad about that at all, this place is gorgeous.
They’ve recently refurbished but this was my first visit so I can’t compare to previous interior but I love how it looks now. It’s a country pub and you can tell! Rustic interior with leather chairs, open fires, vibrant coloured walls with a vintage touch to create a warm atmosphere.
We started and finished our evening with a drink at the bar. I really like that the bar and restaurant are separated off, it makes the sit down meal feel more formal. They serve lighter bar snacks so if you don’t fancy a full meal, only something to nibble on whilst enjoying a drink, it’s encouraged.
We were here to try out their full menu so were shown to a round table in the middle of the restaurant. Their weekend treat offer intrigued us: two or three courses with a bottle of wine between two for a fixed price. This menu is however limited and the main I had my eyes on wasn’t included. All the food is still very affordable so don’t fret.
The New Inn at Scarcroft Menu
It’s an extensive menu, filled with rustic and heart warming dishes to everyone’s content. I started off with the Duo of pâté – coarse pork & Madeira pâté and duck liver parfait, served with Bramley apple butter, blackcurrant curd, baby gherkins and rustic bread. Not only does it sound delicious, it is!!!, but almost more importantly, I love how it is presented. Tina had the cheese and garlic butter mushrooms which were a delight as well.
I had trouble choosing a main but decided to go very traditional and had the Steak & Ale pie. Tina choose the chicken version. Out comes a massive plate loaded with pie, fries or mash, a salad and an extra jug of gravy. The extra gravy is a nice touch but surprisingly only for the steak pie. Tina had to ask for extra gravy with hers, but not an issue at all. Although very tasty and fulfilling, it’s not the best pie I’ve had. The puff pastry steals the show: light, flakey and golden looking.
It would have been rude to end the evening here so we decided to treat ourselves to pudding as well. Again, many heart warming options like a crumble, banoffee pie and sticky toffee pudding I decided to go light with the Coconut panna cotta style pudding. Served looking like a bowl of plain yoghurt, topped with fresh fruits it was the perfect palette cleanser. I was very jealous of Tina’s Crumble but it would have made me explode of fullness.
Have you been to Scarcroft before? If not, I can highly recommend it. Please comment if you have suggestions of similar places to go. I like a good day out exploring, followed by a treat meal.
*I was kindly invited to The Inn at Scarcroft to experience their new refurbishment and also given £50 towards the bill, in return for a review. All views, photos and words are as always my own.