Idyllic Yorkshire village pub takes drastic measures to avoid 'abusive, rowdy' pub crawl

Andrew MacNeil, in front of Beck Hole, opened up about the Gallon Walk
-Credit: (Image: Samuel Port)


An idyllic tiny Yorkshire village used to be a prime spot for those on a famous pub crawl - but the local pub has taken drastic measures to avoid the increasingly ‘abusive, rowdy and inconsiderate’ nature of the big groups.

The ‘Gallon Walk’ is a pub crawl which spans from Goathland to Egton, two villages in the North Yorkshire Moors. Along the way, there are eight pubs, and a pint in each pub adds up to a gallon of beer, hence the name.

Bus loads of drinkers, with groups boasting as many as 60 people, descend upon the idyllic villages along the five-mile crawl which traditionally occurs on a Saturday. It has grown a mixed reputation over time, there are many who do it in aid of charity, but there is an increasing number of ‘anti-social’ participants, according to the locals.

Read more: Leeds pub shut down after 'landlord seriously assaulted underage drinker'

The walk attracts a mix of stag does, hen parties, work does and birthdays. The valley village of Beck Hole, in Whitby, which only has 17 residents, has one pub which will no longer open its doors to the masses of people stomping through.

Nearby resident and retired plasterer Andrew MacNeil spoke of how ‘noisy’ the groups have become. Andrew said: “You get what you call gallon-walkers, they set off from Goathland and they go to Egton and they call in on every pub on the way. If pubs would serve them, like, as they’re getting a bit of a bad name, now.

“They’re very rowdy. If they haven’t finished their drink, they’ll take the glass and dump it on the way. The pub here doesn’t like to serve them, they’ll shut if they know they’re coming. It’s a bit of a takeover, well, it can be. It’s really noisy. You can get busloads of men and women.

“This weekend, there was about eight women [in one group] but it sounded like about a hundred.”

'Abusive, rowdy and inconsiderate'

The Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole took drastic measures to avoid gallon-drinkers -Credit:Samuel Port
The Birch Hall Inn in Beck Hole took drastic measures to avoid gallon-drinkers -Credit:Samuel Port

It turns out the local pub the Birch Hall Inn has, in fact, taken severe measures to avoid passing trade from the pub-crawl. The tiny pub is probably the smallest in Yorkshire, its size similar to a small living room, with about 15ft of space.

It first opened in the 1860s, according to the landlady, and was a prime location on the Gallon Walk. Glenys Crampton, 72, has been running the tiny pub for about 43 years.

Glenys took over the pub with her brother Colin Jackson in 1981. He retired in 2004 and she has since been running it with her husband Neil, 60.

The 72-year-old is a no-nonsense landlady who’d grown sick and tired of the ‘anti-social’ behaviour of the massive groups attending. She’s branded the groups as ‘abusive, rowdy and inconsiderate.’

Inside the Birch Hall Inn which is the size of a small living room
Inside the Birch Hall Inn which is the size of a small living room -Credit:Samuel Port

It’s always been her desire to run a pub which harbours a tranquil atmosphere for the locals and those on a peaceful ramble through the valley.

Fearing the pub-crawl would put an end to her ‘43 years of uneventful landlady-ship,’ she took drastic measures in 2019. Glenys decided to not open on Saturdays, the most popular day of trade for most bars, to completely avoid having to deal with the ‘gallon-walkers’.

Glenys said: “There is a thing called the Gallon Walk. In the past we had served them, but the numbers just got beyond us in this little place.

“We just don’t open on a Saturday because it usually only happens on a Saturday. It was mainly the numbers but also, their behaviour was a bit anti-social and in a little space like this it was very hard to deal with because you also have your other people who come here to enjoy it while it’s quiet.”

Andrew MacNeil spoke of how 'noisy' the gallon drinkers could be each Saturday
Andrew MacNeil spoke of how 'noisy' the gallon drinkers could be each Saturday -Credit:Samuel Port

Glenys opened up about the decision to shut on Saturdays, which she describes as a tactical decision to avoid all the nonsense and to make sure they were complying with the legal measures of running a hostelry, which happens to have its own beer brewed locally and also serves locally sourced pies.

Glenys explained: “It just wasn’t working for us so we stopped doing it. The only way to stop it is to just not open as you can’t selectively serve six people but not those 60 people.

“It was a mixture, works does, people out for a birthday. They were abusive, rowdy, inconsiderate. Not all of them, by any means, but the majority.

“When there’s 50 or 60, then another 40 arrive, and then another 20, in this little space, it would need three more staff and a doorman to be legal in terms of capacity limits. After 43 years of, touch wood, uneventful landlady-ship, I didn’t want to go out on some sort of incident. It can happen when you get groups, when one rubs up against another in a little space and we’re not here for stress.”

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