A VILLAGE pub in North Yorkshire has been sold to a retired rugby league star.

The Farmers Arms, a traditional village pub in Muker, North Yorkshire, has been sold by Christie & Co to rugby player turned hospitality entrepreneur, Andy Gascoigne, the owner of Haworth Steam Brewery, one of the UK’s smallest independent microbreweries and Haworth Gins.

Situated in the picturesque Upper Swaledale district of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, The Farmers Arms is in the heart of the village, with nearby market towns including Hawes and Leyburn. 

Andy had a 20-year professional rugby league career during the 1980s and 90s after he was spotted by coach Peter Fox who signed him up to play for Hunslet in Leeds. He went on to play for Bramley, Hull, Keighley, Leeds and Doncaster before finishing his career in York.

Christies say that the pub is regarded as an 'unspoilt gem', having retained much of its traditional features, and offers a variety of local ales, lagers and hearty home-cooked meals. The well-established business benefits from a loyal local clientele base, busy tourist trade and no immediate local competition, making it a rare find. 

Opposite the pub is an old barn, converted into a self-contained holiday let, comprising a bedroom/living room with log burner, en suite bathroom and fitted kitchen.

Andy said: “My wife and I have wanted to buy a pub for some time now and we know Muker and The Farmers Arms very well. We already have a brewery and drinks business, so we are no strangers to the licensed trade. We’ve got some exciting plans for the pub and look forward to getting our teeth into it over the next few weeks and months.”

David Cash, Associate Director at Christie & Co handled the sale and said: “We are currently seeing increased buyer demand for hospitality businesses by the coast or in the countryside, as many prospective buyers are looking for an alternative lifestyle, whilst capitalising on the recent staycation boom seen across the UK – the result of limits to international travel imposed by COVID-19. As a company we have brokered sales of more than 150 hospitality businesses nationwide since the 1st of April and we expect to agree on many more in the coming months.”

The Farmers Arms was sold off an asking price of £575,000 for the freehold.