Pub of the Year (District)

There has been a pub in the village of Litton since three cottages were knocked together in 1787. In more recent times, a late 1970’s Sheffield CAMRA “Real Beer” guide  described the Red Lion in Litton as a “stone built free house in an idyllic setting overlooking the village green, upon which stand the stocks and an ancient stone cross of unknown origin. Its cosy interior has open fires and ‘olde-worlde’ charm. The only beer mentioned was Theakston’s ‘Best Bitter’ and the pub was closed weekday lunchtimes.

Although the pub retains its olde-worlde comfort and charm to this day, it’s now open weekday lunchtimes through to the early evenings and serves excellent meals and beers. It can get very busy especially at weekends when, according to its website ‘it pays to book’ and offers a very fulsome range of excellent homemade food using quality produce from local suppliers .

It now offers anything up to five hand pulled real ales on the bar, mostly local sourced – Peak Ales from Bakewell, Eyam brewed beers and Abbeydale Beers from Sheffield, with occasional beers from further away such as a Porter from Bolton.

It regularly and deservedly features in CAMRA’s annual ‘Good Beer Guide’ and recently achieved top marks in the Cask Marque assessment scheme. It also hosts a beer festival in June as part of the local Wakes Week.

And if you need a base to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside it also offers accommodation either in its own rooms or in a nearby cottage for longer stays. Its also on the 65 (Sheffield-Buxton) and 173 (Bakewell-Castleton) bus routes.

Much praise for making and keeping it this way must go to Jeanne Mason, who has been in charge since 2014, and her excellent bar and kitchen staff. Every day they offer what every village pub should be offering in the choice and quality of the beer and food and surroundings, making the Red Lion a very worthy winner of this year’s District Pub of the Year award from the Sheffield & District CAMRA Members.

As our district winner the pub went forward into the North Derbyshire round of the national competition and achieved runner up.

The team at the Red Lion with their certificates. Photo by John Beardshaw.

The award was made at the end of our 5 mile July RambAle walk which had started earlier at Eyam, calling in at the Bulls Head in Foolow and the Three Stags Heads in Wardlow Mires on the way. Not letting the high number of stiles and gates and the inclement weather encountered on the way preventing us from delivering the certificates to the Red Lion intact (if slightly late).

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