Food & Drink

Kirkgate House Hotel Thirsk

Only a few yards from the World of James Herriot, Kirkgate House Hotel is one of Skeldale Surgery’s nearest neighbours and continues to welcome James Herriot fans from around the world.

A three-storey Georgian townhouse, Kirkgate House Hotel offers a range of en suite accommodation all with high ceilings, wooden furnishings, tea and coffee making facilities, flatscreen TV and free Wi-Fi. Local ingredients are part of the menu options for the hearty English Breakfast served each day which also includes continental and vegetarian options. As guests travelling by car discover, Kirkgate House Hotel has its own car park, there is an attractive patioed garden area and the hotel bedrooms are accessible by stairs, which may not be suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

Thirsk is the real town (Darrowby in the stories) where Alf Wight and Siegfried Farnon ran their veterinary practice on the same street as Kirkgate House. It’s a perfect base for visitors to the World of James Herriot, close to the North York Moors National Park, the White Horse of Kilburn and the stunning views from Sutton Bank, James Herriot’s favourite view. There’s a weekly market in Thirsk and regular meetings at Thirsk Racecourse which is only a ten-minute walk from Kirkgate House Hotel.

There’s a wealth of attractions in Herriot Country and by taking an All Creatures Great and Small circular tour from Kirkgate House Hotel you can visit the locations in the books, films and TV series. Start at the World of James Herriot of course…

If Alf Wight OBE (James Herriot) hadn’t lived so close, he would surely have stayed at Kirkgate House Hotel!

Kirkgate House, 35 Kirkgate, Thirsk, YO7 1PL,
T: 01845 525015 Email:

Black Lion Bar and Bistro Thirsk

The Black Lion Bar and Bistro in the centre of Thirsk is a recently refurbished business that provides a good value food and drink offering in smart and contemporary surroundings.

Working with its suppliers to develop its menus and these include meats sourced locally from Marleys butcher Ripon, Yorkshire Dale Meat Company Bedale. All seafood products are supplied from Hodgson’s fish. All fruit and vegetables are locally sourced from the greengrocer and Carl’s Veg, Thirsk.

The Black Lion Bar and Bistro uses the locally sourced ingredients from them to ensure that dishes are created with quality built-in and to include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly options. All dishes are prepared to order and we strive to ensure that all allergy and dietary requirements are provided.

There’s an eclectic choice of drinks available from regional beers, wines, gin and cocktails.

If you find yourself in the centre of Thirsk perhaps before or after your visit to the World of James Herriot, the Black Lion Bar and Bistro is only a two-minute walk away.

Black Lion Bar and Bistro, 8 Market Place, Thirsk YO7 1LB

Tel: 01845 522651

The Old Barn Coffee Shop

The Old Barn Coffee Shop is and part of York House and Abbots Green Holiday Park at Balk just outside Thirsk in the heart of Herriot Country just four miles from the World of James Herriot.

Winner of the Customer Service Team of the Year award in the annual Flavours of Herriot Award 2019, the Old Barn Coffee Shop offers a delicious range of meals throughout the day including a hearty all-day Yorkshire breakfast, a wholesome lunch choice and afternoon tea that includes homemade cakes, with gluten and dairy-free options and a fabulous choice of Italian blend coffees, Yorkshire Tea and a fine selection of cold drinks including Fentiman’s  Lemonade and Shmoo milkshakes.

Open to everyone and especially a favourite with holiday park guests, the Old Barn Coffee Shop is popular with walkers, cyclists and there’s a dedicated indoor area for customers with pets. Nothing beats sitting in the tranquil patio area with an indulgent Brymor ice cream or a frozen yoghurt that is especially popular with our four-legged friends. James Herriot would have been quite at home at the Old Barn Coffee Shop.

There’s a mezzanine area indoors that can be booked for private functions and meetings and a games room for the family plus plenty of seating inside and outside. A large car park in front of the main building is mainly flat and ensures there is ample space for all comers.

Access to the Old Barn Coffee Shop is level and accessible toilets are located within the building and there is a concrete ramp leading to the games room with access to the coffee shop.

Old Barn Coffee Shop, at the Entrance to York House Holiday Park, Balk, Thirsk YO7 2AQ

Tel: 01845 597495


The Old Barn Coffee Shop is primarily accessed by road with good access from the A19 and A170. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers (bike racks are available at the front of the coffee shop). Thirsk train station is 5 miles away from the park and has many links to main line services from Newcastle, Leeds, York, Manchester and London. We can provide our guests with numbers of several taxi firms that operate in the Thirsk areas, some of whom have adapted transport for the disabled.