IAN Clarke had never pulled a pint in his life until 18 months ago and now the pub he set up from scratch has won a top accolade.

The Boat House, which overlooks Skipton marina on the Springs canal, has been named Pub of the Season by Keighley & Craven CAMRA.

And to cap it all, the place also finds itself in the bible of top beer palaces, the Good Beer Guide.

"We're thrilled with both awards. I didn't expect to be in the beer guide as well. I'd never pulled a pint before opening the place and I'd never worked behind a bar," said Ian, who also runs Pennine Cruisers.

"I have to admit I'm surprised the award came so quickly but we've done much better than I thought we would. Then again we're in a unique position for a pub in Skipton."

What makes the achievement so impressive is that not too long ago nothing stronger than tea and coffee was served from the counter. It was a cafe.

"We're a family business and also have good staff, strong management skills, good ideas and John "Spike" Garton looking after the beer - there's nobody better," said Ian, whose daughter Zoe is the financial wizard behind the business and daughter Stephanie a chef preparing the meals they also serve.

The pub is open throughout the winter months between 11am and 10pm and serves meals from mid morning. The meals include Boat House Burgers and Boat House sausage rolls. There are music nights and themes food nights.

On offer are a choice of five changing beers with one semi-permanent brew - Tillerpin" specially produced for the Boat House by Wishbone brewery in Keighley. There is a dark mild, stout, porter style beer and a session beer.

Getting to The Boat House involves turning through the arched alleyway off Coach Street near the Springs canal bridge. The main room has ships' navigation lamps providing soft lighting, hand-made buffets made to look like capstans and a representation of the route of the Leeds Liverpool canal.

A CAMRA spokesman said: "In good weather the bi-fold windows can be fully opened onto the canal basin, or you can sit outside in a covered, cobbled drinking area to get an even closer look at what's going on. In cold conditions there's a long burning stove.

"All in all it's possibly a unique place to have a relaxing drink and well worth our summer award."

To contact the Boat House telephone 01756 701660, Twitter @boat house bar or e.mail skiptonboathouse@outlook.com The pub has WiFi and is family and dog friendly.