A TRADITIONAL village pub in the Yorkshire Dales has been sold to retired rugby league star-turned hospitality entrepreneur, Andy Gascoigne.

The Farmers Arms in Muker, near Hawes, is regarded as an unspoilt gem, says Christie & Co, which handled the sale.

Opposite the pub is an old barn, converted into a self-contained holiday let.

Mr Gascoigne, a former Yorkshire rugby league player, is the owner of Haworth Steam Brewery, one of the UK’s smallest independent microbreweries, and Haworth Gins.

He 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, 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 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.