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Woodman Inn Thunderbridge Review | A Tranquil Countryside Pub

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge Review – written by YFG’s Sarah Cotterill

An elegant remodel of The Woodman Inn Thunderbridge, offers everything you could need from a destination venue, sat beside the bucolic backdrop of the Dearne Valley.

Woodman inn Thunderbridge - exterior

The Setting

As you duck down the steep lane signposted for the Trans Pennine Trail, great fir trees climb high above the rambling dry stone walls, framing your view of what was once named the second prettiest village in England. Inhabiting the grade two listed buildings on either side of the road, The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge, is every bit as idyllic as the eighteenth-century name. Yet, with a well-kept garden overlooking the conservation area, two events spaces, nineteen hotel rooms, and a fifty-cover restaurant, The Woodman Inn has come a long way as a former traveller’s rest.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge cosy pub

The site’s heritage is just part of the warm welcome you receive from staff, clearly proud of The Woodman Inn’s recent refurbishment, which, in keeping with its traditional surroundings, has retained the spirit of the drinking pub at the heart of the Kirklees community. In fact, just the other side of Shepley Dyke, Small World Beers Brewery supplies them with award-winning ales fed by local Barncliffe spring water.

As we visit, a wonderful mix of walkers, local workmen, couples, and friends celebrating enjoy pints of the very stuff, out on the lawn.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge Weddings

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge – Weddings

Guests arrive at The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge carrying suit hangers over their shoulders, waitresses waltz past with baskets of rose petals, and an apprehensive groom pauses for his buttonhole, before making his way down to The Woodman Inn’s bespoke wedding marquee. Thunderbridge Gardens, complete with dressing rooms, chef’s table, heated patio, and oak-beamed orangery, licensed for marriages and civil ceremonies, all under a white canopy of cherry blossom.

The private woodland’s tranquil babbling brook seems the perfect location for any special day, and with a range of packages; including an on-hand events team, fine-dining and accommodation, it’s not surprising that the venue is booked up throughout the summer.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge staycations

Staycations at The Woodman Inn

However, it’s not just happy couples who can benefit from The Woodman Inn’s charm. Set between the Peaks and Pennines, the stunning scenery is proving a hit with families in need of rural respite, ramblers keen to explore footpaths across the valley, and colleagues on a weekend away.

From the newly renovated Weavers’ cottages to the luxury suites, plus room for four-legged friends, The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge is ideal for exploring a whole host of attractions, located just thirty minutes outside both Sheffield and Leeds.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge crispy pigs ears bar snacks

The Food

Foodies are in paradise too. Head Chef Andy Lynam found a flair for foraging at the highly acclaimed Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds, before moving back up North to lead a skilled team in the Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge kitchen.

Expect classic local produce, with a modern British edge; like the paper cone of crispy pigs ears, salty twirls made for dipping in a smooth apple sauce. Or the starter of handpicked crab, balanced with delicate crackers and fresh coriander shoots, on a bright plate of diced mango and harissa puree. The cheese and leek tart encased in wafer-thin Feuille de brick pastry oozes with mature cheddar and sharp pickled walnuts.

Woodman Inn crab and mango starter

That Yorkshire staple; fish and chips, is given a new lease of life, beautifully battered with Small World’s Long Haul Pale Ale. Even the lunch main course is of gargantuan proportion, with triple cooked chips, tartare, and emerald-green peas. Another favourite from The Woodman Inn Thunderbridge is the steak, reared just up the road at Hinchcliffe’s Farm.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge lamb rump main course copy

We try the lamb, which is tender and well-seasoned, with hen of the woods mushrooms and seasonal asparagus on a dark shimmering jus.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge seabream main course

The sea bream has a Mediterranean feel, flaking over finely spiced couscous, sweet cherry tomatoes and peppers in a sauce Vierge.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge sticky toffee pudding copy

As expected, the desserts from The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge don’t disappoint. There’s a soft mound of sticky toffee pudding, complemented with caramelised bananas and walnuts; a tangy lemon tart, with raspberry sorbet and crisp brûlée’ cover.

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge pannacotta dessert

The vanilla flecked white chocolate pannacotta is housed in a dainty Kilner jar, scattered with fresh berries, honeycomb, and fragrant cubes of foraged elderflower jelly. Even the buttery shortbread demonstrates the skill level of The Woodman Inn Thunderbridge’s talented pastry chefs.

Woodman Inn-4 copy

The Drinks Menu

To wash it all down, the hospitable Front of House Manager, Daniel, has curated a small selection of fine wines; from English sparkling whites to Argentinian reds from the Bodega Norton Estate. There are first-rate gins on the bar too; featuring Huddersfield’s Castle Hill distillery, and Harrison’s Old Tom blended with Yorkshire honey.

Cocktail lovers can sip the Thunderbridge Summer, a refreshing mix of vodka, cranberry, Archers schnapps and lime. Why not end the meal with an after-dinner treat; perhaps a vintage port or characterful La Fleur d’Or Sauternes?

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge Review – Final thoughts

So, whether you’re eating, drinking, tying the knot, or stopping by for a night or two, with its inviting interiors and exceptional service, The Woodman Inn at Thunderbridge, can offer a relaxing break for any occasion. We cannot wait to return to sample their infamous Sunday lunch.

Thunder Bridge Ln, Kirkburton, Thunder Bridge, Huddersfield HD8 0PX – 01484 605778 – woodmain-inn.com

Woodman Inn Thunderbridge Review – written by YFG’s Sarah Cotterill


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Written by

Sarah Cotterill


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