Stunning views and fresh air are two of the simple delights of a great British walk.

But perhaps none is finer than the promise of a trip to the pub at the end.

While some will conquer mountains before treating themselves to a well-deserved pint, a Sunday stroll from one’s house gates to the pub down the road may be enough for others.

As with all good Yorkshire dads, it was the promise of a tipple at the end that inspired a breathtaking walk (in more ways than one) on Marsden’s stunning moorside.

It was how, following a 10 mile ramble around Deer Hill and Wessenden, we found ourselves rolling into the Riverhead Brewery Tap and Dining Rooms, on our descent back into civilisation.

It was an ideal opportunity for my real ale connoisseur dad to try out some of the region’s most westerly brews without accidentally heading over into what he describes as “enemy territory.”

The pub is well-known on the Real Ale Trail, most probably due to its on site microbrewery that supplies different real ales to the majority of its 10 hand pumps.

But it was the option to try them all out while having a Sunday meal upstairs in the building that caught our eyes.

A spacious, bright and airy room, it was the perfect spot to enjoy the late afternoon sun that had decided to only show its head after we had survived a good wind battering out on the tops.

Of course, delving into Riverhead’s ale selection was our main priority.

Started up in 1995 and taken over by Ossett Brewery in 2006, brewer Lisa Handforth has become a favourite on the real ale scene with her forward thinking brews, some of which are named after reservoirs, with the height of each relating to the beer’s strength.

After much umming and ahhing, it was two half pints of light ales, Butterly Bitter and March Haigh that tickled the fancy of my dad.

Riverhead Dining Room, Marsden, restaurant review.

It was Butterley’s light, hoppy flavour that got his tastebuds singing, while I preferred the mellowness of the other.

With drinks in order, it was time to see what was on offer to complement our refreshments.

Head chef Keith Hopkinson is the restaurant’s newest recruit, a former founding chef of Lindley’s Eric’s, where he begun to focus on modern bistro cuisine.

He had created a plentiful but not overwhelming list, which was heavy on seasonal meat and fish.

While not the best menu for vegans, it did have a couple of vegetarian choices and by phoning up in advance he agreed to have a go at vegan cooking for me.

The arrival of the starters was a welcome sight for us well-travelled ramblers, especially due to their careful presentation, aided by delicately sprinkled micro salads and painted with glazes.

And at just the right, small portion size, they did not overwhelm us.

Mum picked the chicken and chorizo salad with a mango and basil vinaigrette, which she said was full of flavour and was brought to life by the sauce.

I had an altered version of the vegetarian crispy halloumi and spiced aubergine stack, which turned out to be three slices of aubergine with an unidentifiable mixed herb crust. It was not wildly inspiring and quite dry but at least by leaving my plate unfinished I had plenty of room for a main.

Dad plumped for a nouveau cuisine style glazed smoked haddock with Redbrook ale rarebit, leek & potato rosti and a soft quails egg, which he described as well-cooked and crisp in the right places. I’m sure that the sprinkling of another of the brewery’s ales curried more favour with him.

He decided to give half a pint of the ale a try, its full name Redbrook Premium, along with half of the Deer Hill Porter while we waited quite a while for our main courses.

The great appearance of the mains made up a bit for the delay, as did their tastes.

Dad had the slowed cooked steak and ale pie with triple cooked chips mushy peas and seasonal vegetables.

Slowed cooked steak and buttery ale pie with button mushroom and triple cooked chips , mushy peas and seasonal vegetables

He said the pie had a rich taste and a light pastry top, however he did comment that the peas were a bit on the dry side.

Mum chose the herb encrusted pan-fried chicken with gnocchi, Marsden sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and a balsamic glaze, which she described as fresh and summery.

I helped her out with one of the gnocchi pieces that she was too full to eat and it hit all the right notes-soft yet with the right amount of bite and well-seasoned.

My main was a big improvement on the starter – a simple but refreshing summer Mediterranean roast vegetable risotto with tofu.

The decision to use silken tofu as opposed to the firmer sort was an interesting choice but made it a nice, light dish.

Although definitely full by this point, it would have been rude to leave without sampling the desserts.

Mum and dad shared a mango and passion fruit eton mess with mango cream and passion fruit sorbet.

It came in a large glass and it seemed like anyone who tackled it alone would have been in for a prize.

It was however, the perfect size for two and not a spoonful was left.

They enjoyed its fusion of creamy and crunchy textures and mellow and tart flavours.

I had a passion fruit sorbet, which did not leave me feeling too guilty and was one of the best I have tasted.

Peel Street, Marsden, HD7 6BR

Tel: 01484 844324


Opening hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays noon to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm. Fridays from noon to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm. Saturdays from noon to 9pm and Sundays from noon to 8pm

Children: Welcome

Disabled access: None upstairs but can bring food to the downstairs tables

The bill: £ £68.83 for three with drinks

Would you go back? Absolutely