THE future of a Yorkshire Dales pub made famous as a drinking spot in TV series All Creatures Great and Small has been secured – to the delight of a tourism group.

The King’s Arms pub, in Askrigg, near Leyburn, was taken over by hotelier Charles Cody, a move supported by the Herriot Country Tourism Group.

The pub became known to millions of viewers around the world as the Drovers Arms in the hit series based on the life of fictional vet James Herriot, created by Alf White, which ran from 1978 to 1990.

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The 18th Century coaching inn, with a vast collection of memorabilia from the show, remains popular with Herriot fans.

Mr Cody also runs the Charles Bathurst Inn in Arkengarthdale and the Punch Bowl Inn in Reeth.

He said: “The opportunity to run one of the most famous Dales TV pubs was too good to miss, and we’re very proud that our track record for great food and service is what gave us the chance to expand to our third venue.”

Mr Cody had employed Gordon Ramsey-trained Tristan Prudden as head chef, in a coincidental nod to the popular character Tristan Farnon, played by Peter Davison – but Mr Prudden has since decided to move on.

Ian Ashton, chairman of the 137-member Herriot Country Tourism Group, said: “It is vitally important to keep the history of the pub alive because it is part of the heritage of the area.”

The group recently took over the running of the World of James Herriot museum, in Thirsk, and Mr Ashton said the move by Mr Cody would maintain the Herriot brand, which was key to the North Yorkshire tourism trade.

He said: “My priority is to stop a decline in interest.”

He added: “We are also doing tours of significant places in the Dales to the James Herriot TV series, which will include locations like the King’s Arms. We would also welcome working with the pub to promote business and tourism for the pub and the museum.”

Mr Cody said: “The King’s Arms is a great historic inn with a unique atmosphere, and its heritage just adds to its character.”