Hike the hills, follow in the footsteps of saints on Holy Island, wander a castle-studded coastline of pristine beaches, take a boat trip to the Farne Islands – there’s heaps to do in Northumberland,. Plus these charming AA-rated inns will give you a good place to stay and eat on your adventures.
The Cook and Barker Inn, Newton-on-the-Moor
For spectacular views of the North Sea coast and the Cheviot Hills, head for the Farmer family's creeper-covered, flower-adorned, stone-built pub and restaurant. Real ale drinkers are in for a treat. Smart bedrooms are smartly furnished, some retaining original exposed beams.
The Pheasant Inn, Falstone
This ivy-clad country inn is surrounded by verdant valleys, high moors and tranquil woodlands. The two bars brim with Northumberland memorabilia, and on the exposed stone walls that support the blackened beams are photos of yesteryear’s locals. There’s also a tranquil streamside garden.
The Olde Ship Inn, Seahouses
Under the same ownership since 1910, this friendly inn is bursting with character. Lovingly maintained, the must-see bar is an Aladdin’s cave of nautical memorabilia. There’s also a cosy snug, a restaurant and a guests’ lounge. The comfy bedrooms are smartly presented.
The Barrasford Arms, Hexham
Michael and Victoria Eames maintain a traditional pub atmosphere in this 19th-century, stone-built village inn overlooking Haughton Castle and the Tyne Valley. Much of the produce on the menu is grown in the pub’s garden, accommodation is available, and Hadrian’s Wall isn't far away.
The Granby Inn, Long Framlington
This family-run pub just north of Morpeth is perfectly situated for exploring the Northumbrian coast. Dating back around 250 years, The Granby Inn prides itself on being a traditional pub for a pint in the cosy bar, but the food attracts diners from all over.
The Craster Arms, Beadnell
Converted from a 15th-century watchtower, The Craster Arms has widened its role to offer not just food, drink and accommodation, but a programme of live entertainment, including the Crastonbury music festival (an RNLI fundraiser), and a beer and cider festival in July
Percy Arms, Chatton
This appealing pub, with a theme of game birds and animals, reflects the owner's refined approach to styling. The dog-friendly, L-shaped bar is filled with chesterfields, tartan-covered chairs, hunting-scene drapes, horns, horseshoes, riding crops and wellies, all warmed by an open fire.
The Duke of Wellington Inn, Stocksfield
This early 19th-century coaching inn overlooks the Tyne Valley and makes a handy base for exploring the National Park and Hadrian's Wall. The building's original oak and stone construction is complemented by modern furniture and fabrics that all add up to an impeccably comfy pub.
The Three Wheat Heads, Thropton
On the fringes of the Northumberland National Park, just a few miles from Rothbury, this 300-year-old stone pub serves great food in a choice of areas, or the beer garden, when weather allows. The wide-ranging menu appeals to all comers.