Written by Gemma Hall
Collingwood Arms Main St, Cornhill-on-Tweed TD12 4UH; 01890 882424; https://collingwoodarms.com. Note the words ‘Post Horses’ above the entrance of this large Georgian hotel on the Scottish border: a throwback to when the Collingwood served as a calling point for cross-border coaches. Today it’s a fairly plush country inn above the River Tweed, popular with sporting types and overnight visitors travelling to and from Scotland. Inside, heritage fabrics and the odd oil painting and antique give a sophisticated edge for which guests pay above-average prices of around £150 for doubles. Bedrooms are named after ships under the command of Admiral Collingwood during the Battle of Trafalgar. The hotel’s restaurant is very good too, and there’s a sunny courtyard and garden to the rear. Wheelchair accessible.
The Anchorage 35 Woolmarket, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1DH; 01289 302424; http://theanchorageat35.co.uk. On entering this large Georgian townhouse on a quiet residential street, it may occur to you that the wide, stone-flagged corridor looks more like an outside passageway. Sandra, the owner, who is very knowledgeable about Berwick’s history, told me it was once used to walk horses through the building and into the back garden. The rest of the house is surprisingly grand with an elegant winding central staircase that you will need to climb to access one of the two rooms at the top. After 47 steps you will be pleased to find your modern en suite is clean and decorated to a good standard (nothing flash). Breakfast is served downstairs in a cheerful farmhouse-style kitchen at one communal table. Prices are below average.
Chatton Park House Chatton NE66 5RA; 01668 215507; www.chattonpark.com. In the evenings the driveway to this swish Georgian country house set in generous landscaped gardens is lined with lights giving the appearance of an upmarket hotel the moment you turn off the main road. You will be greeted at the front door by Michelle who is the perfect host: helpful, friendly and discreet. For above-average prices (though not extortionate), expect quality furnishings (heavy curtains, leather armchairs, super king-sized beds) and a view of tranquil parkland from your (high-ceilinged) room. On cold nights sit by the wood fire in the living room listening to jazz and sipping an aperitif before heading out for dinner. Breakfasts here are up there with the very best in Northumberland with local kippers, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on the menu alongside classic full English and continental offerings. There’s also a small luxury holiday cottage in the grounds. Adults only.
Loaf B&B Mount Pleasant Cottage, near Berwick/Horncliffe TD15 2XQ; 01289 308751; http://loafbnb.co.uk. The three rooms in this pleasant vegan B&B in farmland not far from Berwick are priced above average, perhaps owing to the breakfasts which are a feast of vegan delights: a full cooked option with homemade sausages and butterbean patties or scrambled tofu, oat smoothies, homemade pancakes and pain au chocolate.
The Old Manse Chatton; 01668 215712; http://oldmansechatton.co.uk. Northumberland B&B of the year (at the time of writing) and Gold Award accredited with spacious rooms, pleasant décor, gardens with a view of Chatton’s hills and a very friendly welcome by Ian and Mary. Local meats and homemade sausages, baked beans and Northumbrian ‘floddies’ should tell you that breakfast at this detached house on the main through road in Chatton are some of the very best in the region, hence the ‘Produced in Northumberland’ stamp of approval. Chatton is a small, quiet village on the edge of Northumberland National Park with an upmarket pub and good walks nearby.
The Percy Arms Main Rd, Chatton NE66 5PS; 01668 215244; http://percyarmschatton.co.uk. Neal’s Yard toiletries, bath robes and real coffee in your room shouts ‘upmarket inn’. Located right in the centre of Chatton, the sister hotel to the Northumberland Arms in Felton, is a good base for trips to the national park and coast (both around 20 minutes’ drive in opposite directions) or even for an overnight stay if travelling on the A1 (10 minutes away). There’s little going on in the village itself, but it is very pleasantly situated in lush countryside and also within easy reach of nearby attractions such as Chillingham Castle (six minutes’ drive away). Rooms are top end: roll top baths, sumptuous curtains and bed linen with a heritage touch. The restaurant downstairs comes highly recommended.
The Walls B&B 8 Quay Walls, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1HB; 01289 330233; www.thewallsberwick.com. Of all the B&Bs I visited in Berwick, The Walls impressed me the most. It’s a large Georgian townhouse built on the Elizabethan walls encircling the town and with super river views. Louise is very welcoming and takes pride in providing exceptionally comfortable rooms (refurbished in 2019 to a high standard, hence the above-average prices) and a great breakfast with plenty of regional offerings (smoked haddock on stottie bread and Craster kippers, for example). Wheelchair accessible.
Chatton Park Bunkhouse Chatton NE66 5RA; 01668215247; http://chattonparkfarm.co.uk. Cheap accommodation (around £12 per night) in one of two dorms (each sleeping six) in converted stone barns not far from the village of Chatton. Note the original forge in the communal dining room and bicycle storage. The bunkhouse stands in pleasant farmland on the edge of the national park where hens roam freely in 20 acres of grassland producing eggs for businesses throughout Northumberland – and for those staying in the bunkhouse. Incidentally, you will see ‘R.Ord & Hens’ eggs on breakfast menus in many bistros and B&Bs in Northumberland.
If you want to find out more about accommodation options in Northumberland, check out our guide: