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The Tyne Valley & into the North Pennines

Gemma Hall shares her picks for accommodation in the Tyne Valley and the North Pennines.

Hotels

Angel Inn Main St, Corbridge NE45 5LA; 01434 632119; https://theangelofcorbridge.com. Leather armchairs and open fires make this upmarket old coaching inn in the centre of Corbridge the kind of place you hope to fall into after a day’s sightseeing. Good gastro-pub food is also served. Rates for rooms (modern, unfussy and a bit characterless) are above average.

The Bowes Hotel Bardon Mill NE47 7HU; 01434 344237; https://www.theboweshotel.uk. Ten miles west of Hexham in the sleepy village of Bardon Mill and close to a number of scenic places to visit including Allen Banks woodland is this large inn which was extensively refurbished in 2018. The rooms are modern, although some have period features. Newcastle to Carlisle trains stop nearby, making this a good option for those travelling by public transport or on two wheels and wishing to explore the Tyne Valley and Hadrian’s Wall countryside.

Langley Castle near Hexham NE47 5LU; 01434 688 888; www.langleycastle.co.uk. Hugely impressive and lavishly decorated medieval towerhouse castle situated in woods on the edge of the North Pennine moors. Feature rooms are expensive and have four-poster beds, luxurious curtains and wallpapers, window seats, dark furniture and exposed stone walls. Some will find the rooms enchanting; others might think them overly themed. ‘Castle view’ rooms in converted buildings within the grounds of Langley Castle are more traditionally styled and not quite as expensive. The hotel’s restaurant is also pricey, but the dining experience and food, though not the best in the region considering the price, is still very good. Beware of wedding parties, found here most weekends in summer. Wheelchair accessible.

Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland DH8 9SP; 01434 677100; https://lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk. This is one of the premier places to stay in Northumberland and one of the most historically interesting. Nestled beneath swelling Pennine hills in the centre of this picture-perfect village, the Lord Crewe hides a number of top-end rooms in the main inn as well as over the road in former miners’ cottages. They are all decorated to a very high standard with tartan bed throws and tasteful fabrics and artwork depicting rural scenes. The Lord Crewe began life in the 12th century as a guesthouse associated with the abbey, for which the village is famed. Masonry several centuries old survives in many corners and includes a medieval vaulted crypt, which now functions as the hotel’s bar. Dining at the Lord Crewe is a treat – both for the surroundings and quality of the food.

B&Bs

Ashcroft Guesthouse Lanty’s Lonnen, Haltwhistle NE49 0DA; 01434 320213; https://ashcroftguesthouse.co.uk. Red squirrels visit the terraced formal gardens fronting this imposing former vicarage moments from the A69. Inside and out, the guesthouse is rather grand (and immaculately clean) with a broad staircase leading to a number of huge rooms, some with super-king-size beds. Oil paintings and the odd antique, including a grandfather clock, stay true to the building’s Victorian heritage and for the most part the furnishings have plenty of country charm. Breakfast is served in a large dining area with wonderful views of the 3½-acre garden. Prices are good value at around £180 for a two-night stay in a double room. Drivers of electric cars will be pleased to find a charging point. 

Broomshaw Farm B&B Haltwhistle NE49 9NP; 01434 321775; http://broomshaw.co.uk. If you follow the merry Haltwhistle Burn north out of Haltwhistle town on foot or by road, you will soon arrive at this wonderfully peaceful 18th-century farmhouse B&B above the river gorge where walkers and cyclists can be sure of a friendly welcome. Continue on the same trail upriver, passing many relics of bygone industries, and you will eventually reach the Military Road and Hadrian’s Wall. In the other direction, beyond the A69, is the South Tyne Valley and Pennine moors. The two rooms (one double; one twin) are simply furnished and very clean. On the breakfast menu, guests are treated to many local offerings including homemade bread and jams.

Dilston Mill B&B Dilston, Corbridge NE45 5QZ; 01434 633493; http://dilstonmill.com. The setting of this historic mill on the banks of Devil’s Water couldn’t be more peaceful with beautiful extensive gardens and access to the river. Two self-contained homely suites (with kitchenettes) are stocked with cold breakfast foods but Susan, the owner, will bring a cooked breakfast to your room in the morning.

The Duke of Wellington Inn Newton, Stocksfield NE43 7UL; 01661 844446; http://thedukeofwellingtoninn.co.uk. Rooms in this Gold Award B&B and inn (best known for its very good meals) not far from Corbridge were refurbished in recent years and are all modern with just the right amount of rustic detailing in the décor to add character and harmonise with the rural views from the bedroom windows. Prices are above average.

Hallbank Guesthouse Hallgate, Hexham NE46 1XA; 01434 605567; https://hallbankguesthouse.co.uk. This is one of the better places to stay in Hexham. It’s right in the historic heart of the town, close to the Old Gaol, on a peaceful road full of the song of blackbirds in the copse opposite. It’s the kind of guesthouse where you are very much left alone (the owner will provide a code to access the front door) – which some people like. Rooms, which are a little pricey, are smartly decorated (more functional than characterful) with stark white bed linen and all the extras you may need, including the use of the washing machine, dryer and a kitchen. Breakfast included: typical full English as well as a cold buffet.

Hexham Town B&B 1 Elvaston Rd, Hexham NE46 2HA; 07714 292602; http://hexhamtownbedandbreakfast.co.uk. Five very pleasant, good-sized, bright rooms on a residential street five minutes’ walk from the abbey. The owners, who live off-site, make the most of the original Victorian features in the house and most rooms have original fireplaces, stripped pine furniture and floors, and the odd antique print or decorative item.

High Keenley Fell Farm Allendale NE47 9NU; 01434 618344; http://highkeenleyfarmbandb.co.uk. Inexpensive accommodation in a converted farm barn. The views are outstanding – all the way to the Scottish border – but that should alert you to the fact that this stone farm is high up and therefore pretty chilly, even in summer. Good job the carpets are extra thick. All three modern rooms are of a good standard – nothing too fancy: just simply decorated with decent bathrooms. One has a large wet room and storage area/corridor and would suit cyclists and wheelchair users. Wheelchair accessible. 

Kellah Farm B&B near Featherstone and Haltwhistle NE49 0JL; 01434 320816/07751 882122; http://kellah.co.uk. Barn owls nest every year in one of the outhouses at Kellah – a sheep and cattle farm with eco credentials on the edge of the North Pennines and four miles south of Haltwhistle. For Pennine Way walkers (the national trail runs 100 yards from the farm) or even those visiting Hadrian’s Wall (seven miles north), this is a pleasant spot to base yourself. The five B&B rooms are all simply furnished with pine beds and wardrobes and with views of pastures and hills. All guests have use of a lounge (once a pub) with a large range. Children can feed the lambs during the spring. Eggs for breakfast come direct from the farm’s resident hens. Two self-catering cottages are also available to rent. All prices average (from £80 for a double B&B room).

Rye Hill Farm Slaley, near Hexham NE47 0AH; 01434 673259; https://ryehillfarm.co.uk. This 300-year-old farmhouse offers average-priced B&B rooms. Rooms feature traditional country décor (nothing posh) and are cosy, with beautiful views across the Tyne Valley. There’s also a self-catering cottage and campsite (see below). Wheelchair accessible.

Self-catering

Grindon Farm North Rd, near Haydon Bridge NE47 6NQ; 07732 911007 (daytime) and 01434 684273 (evenings); https://grindonfarm.co.uk. Chattering sparrows and bleating lambs welcome guests on arrival at Grindon farm’s two holiday cottages. Those who stay here will enjoy wonderful views of open farmland rolling into the Tyne Valley. Converted from an old farmhouse and barn respectively, both cottages (one sleeps four to five, the other six) are tastefully furnished with solid pine furniture and wood-burning stoves. Average prices and excellent wheelchair access internally, including fully accessible bathrooms.

High Broadwood Hall Cottages Allendale NE47 9AF; 01434 683458; http://highbroadwoodhallcottages.co.uk. The first thing that will hit you on getting out of your car is the nip in the air and sense of remoteness. Though actually not that far from Hexham (a 20-minute drive away), the location of the farm on the side of a hill with heather moorland close by makes it feel like you’ve arrived in the Pennine hills proper. Barry and Elaine are very attentive and couldn’t do more to make your stay comfortable. They go that little bit further, by providing homemade scones on arrival. Both holiday cottages (one is a converted bastle house with one bedroom, the other has two rooms) are reasonably priced (about average) and have eco credentials, using electricity generated by solar panels and a wind turbine. You’ll also notice that kitchen and bathroom soaps and detergents are homemade and free of harsh chemicals. Both cottages are well equipped, warm and decorated to a very good standard with modern bathrooms and pine furniture. There’s wheelchair access into Swallow’s Rest, but the bathroom is not adapted. 

Campsites and youth hostels

Haltwhistle Camping & Caravanning Club Site between Featherstone and Haltwhisle NE49 0JP; 01434 320106; www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/haltwhistle. This is one of my favourite sites in the Northumberland countryside, owing to the leafy, secluded setting by the National Trust’s Bellister Woods and with direct access to the River South Tyne (children take note: this is a popular spot for paddling and throwing stones). There are plenty of walks and cycle rides in the area, too. The site itself (open to non-members for a higher fee) is fairly small, with a basic shop and is open from April to November.

Ninebanks YHA Mohope, West Allen Valley NE47 8DQ; 01434 345288; www.ninebanks.org.uk. Originally a mineshop built to house lead miners in the 18th century and still with many old features like stone-flag flooring and timber beams, this remote and very ‘green’ youth hostel 1½ miles south of Ninebanks is a great base from which to explore the beautiful Allen valleys. It’s family friendly, with en-suite rooms that would be a low-cost option for a family of four or six or a party of walkers and cyclists. Families may also like to stay in a detached chalet within the hostel grounds which has two self-contained rooms, each with a kitchenette, wood-burning stove and shower room.

Rye Hill Farm Slaley, near Hexham NE47 0AH; 01434 673259; https://ryehillfarm.co.uk. Panoramic views from this small hilltop campsite and B&B on a working sheep farm. Den building and free-range chickens and lambs are a hit with children. Far-reaching views of the Tyne Valley in a wonderfully peaceful location.


If you want to find out more about accommodation options in Northumberland, check out our guide:

Northumberland: the Bradt Guide