Step back in time in Blanchland, the postcard-perfect, honey-stone village with the rightful reputation as one of the prettiest villages in the north of England. Stones, cobbles, hanging baskets and winding lanes are everywhere in Blanchland, and there isn’t a modern-day chainstore in sight.
The village owes its name to the French canons who lived and worked in Blanchland Abbey and were distinguished by their white habits. ‘Blanche’ is French for white, and so the name ‘Blanchland’ was born. A local shop with an unusual, white-washed postbox, The White Monk Tea Room, which used to be the village school, Blanchland Abbey and the magnificent Lord Crewe Arms are all that you’ll find in this bite-sized village.
The oh-so-atmospheric Lord Crewe Arms is one of the oldest hostelries in the country, dating back to the 12th century. Here, the Jacobite Rebellion leader, General Tom Foster, hid behind the inn’s great fireplace in 1715. Expect to find stone wall interiors, rustic wooden beams, flickering candles and a roaring open fire when you visit for a drink, some scran or an overnight stay.
Surrounded by magnificent fells, Blanchland straddles the Northumberland and Durham border in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty