‘Tis the season when Northumberland's pubs
light their fireplaces and load their log burners in preparation for the frosty days and bitter nights that autumn and winter bring.
As much as we are going to miss the sunshine in the winter months, there is little more satisfying than sitting beside a crackling open fire after a long, cold, windswept walk. We have rounded up some of the cosiest pubs in Northumberland, all with open fires, so you can hide away from the cold, wrap your hands around a hot cup of tea and fill your belly with some hearty pub grub.
The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland
The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland is a pub like no other. This incredibly atmospheric hotel and eatery is one of the oldest hostelries in the country, dating back to the 12th century. Its roaring fireplaces, stone wall interiors, rustic wooden beams and flickering candles make it top of our list of cosy pubs in Northumberland. Set in Blanchland, often coined the prettiest village in England, you can admire the cobbles, hanging baskets and winding lanes of this honeystone village.
Blanchland is nestled in the North Pennines, meaning it is surrounded by incredible, sweeping landscapes to explore. Prepare to be blown away by amazing views, secret valleys and rare wildlife. It is also on the cusp of the border between Northumberland and County Durham, so attractions such as beautiful Derwent reservoir are nearby. Extend your stay and book one of The Lord Crewe Arms's fantastic rooms.
The seafront Ship Inn offers sunny beach beers in the summer and a cosy haven in the winter. Based in Low Newton, its coastal location and sea views lure in its guests, and they stick around for the toasty open fire, freshly cooked food and exquisite local ingredients. With its whitewashed exterior, exposed stone interior, open fire and live music, what more could you wish for after a long walk by the sea.
See Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance and set off on foot, through idyllic Embleton Bay, to see it up close. Head a little further down the coast to magical Alnwick, where you can see The Alnwick Garden at its most festive. Or drive down to Amble for a surfing lesson with Northside Surf School.
Tucked away in Northumberland National Park, it doesn’t get much more quintessentially British than The Holly Bush Inn. The flower-filled entryway, stone front and remote setting make stepping inside irresistible. Once you’re in, you can expect fantastic food, excellent service and a warm and cosy ambience that will warm you up on the coldest of days. The pub also sits beneath the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, perfectly located for a spot of stargazing in the autumn/ winter months.
Take advantage of The Holly Bush Inn’s position near Hadrian’s Wall and step into your hiking boots to enjoy the numerous attractions and viewpoints along the wall. Be sure to check out Hadrian’s Wall Baggage Transfer if you need a hand getting your luggage from A to B.
The exterior of The Pheasant Inn becomes cloaked in bright orange and red ivy when the season turns to autumn. Surrounding stone walls, wooden beams overhead and a roaring fire in the centre of the restaurant greet you as you walk in. Relax in one of the lounge bars, lovingly restored with warmth and cosiness at their heart, or dine in the restaurant which boasts sweeping views across Kielder’s countryside.
The Pheasant Inn sits near staggering Kielder Water & Forest Park, excellent for walks, bike rides, nature and stunning views. Spend the evening at Kieldder Observatory for an inspiring night of stargazing.
Redesdale Arms sits in the south of the county in remote Redesdale, near the historical village of Otterburn. Echoing the area’s history, the oldest part of the pub is 600 years old and is a former bastle house, and is known as the “First & Last” Inn on route to Scotland. Inside, enjoy the glow of the log burner, locally-sourced, home cooked dishes and a selection of real ales from Allendale Brewery and First and Last Brewery to wash it all down with.
Head to the Redesdale Valley where walking and cycling routes are waiting to be explored. Explore the ancient capital of Elsdon, the stonefront village complete with an ancient parish church, a tower house and even the remains of a castle.
Barrasford Arms is a traditional beauty in the Northumbrian countryside, serving exceptional, freshly cooked, award winning pub food. Take in their breath-taking beer garden views as they overlook the North Tyne Valley, before unwinding in the cosy bar area. Proudly championing local suppliers, and serving vegetables from their very own polytunnel, their exquisite seasonal menu is sure to replenish your energy levels after a chilly walk in the surrounding landscape.
Nip to nearby Hexham to explore Hexham Abbey, Hexham Old Gaol and more. Peruse stunning artwork from Dennis Kilgallon Gallery and pick up a piece to take home. Go wild with Allout Adventures and go quad biking, paintballing or clay pigeon shooting. Or explore the area on two wheels with Eco Cycles' fantastic bike hire service.
The Angel of Corbridge sits in the centre of cobbled Corbridge and is a firm favourite for visitors discovering the area’s numerous historical sites. Sit by the crackling log burner while you tuck into a hearty pub meal from their menu of fresh, local ingredients. The Lounge and Angel’s Table areas are both dog friendly, meaning your four legged friend can curl up by the glow of the fire while you dine.
Don’t miss Corbridge Roman Town, which is just a stone’s throw away from The Angel of Corbridge.
The Whittling House, Alnmouth
This delightful country hotel opened in 2021 and its rooms have been full ever since. Sitting within minutes of Alnmouth beach, it has homely but elegant interiors with roaring open fires in the fantastic bar/ restaurant. Their Head Chef and his expert team have handpicked local suppliers who source only the highest quality, freshest Northumbrian produce. Plus, as you would expect from a restaurant nestled on the coast of Northumberland, they serve fantastic, freshly caught local seafood.
Explore Alnmouth beach and estuary, head to nearby Alnwick to see The Alnwick Garden, or visit Warkworth for fantastic Warkworth Castle. The world is your oyster in Alnmouth as you are perfectly located on the Northumberland Coast.
Author: Jenni Meikle