North East Pubs for Perfect Pints and Great Cooking
Wark on Tyne, Hexham NE48 3LS
Battlesteads offers a true taste of Northumberland, celebrating all things local as they create some of the finest pub food in the county. You can even make a night of it in one of the hotel’s 22 bedrooms and eco lodges, or book tickets for a night of stargazing at the onsite observatory. Head chef Eddie Shilton serves modern, British dishes with an innovative twist – expect the finest local game, meat and fish, alongside fresh fruit and vegetables. Look out for specialty plates such as the oak smoked duck, chicken and salmon from the on-site smokery too.
The Apple Inn
Lucker, Belford NE70 7JH
In the heart of Lucker, The Apple Inn is a gastro pub that serves real ales from Alnwick Brewery alongside an innovative menu of dishes which combine the best of Northumberland produce. Struggling to choose? Try the twice-baked cheese soufflé, followed by the mouth-watering trio of rare breed pork.
Hartley Lane, Earsdon NE25 0SZ
0191 252 9352
This pub’s one-acre sun trap secret garden (with its own bar) is a must-visit for a tipple in the summer, but dining indoors is recommended on cooler days. The building dates back to the 18th century and became an inn in 1896 – today, it retains much of its charm and character with snug dining areas surrounded by wooden beams. Here, you’ll be treated to excellent pub grub – think hearty burgers and locally-sourced fish. The newest addition is the Woodshed: their new outdoor and indoor seating area, ideal for families and special occasions.
2–4 Main Street, Lowick TD15 2UA
This cosy inn with rooms was established in 1817 and serves traditional comfort food supplied from Hodgson’s Fish in County Durham and Northumberland Cheese Company, among other favourites, but the menu is subject to daily changes. The bar offers a variety of real ale and keg beers alongside an extensive wine list.
The Boatside Inn
Warden, Hexham NE46 4SQ
Nestling between the river and the wooded slopes of Warden Hill in Northumberland, The Boatside Inn is a cosy country pub with rooms. Four-legged friends are welcome in their bar and snug area where there’s a wide selection of beers, ales and ciders, as well as a range of wines from France, New Zealand and Argentina. Early risers will love the Boatside Breakfast: bacon, Northumberland sausage, black pudding, baked beans, tomato, hash browns, and a choice of eggs, served with toast.
Chadwicks Inn Maltby
High Lane, Maltby, Middlesbrough TS8 0BG
A traditional country pub with an award-winning restaurant, Chadwicks Inn retains 19th century features for a cosy and authentic pub experience. The food is carefully-prepared and locally-sourced – we recommend the 10oz sirloin steak with king oyster mushroom, shallot, watercress salad, hand-cut chunky chips and pepper sauce – with a glass of red, of course.
The Collingwood Arms
Main Street, Cornhill TD12 4UH
The popular restaurant is perfect for an evening of easy dining, whilst the bar offers a more informal experience. They have a range of lagers, ales, spirits and whiskeys to complement their wine list and food menus too. The dining room retains the charm and character of the past while adding a touch of modern comfort. We love the Gilmores beef and whisky sausage and mash. Oh, they’re dog-friendly too.
Hedley-on-the-Hill, Stocksfield NE43 7SW
The multi-award winning Feathers Inn boasts an outstanding reputation for exceptional dining. Here, the menu changes to reflect the seasonal produce that is sourced from local small-scale farmers. They offer both small plates and large plates for sharing, and while dining inside is cosy, they’ve created an outside kitchen with a bespoke handmade fire pit for summertime feasting.
Red Row, Beamish DH9 0RW
The Black Horse overlooks the Beamish conservation valley and, as well as spectacular views, you can enjoy something from their vast menu, including timeless pub classics such as their famous Bombardier pie, fish ‘n’ chips, or Black Horse Beamish burger (and their afternoon tea is pretty special too).
The Fox & Hounds Country Inn
Cotherstone, Barnard Castle DL12 9PF
Dating back to the 1750s, this traditional coaching inn is the perfect place for a pint after a rambling walk, or for a hearty meal before heading back home. The lamb and beef are raised in Teesdale, fresh fish is delivered from the East Durham coast and Cotherstone Cheese is made at the local creamery.
The Otter & Fish
1 Strait Lane, Hurworth, Darlington DL2 2AH
Overlooking the River Tees, this cosy family-owned country pub pride themselves on their warm atmosphere and homemade food. You’ll find plenty of pub classics here – like homemade beef burgers, beer battered haddock and parmos – but save room for dessert. We love the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice-cream.
The Square, Blanchland DH8 9SP
Guided by the evolutionary imagination of Emma Broom, expect dainty dishes and the occasional fix of comfort food here. Head up the sweeping stone staircase and discover The Bishop’s Dining Room, or for a cosier experience (on less summery days) snuggle up by the fireside in The Hilyard. The Crypt is your go-to watering-hole – a medieval vaulted pub serving up real ale.
The Pack Horse Inn
Ellingham, Chathill NE67 5HA
The meat used in The Pack Horse Inn’s meals is reared in and around Ellingham by local farmers who regularly drink at the bar, their eggs are organic and free range straight from their neighbours, and they stock local ales including Rigg and Furrow from Acklington, and local gin including Hepple and Holy Island. While they’re a go-to for bed and breakfast stays, their evening dining isn’t to be missed as their menu changes daily.
The Percy Arms
Main Road, Chatton NE66 5PS
With the Cheviot Hills on their doorstep, and plenty of local ales available, The Percy Arms is ideal for a weekend break or a pit-stop on your walk. If you’re looking for a light bite to refuel, we recommend the grilled halloumi and chorizo with tomato salsa, but there’s plenty of choice for an evening meal: pies, fish, burgers and curries – proper pub grub.
The Rose & Crown
Romaldkirk, Barnard Castle DL12 9EB
This award-winning country pub offers a menu packed with local produce. Head chef Dave Hunter creates dishes to reflect the stunning rural location in which you’ll find The Rose & Crown. Their à la carte menu is available in the bar and oak panelled room, with a variety of platters (vegetable, fish or meat and cheese) to share or indulge in yourself. But we love the pan fried loin of Teesdale lamb, with braised belly, roasted garlic duchess potato, broccoli, butternut squash, lamb tart and lamb jus.
24–25 Northumberland Street, Alnmouth NE66 2RA
The Whittling House is a delightful new restaurant with 10 characterful rooms, set back from stunning Alnmouth beach. Take a look at the à la carte menu and you’ll see how the head chef here makes the most of Northumberland’s produce – hello Northumbrian Pan Haggerty, dry-aged Northumbrian steak – and of course classic fish and chips.
Main Road, Wylam NE41 8AQ
In the charming Tyne Valley village of Wylam, this traditional country pub serves proper, tasty, and wholesome food with a modern gastropub feel. They’re dog friendly and have six ensuite guest rooms too. Between Paul and Kelly, there’s more than 30 years of experience in the industry: working in pubs, hotels, castles, Georgia USA and for the world’s best seafood chef in Cornwall. Now in the North East, they use the best locally-sourced ingredients on offer. The Shed is The Ship Inn’s private dining and function room where you can celebrate special occasions, but for a more casual dining experience, you can look forward to salt-aged rare breed pork chop, treacle-cured bistro fillet steak or a black Angus burger in a welcoming dining space.
The Rat Inn
Anick, Hexham NE46 4LN
This award-winning and hugely popular country pub has a charming ivy-clad exterior and a cosy interior. You’ll find the menu on a board, with dishes changing daily depending on what’s available, while a separate bar menu offers lighter snacks and delicious sandwiches (as well as a range of cocktails).
The Red Lion Inn
Main Road, Milfield, Wooler NE71 6JD
The Red Lion Inn is a classic stone building dating back to the mid 1700s. It’s located on the edge of Northumberland National Park, with the Cheviot Hills in walking distance – so it’s an ideal pit-stop on your next adventure. Relax and indulge with honey-roasted pork belly or North Sea haddock and home-cooked chips, followed by decadent homemade desserts.
The Twice Brewed Inn
Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 7AN
Just a stone’s throw from Hadrian’s Wall, The Twice Brewed Inn is a popular country pub and bed and breakfast where you’ll indulge in home-cooked meals and home-brewed ales. In the summer, the beer garden is the place to be, but on cooler days you can get cosy indoors. Their menus change to showcase the best of Northumberland – right now we’ve got our eye on the Maximus burger (double beef burgers in a brioche bun served with onion rings, chips and salad). The newest addition to the Twice Brewed Inn, a purpose-built Dark Skies Observatory, allows you to experience the incredible starry skies above Northumberland.