Hartley Lane, Earsdon, Whitley Bay NE25 0SZ
0191 252 9352
There’s something unquestionably cosy about a building with history, as you imagine all those who have sheltered there before you. This 18th century pub is no exception. Low-beamed ceilings and crackling fires create comfort of the traditional sort.
The Barrels Alehouse
56–61 Bridge Street, Berwick TD15 1ES
With one of the highest-quality whisky shelves in the area this is the ideal place to warm your cockles. Find a nook and your drink of choice – they have a wide selection from real ales to cocktails – and you won’t feel the need to move for the rest of the evening. Except for another drink, obviously.
The Holly Bush Inn
Greenhaugh, near Kielder NE48 1PW
Gaze up at the stars shining in some of the darkest skies in Europe, and then quickly head inside to marvel about them over a pint (in the warmth). If you play an instrument make sure you bring it along, as they often have informal jamming sessions that’ll make you forget your winter blues.
Twice Brewed Inn
Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 7AN
In the shadow of Steel Rigg, one of the most dramatic parts of Hadrian’s Wall, this homely inn awaits. The pub’s exposed stone walls make solid protection against any unexpected blizzards.
The Black Bull Inn
2–4 Main Street, Lowick TD15 2UA
This inn reopened in early 2017 through the efforts of family, friends, volunteers and local contractors. It’s an important part of the community, and you can be sure that the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. We have already eyed up the snug-looking window booth.
The Cumberland Arms
James Place Street, Newcastle NE6 1LD
0191 265 6151
You want to sit outside and enjoy the night skies, but there’s one crucial problem – it’s winter. That’s no problem at The Cumberland Arms, as they have managed to make even their beer garden cosy by providing snuggle packs. Hug a hot water bottle, bundle yourself in a blanket and brave the outdoors. Then once the night properly draws in, you can escape to the open fires inside.
The Blue Bell
Crookham, Cornhill on Tweed TD12 4SH
There’s no better way to enjoy the winter countryside than through a pub window, and you can do just that at The Blue Bell. Snuggle up by the wood-burning stove with a stone-baked pizza from their pizza oven.
The Free Trade Inn
St Lawrence Road, Newcastle NE6 1AP
0191 265 5764
We’re still mourning the loss of Craig David, the much-loved pub cat, but you can pay him your respects by visiting his blue plaque. Landlord Mick Potts has been here 10 years, and the interiors may look a little worse for wear, but it’s all part of that tumbledown, careworn vibe. They are on top of their brewery game and their weekly street food visits will keep your insides warm.
The Pack Horse
8 Market Place, Stanhope DL13 2UJ
After a winter walk through Stanhope, the fire at the Pack Horse is ready to bring the feeling back into your toes. There’ll likely be other walkers enjoying the warmth, and providing a bit of fireside chatter too.
The Brown Bear
27 Hide Hill, Berwick TD15 1EQ
Bringing pubs back to their traditional place at the heart of the community, this co-operative-run pub is the kind of place you might finally meet your next-door neighbour. There’s plenty of local ales, quizzes and open mic nights to draw you in from the cold.
The Ship Isis
26 Silksworth Row, Sunderland SR1 3QJ
Lamps over the bar and chandeliers bring a warm glow to this wood-panelled pub. They have the largest bottle selection in Sunderland, which should keep you well-supplied throughout your winter hibernation.
The Station House
North Road, Durham DH1 4SE
Close to Durham railway station, you’ll simply have to stop by for a drink and some warmth before hiking up the hill to catch your train. There’s often a jigsaw or game of Shove Ha’penny taking place for that extra bit of nostalgia.
7 Baker Street, Middlesbrough TS1 2LF
Channelling a shabby chic Victorian vibe with its reclaimed bar and vintage ornaments, you can pretend you are snug in Sherlock’s own living room, while enjoying their range of hard-to-get lagers, ciders and ales.
The Station East
1 Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AS
After lying unloved for some time, a £350,000 refit has reinvigorated this place. The front room of this pub might look more crammed-in than cosy, but if you continue into the back you’ll find another stone-walled room under the railway arch. The bare stone and wooden benches take you back to simpler times and there’s often live music filling the archway. Look out for comedy nights and lectures about the history of Gateshead’s Bridges Quarter too.
The Boar’s Head Bistro
134 High Street East, Sunderland SR1 2BL
This newly reopened pub has kept its history close with antique pressure gauges and murals of famous local figures on its walls. Keep warm with a rich hot chocolate topped with cream and watch the River Wear wind its way past from the window.
The Manor House
Carterway Heads, Shotley Bridge DH8 9LX
It’s your choice – earn a drink with a walk around Derwent Reservoir first, or just experience it through the window, pint in hand. Either way, the views are beautiful, the open fires are roaring, and there’s home-cooked food to sort out any rumbling bellies
Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant
Wark on Tyne, near Hexham NE48 3LS
In the picturesque village of Wark, the bar of this hotel provides an ideal refuge from the winter weather. Make sure to grab an armchair, preferably by the fire, to enjoy your pint in the cosiest position possible. You can also get a closer look at the night’s sky by taking a visit to the Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory.
North Road, Ponteland NE20 9UH
Fireplaces glow throughout The Blackbird, the ceiling of the restaurant arches overhead, and the minstrel gallery has dark wooden beams. There are also cosy window booths that let you watch the winter weather while feeling very smug about being warm inside.
The Black Bull
Bridge End, Bishop Auckland DL13 2SL
Only 39 steps from the Weardale Railway station, you can be out of the train and into the warmth in no time. As you step inside, you will be greeted by Victorian era charm – small cosy rooms, stone flagged floors, open fires, and wooden beams – and also by the resident dog Dennis.
Lord Crewe Arms
The Square, Blanchland, Northumberland DH8 9SP
Surrounded by wild moorland, you can outlast even the most dangerous storm in the Lord Crewe’s Medieval cellar bar. Vaulted ceilings shelter you from the winter weather outside, while a hearty stock of Northumbrian ales warm you up inside. And if you weren’t already grabbing your coat and keys, it has just won the Best Inn Award in the Good Food Guide.
The Bay Horse
45 The Green, Hurworth DL2 2AA
Picture this: wood panelling, a tiled fireplace and the smell of freshly baked bread. Now go and find these cosy touches for real in this 15th century inn, as you tuck into food under flickering candlelight.