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Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, Northumberland
Set in what was once a 12th-century Abbots lodge and guest house, the Lord Crewe Arms has been welcoming travellers for more than 800 years. The history oozes out of every mullioned window, flagstone floor and oversized fireplace (which comes with a priest hole to hide a visiting Catholic). Having become a manor house for the immaculate village estate of Blanchland in the 18th century, it also has the grandeur of a country house retreat. Base yourself here for country sports and walks and make use of the wellington boots, maps, compasses and bicycles that the hotel provides. Fishing can be arranged on the Derwent river that runs close by, as can stargazing and cookery demonstrations. Food is hearty modern British fare using plenty of local produce.
We love that you can start lots of scenic walks directly from the front door of the hotel.
You're in the heart of Blanchland, a picturesque and peaceful country village. Hexham, with more shops and cafés is 20 minutes' drive away.
By car: the hotel is 45 minutes from Newcastle and Durham, 3 hours from Manchester and 5 hours 30 mins from London. Free parking on-site.
By train: trains from London Kings Cross to Hexham take around 4 hours and trains from Manchester around 3 hours 30 mins. The hotel is a 20-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Ideal for walkers, dog-owners and country-sports enthusiasts. We loved the little pieces of history in the fabric of the building such as the priest hole in the fireplace.
Service & Facilities
You'll love the fully equipped boot room, and the piles of board games in the lounges that encourage you to linger beside the fire. Two dogs over a year old are welcome at a charge of £20 per dog per night. This includes a bed, bowl, towel and treats on arrival. The 'Canine Crewe Room Service Menu' features dishes from Lily's Kitchen, Woof and Brew beer and Pawsecco. Dogs are welcome in the Crypt Bar, reception, garden and downstairs larders for dining too.
- Free Wi-Fi
Bamburgh has a mullioned window with touches of stained-glass that looks out onto the pretty lawned garden at the back. Rummage in the drawers and you'll find a plastic pack with walking maps, a torch and a compass.
Cosy Room, Canny Room, Champion Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bath or shower, free toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We love the brioche French toast on the breakfast menu, which comes with crisp streaky bacon and maple syrup. Ask to eat in the downstairs dining room where the medieval fireplace and mullioned windows create plenty of atmosphere.
The restaurant: seasonal, local dishes, including whole North Sea plaice and rack of lamb with potato fondant. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £16.
Crypt bar: Northumbrian ales and bar snacks.