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The Percy Arms, Alnwick, Northumberland
Quietly dominating the small village of Chatton in the heart of Northumberland, the stone-built Percy Arms has an attractive, low-key appearance of pretty windowboxes and a mix of sash and bay windows. A former coaching inn on the Duke of Northumberland's estate, it offers just five smart and low-key country-house-style bedrooms; comfortable but fuss-free. The large ground floor is cosily divided into eating areas - both smart and casual - around the central bar and retains a traditional pub feel of flagged floors and scrubbed tables but with a contemporary edge. Food is above-average pub classics in handsome portions with the occasional fancier dish in the mix. Children and dogs are welcome, and it makes a comfortable quiet base for exploring the county.
Staying here is incredibly peaceful, without feeling isolated, and a lovely refuge after a day's walking or exploring coast and castles.
Alnwick Castle is around 30 minutes by car, as are Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Scottish border.
By car: under 3 hours from York, 4 hours from Manchester and 6 hours 30 minutes from London. Free parking on-site.
By train: London Kings Cross to Chathill (via Newcastle) is over 4 hours. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who wants a comfortable base with quality bedrooms in a quiet village will enjoy it here. We liked the fact the inn had been smartened up without losing its traditional core.
Service & Facilities
Coming back after a wet walk and being able to sit with a nice cup of tea around the fire was lovely.
- Board games
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Dogs are welcomed with a bed and treats, and can sit with owners when dining in the bar area.
The two corner rooms are especially light which makes waking up in the morning particularly delightful. The rooms are widely spaced around the big landings of the first floor so it feels like a private house.
Chatton Park Hill, Fowberry Tower, Hurle Stone, River Till, Amerside Moor
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, biscuits, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
There's an exceptionally good vegetarian choice which avoids the usual offerings. If you've room, there's often a homemade crumble with crème anglaise.
The Percy Arms: traditional village pub, classic fare, locally-sourced produce. Dishes include steak & ale pie, sea bass and pork belly. All-day menu, open daily. Sunday roast served 12-6pm.