Missing Oven Parts and Lost Travellers…

Now, I’m not one to complain but…

Over the  years I’ve entertained many people in my little home in Bardon Mill.

It’s a small thatched cottage with just enough space for two bedrooms, a bathroom, well-equipped kitchen and boxy living room; as people say ‘It’s not much, but it’s home’. Despite my relatively humble abode (and it really is that pokey, I’m not being modest!) I’m often showered with compliments from visiting guests who effuse with enthusiastic notes of jealousy and coo with envy at how privileged I am to live somewhere so peaceful, away from the hectic noise and smoke of the city. Of course, these urbanites never stay long enough to appreciate all the little disadvantages that can sometimes make living in the country a real pain!

You see, despite being an out and out country mouse for over decade now there was a time when I lived in a city, which made making the move out to Bardon Mill a little tricky at first. Just like my friends and family, I’d always been in awe of the beauty and tranquillity that the British countryside offered, but hadn’t quite cottoned onto the consequences of living there. Moving homes to the country was a trial by fire, wherein I was to discover just a handful of the little drawbacks to living in the Garden of Eden.

My troubles began almost as soon as I decided to move. With only a pokey Nissan Micra in my garage I was faced with the intimidating challenge of moving my entire life from my apartment in London to my new home in Bardon Mill.

I had to call six removal companies before finding one to hear me out (most companies in London prefer taking extortionate amounts for shorts trips around the city, rather than leave the safe bubble of the city limits) but of course the final asking price was so high that I ended up just hiring a van and driving myself.

Once I’d made the trip I had the joys of discovering all the little nooks and crannies that the previous owners had done such a good job of hiding before, like the busted Belling oven elements (which would take months to track down and replace), the battle-scarred counter worktop (previously hidden with classy chopping boards) and the metric tonne of garbage that he was kind enough to leave me in the loft. Solving these problems would have been small fry in the city with a litany of services at my disposal, but together they formed a gargantuan task that I wouldn’t overcome for months.

There were other cultural changes that I had to get used to of course, like the lack of world food, the distance to cinemas and major music venues – but these were less problems and more teething issues. Once my home was in order I found that I soon began to acclimatise to my new home. Today I can say that these minor gripes have been firmly set aside: with the countryside, fantastic pubs to eat at, activities galore and high speed internet now worming its way through rural England there’s never been a better time to live in the countryside!

My Favourite Pubs in the Area

I love a good pub.

At the end of a long day of walking there’s nothing better than a big plate of wholesome food to revive you. These pubs are my favourite places to visit during the Summer and Winter – you can even stay at a few of them if you fancy it! 

Milecastle Inn

Just half a ‘click’ from Hadrian’s Wall, the Milecastle Inn is one of my favourite places to stop for a drink at whilst I’m having a kick around the wall. Unsurprisingly this charming little place is consistently packed out with tourists and walkers, but it’s also supported by the local community who are more than happy to prop up the bar. I often stop by to say ‘Hello’ to Clare and Kevin who, after a few years away, have recently reclaimed control of this thoroughly excellent British pub.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 12-11pm
Rooms for Hire? No
Telephone: 01434 321 372
Address: Milecastle Inn
Military Rd
NE49 9NN
Website: http://www.milecastle-inn.co.uk/

The Twice Brewed Inn

If you’re someone who likes to go ‘all out’ when they dine in restaurants then I can happily recommend Twice Brewed Inn as the place to do that! Not only are you within spitting distance of some truly epic scenery but this well rated pub offers some of the best food and drink. Whenever I have friends visiting I always make sure to take them here for at least one dinner, the food is always carefully prepared and the service is excellent. If you’re thinking of staying the night you can also make use of their affordable B&B accommodation too!

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 12-11pm
Rooms for Hire? Yes
Telephone: 01434 344534
Address: The Twice Brewed Inn
Bardon Mill
NE47 7AN
Website: http://www.twicebrewedinn.co.uk/

Carts Bog Inn

The Pennines are well worth a visit if you’re passing through Bardon Mill and The Carts Bog Inn should certainly be your pub of choice whilst you’re in the area. Just outside the pleasant village of Langley, The Carts Bog Inn can be dated back to the late 18th Century and takes its name from the boggy area that would waylay cart drivers in the local area. Today it exists as a picturesque country pub that boast pleasant panoramic views and lovely food. The Famous Bog Pie is a personal favourite, just the thing to warm your cockles after a mid-winter hike.

Opening Hours: Monday-Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday-Friday – 12-3pm & 5pm-11pm
Saturday – 12-11pm
Sunday – 12-10:30pm
Rooms for Hire? No
Telephone: 01434 684338
Address: The Carts Bog Inn
Nr. Hexham
NE47 5NW
Website: http://www.cartsbog.co.uk/

The Bowes Hotel

There simply aren’t enough establishments like the Bowes Hotel anymore. Staffed and run by local people, this is a truly old fashioned pub in the very best sense of the word. Visitors from out of town are always welcome here, in fact the pub actively invites newcomers to drink at the bar and get to know the local people! The food menu here is not what you’d call extensive but everything is home-cooked and perfectly prepared.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday – 12-11pm
Rooms for Hire? Yes
Telephone: 07547 630009
Address: Bardon Mill
NE47 7HU
Website: http://www.cartsbog.co.uk/

Manor House Inn

Although closer to rural Newcastle than Bardon Mill, the Manor House Inn is too good to miss out here. I often stop on the way back from visiting relatives in Durham on a Sunday, their roast dinners are truly sublime and the ale is so good that you will wish you’d booked out one of their cosy rooms to stay the night in. From this you charming country pub you have free reign to explore the North Pennines – perfect for a relaxed Sunday out in the great outdoors!

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday – 12-11pm
Rooms for Hire? Yes
Telephone: 01207 255268
Address: Consett
Website: http://themanorhouseinn.com/

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