The Battlesteads Hotel is situated in the Northumberland countryside between Hexham and Bellingham and a short drive away from the majestic Kielder Water with its huge forest and resident ospreys.
The Battlesteads is a destination hotel used by people to explore the surrounding countryside especially as it is so close to the major site of Hadrian’s Wall. It also has one of the most enviable reputations for its food and service and I have to say both are extremely justified.
Its owners have pitched the business towards the over 50s with the service we expect and quality fare that is not piled high on your plate like so many places you go to these days. That’s not to say younger couples and grandchildren are not present it’s just that you feel instantly at home when you get here.
The two hundred year old building has that welcoming warmth when you enter with old leather armchairs and wood panelling next to the bar. The rooms are clean and tidy, each with a power shower and are well presented which may account for the 40% rebooking rate this place has.
However if you’re going to stay here I would recommend taking one of the new lodges that have been built adjoining the hotel, they have a standard that many a five star hotel would envy. Large beds, lots of room and bathrooms that look as if they’ve leapt straight out of a brochure.
It’s the food that you’ll remember about this hotel. Everything is sourced locally and anything that is too expensive or they can’t get is grown in the hotel gardens. Indeed one of the polytunnels contains courgette plants from which up to 24 flowers are harvested each day to be filled with soft cheese for use in the restaurant that evening.
Richard the owner is always happy to take people round and show them the gardens, wildlife ponds with viewing area to watch the birds and dragonflies and how the hotel works, we were amazed to discover that this is one of the “greenest” hotels around”. Rain water is collected to water the stunning hanging baskets, huge solar panels help heat the water and there is a biomass boiler to provide heating. Nothing is wasted here with the kitchen refuse being recycled to form compost for the gardens.
Organic lamb is sourced from the fell farms and once a fortnight the local farmer comes in for a steak to make sure his produce is up to standard. Breakfast is cooked to order in the conservatory then you have your choice of fruit juice, cold cereals, fruit, yogurt etc.
On our visit the organic yogurt came for the farm a few miles away and the strawberries from the garden. You also get a large choice of cooked dishes from kippers from the local smokery to my own choice the Northumbria Platter with sausage, bacon, eggs etc. all again being sourced locally.
One thing you will notice about your trip to Northumberland is the stars. There is very little light pollution up here and the hotel has an astronomical Observatory with sliding roof, large telescopes, talks and drop in sessions.
This is a fabulous hotel and no wonder it has a 40% rebooking rate. I tell you what, it’s going to 41% very shortly too if I have my way.
Find out what happened when we invited one of our members to visit the hotel and review it for us.
Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant
Wark on Tyne
Northumberland NE48 3LS