As spectacular locations go, then it is hard to imagine a much better one than that offered by the Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, 40 miles north of Newcastle on the Northumbrian coast.
It is slap-bang in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has the advantage of overlooking the small fishing port and harbour of the village and has stunning views of the Farne Islands. The magnificent Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island are very nearby.
Furthermore, you can take a boat trip from the harbour out to the Farne Islands to view one of the largest grey seal colonies in the U.K., and the favourite spot of Sir David Attenborough for watching British wildlife.
The hotel itself is a three storey, white painted, long building on a rise to the back of the harbour. The inn’s outdoor grassed terrace sits comfortably on top of stone built 18th century lime kilns.
It boasts three AA stars for it’s 30 en-suite bedrooms, many of which have sea views.
The spectacular upstairs, and appropriately named, Sea View bar offers the previously mentioned seascapes through picture windows from cosy seats.
My room however, was to the rear but was very clean and cosy. Two steps went down to a sunken bathroom which added to the quirky feel.
Head chef Davis Barella is highly regarded and is heavily involved in the Northumberland Food Trail Project. His loin of venison with chestnut fondant potatoes, sprouts and bacon is one of the featured dishes of this media campaign.
Locally supplied food is a requirement, with game coming from Bamburgh Castle and Cragside Estates and fish from local fishermen, of course, who are right on the front doorstep.
My party of hungry hikers, in the middle of the Northumberland Coastal Path walk, took full advantage of the home cooked dishes. It was a pity we couldn’t sample the famous Sunday carvery, but being a Wednesday, this would have been difficult!
I devoured the steak and ale pie with vigour and no little relish. The portions here are hearty and went down well with my bunch of hungry hikers.
The Northumberland buffet breakfast the next morning was a sight to behold.
One of chef Rick Stein’s ‘Food Heroes’, the ‘Bamburgh Banger’ sausage was a highlight, whilst other choices were equally good. Service at breakfast is buffet style with no restrictions. Fill your boots took on a new meaning. The quality was excellent.
The staff were incredibly busy, for this is a busy hotel and restaurant and they were not found wanting.
The hotel has on-site parking and free wi-fi in the bar, although I found that the signal can vary in some rooms.
For further information go to “www.bamburghcastleinn.co.uk”:http://www.bamburghcastleinn.co.uk. It can be found at NE68 7SQ if travelling by car.
But, oh…those views!