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The Pheasant Inn, Falstone, Northumberland
Set back from the narrow road leading to Kielder Water and Forest, the family-run Pheasant Inn is a classic country inn with inviting fire-warmed bars and dining areas, beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. There's a loyal local following for the high-quality cooking, while a handful of simple, cottagey bedrooms are grouped around a courtyard.
Rooms available from £115 per night
Set back from the narrow road that leads to Kielder Water (Europe's largest man-made lake) and surrounding forest in northwest Northumberland, half a mile from the hamlet of Falstone, the inn is away from urban hustle and bustle. The road is relatively busy during the day but very peaceful otherwise. The nearest town is Bellingham, eight miles away, and it's a half-hour drive from the A69 between Newcastle and Carlisle. Walks and mountain biking around Kielder Forest and watersports on Kielder Water are the big attractions, plus night-time stargazing at Kielder Observatory.
By car: under 3 hours from York, 3 hours 30 minutes from Manchester and 6 hours 30 minutes from London. Free parking on-site.
By train: trains from London Kings Cross to Hexham take around 4 hours. The hotel is a 40-minute taxi ride from the station. Book trains to Hexham.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
All the traditional country inn essentials are here: low-beamed rooms, exposed stone walls, real fires, polished wood tables, a smattering of copper jugs and horse brasses and cheery red tartan carpets. There are a couple of snugs as well as a main bar plus a smarter dining room.
As it's a pub, there's no dedicated guest lounge, though there are three separate cosy bar areas; in the evenings, these can be busy. Maps and walking routes can be borrowed and there's a drying room for wet clothes and boots. The pub can also arrange bike hire.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
The eight bedrooms, half on the ground floor, are in converted outbuildings adjoining the pub and set around a small courtyard. In a simple cottage style with plain walls, cream-painted furniture and colourful cushions and curtains, and with shower-only bathrooms, they're spick-and-span neat and spotless.
Room types: Double, Twin, Family, Garden Cottage
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, TV, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
This is home-cooked food with flair. Pub staples such as steaks and puff pastry-topped pies are mixed with more sophisticated dishes such as Moroccan baked cod with roast vegetable couscous and slow-roast Northumbrian lamb with rosemary. The majority of ingredients are sourced from the county, together with herbs, vegetables and fruits from the inn's kitchen garden.
The Pheasant Inn: traditional country pub, British cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients. Dishes include shoulder of lamb, fresh dressed crab and game & mushroom pie. All-day menu, open daily for dinner (Wed, Sat, Sun for lunch).