Hadrian's Wall 2008

Accommodation review


The Old Rectory, Bowness-on-Solway:

There aren’t too many places to stay at the start or the end of the wall, but the Old Rectory was very comfortable. The room was spacious and the breakfast was good, served up in a large dining room. The local pub is very functional and serves primarily the local residents. As Bowness-on-Solway is quite away from the beaten track don’t be expecting too much. We were lucky enough to have a car and went off to the next village as the local was already very busy. I didn’t fancy waiting too long. But the ladies at the B&B said it was OK.

The Angus Hotel, Carlisle:

Lots of B&B’s to choose from in Carlisle. If I had my time again I would have stayed to the south of the river to be closer to the town centre. The Angus was OK and the welcome was fine. They did manage to dry my boots out in the boiler room overnight – so that is a plus. They have a bistro attached to the hotel which is where breakfast is served. The breakfast was ok and service was good. For my evening meal I was directed to a small bistro type restaurant called ‘The Gilded Lily’. I thought this was great value and the food and atmosphere was excellent. Although it is a good 15min walk away.

Low Rigg Farm, Walton:

This B&B was about ½ mile from Walton on a working farm. The views from the front across the lawn were delicious. The welcome was lovely and my boots were set to rest in the hallway and stuffed with newspaper. Any wet gear also hangs here and is usually dry by the morning. Tip - don’t hang your wet layers above your boots! The room was comfortable and the bathroom across the hallway was well stocked for a pampering, if you need one. Breakfast was good and the walk back down to the path doesn’t take long in the morning. My evening meal was taken in the delightful Centurion Inn. The ambience was good, the landlord as rude as he could be, but give as good as you get! The food was a little expensive around £10 for a main course, but very filling. To top it off there was a roaring fire with a row of smelly boots lined up steaming away…




 Burnhead B&B, Burnhead:

The B&B was bang on the path and you can’t miss it. A wonderful welcome and a clean, comfortable room. Breakfast was good as with most of the places I stayed at. The Milecastle Inn was a 10minute walk down the lane – uphill there and roll back down from the pub. I had my first pint of Big Lamp bitter and it was very tasty. The pub was busy, but the service was good. The food was passable – good pub grub hit the spot but again at £10 for a main course, a little on the pricey side.



The George Hotel, Chollerford:

It was along way from Burnhead to The George, but it is sited down next to the bridge over the Tyne. I wasn’t sure about staying at a hotel chain but it was ok, a bit of a maze of corridors and the bathrooms need refurbishing. They offer special deals of DBB so look out for them on the web. There is an outside sitting area next to the bar for that deeply refreshing draught at the end of the days walking. The set menu was good, as was the service and very good value at £15.95 for 4 courses considering the prices at The Centurion and Milecastle Inns. Breakfast was serve yourself and was adequate for me. The gardens are lovely and next to the river and if staying in summer you can have your bar meals served on outside tables.


Keelmans Lodge, Newburn:

This was the longest and probably the wettest day of the walk. The brewery was a very welcome sight for sore legs. The least homely and without that personal welcome but facilities were excellent, clean and new - this is newly decorated accommodation. They are located away from the main bar and it was quiet even though it was Friday night. The bar and restaurant are nearby and had a great atmosphere, and was well used by the locals. They obviously liked the beer here (as I did) and the food was great. I had a veggie something or other washed down with several beers. I couldn’t fault the place, except that breakfast was an expensive extra at £7.95 and not served until 9am which, even if I had stayed to do the final day’s walking, would have been too late for me.



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