Pick up some local knowledge as well as leaflets in these mini information goldmines. Friendly business owners are more than happy to share their tips for a great day out. Combine research with refreshments, and even a little bit of retail therapy, in these vibrant spots.
Hadrian’s Wall Information Points
Greenhead Tea Rooms
Just off Hadrian’s Wall. Run by owner Alison Kennedy. Open daily serving a range of delicious snacks and meals made on the premises. It’s great for walkers who want to visit 12th century Thirlwall Castle nearby. You can also walk part of the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, which passes close by and head up to Walltown or Gilsland. For more, click here.
North Tyne and Redesdale Information Points
Rochester on A68. The last café in England opens Tuesday to Sunday. This small family owned business offers home cooked food as well as hosting the local Post Office. There is a wide selection of tourist information including the Otterburn range firing times. Café open Tuesday to Sunday. Accommodation available.
Old School Tea Room
In Falstone. Housed in the former Victorian village school, Aimee Banks’ tea room and shop has everything under one roof. The kitchen used to stable the horses from pupils who rode in from outlying villages. Dog, boot and bike friendly. You can even buy locally sourced crafts. Free Wi-Fi available. For more, click here.
Simonburn Tea Room
In Simonburn, halfway between Hexham and Bellingham. Home to a tea room, gift shop and local shop with a wide range of local produce, gift shop as well as tea room. Dog lovers will love meeting Dexter, the very friendly West Highland Terrier of owner Ann Maddison! Accommodation and free WiFi available. For more, click here.
Coquetdale Information Points
Barrowburn Tea Room
In the upper Coquet Valley. The ideal place for walkers and mountain bikers to recharge the batteries with tea and homemade cake or a more substantial meal. This working farm boasts wonderful hay meadows best enjoyed in June. You can walk up to the border ridge or take the more relaxed tea room walk (copies available from the tea room). Accommodation also available. For more, click here.
Old School House Tea Room
In Elsdon. This tea room has become an essential pit stop since Marion and Allan Graham opened in 1978. There is lots of cycling memorabilia to take in while enjoying your refreshments. The legendary home made Gibbet Cake is a great energy boost for tackling the hilly roads out of Elsdon.
The Rose and Thistle
In Alwinton. This former coaching inn is a pub and B&B at the heart of the community run by Jane and Gareth Latchham. Nestled in the south eastern foothills of the Cheviots, it lies on an historic drove road linking England to Scotland. It’s a great place along many walking routes for a meal surrounded by stunning scenery. If you are lucky you may even be treated to an impromptu musical or poetry performance. For more, click here.
Shepherds Walks shop
Rothbury. Pick up a free leaflet as you browse the wonderful walking gear and guides on sale. For more, click here.
The Star Inn
In Harbottle. This unique pub overlooks the ruins of the 12th century castle and the magnificent Drake Stone. Ann Dunn has created a community hub in how it serves as a local village shop, a craft centre in the summer and of course a hostelry in the best old-fashioned sense of the word.
The Cheviots Information Points
The Border Hotel
In Kirk Yetholm. This secluded village is a centre for walkers, a mile into Scotland. It’s the start and end of the Pennine Way, the Scottish National Trail and St Cuthbert’s Way passes through too. The hotel is a great base from which to explore north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. For more, click here.
Near Wooler in Milfield village. This vibrant café and restaurant serves everything from coffee and cakes to snacks and meals. Maelmin was the name of a royal township that existed near Milfield in Anglo-Saxon times. The same family has owned and run the café since 1991. Here you can find out more about the Maelmin Trail and other local attractions. Free WiFi available. For more, click here.