A Place to Stay. Steve’s Soujourns The Battlestead Hotel
The Northumberland countryside between Hexham and Bellingham has some of the most beautiful scenery in the north of England and a short drive away from the majestic Kielder Water with its huge forest and resident ospreys.
The two-hundred-year-old Battlestead Hotel is used by people to explore the surrounding countryside as it is so close to the major site of Hadrian’s Wall and has a great reputation for its food and service. Everything is sourced locally and anything that is too expensive, or the hotel can’t source is grown in the hotel gardens. Indeed, one of the polytunnels in the grounds contains courgette plants from which the flowers are harvested each day to be filled with soft cheese for use in the restaurant.
Organic lamb is sourced from the hill 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.
The original 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. 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 modern hotels would envy. Large beds, lots of room and bathrooms that double as a wet room and are truly opulent.
One thing you will notice about your trip to Northumberland is the night sky and the stars. There is hardly any light pollution here and the hotel has an astronomical Observatory with sliding roof, large telescopes, talks and drop in sessions. There is also a bird hide overlooking a pond where you can watch dragon flies flitting across the water and the local birds coming to the birdfeeders.
What you have here is a pub, hotel and restaurant passionate about their ales, beers and wines. Do go and explore Hexham with its ancient Abbey and medieval features including the gaol, Moot Hall and stone covered market..
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.