The Seaton Lane Inn to undergo major refurbishment

The Inn Collection Grop's landmark County Durham pub The Seaton Lane Inn is set to embark on a significant refurbishment including a major overhaul of its restaurant, bar and bedrooms.

The Seaton pub with rooms will undergo the exciting refurbishment as part of planned investment.

Regeneration plans include a newly reconfigured and expanded dining area, expansive orangery and all-new bedrooms.
As well as improving facilities for guests, the regeneration of The Seaton Lane Inn is expected to generate further jobs at the 18-bedroom inn.

Sean Donkin, operations director at The Inn Collection Group, said: “This is an exciting chapter for The Seaton Lane Inn and will mark a milestone in its history.

“Customer experience is critical for us and our redesign of The Seaton Lane Inn is fundamentally about investing in our customers and providing them with a stunning venue that embraces our eat, drink, sleep and explore model.

“Our investment plans to update, improve and modernise The Seaton Lane Inn, while preserving the inn’s character, will ensure the pub continues to be a beacon for hospitality and a great place to stay and dine for locals, tourists and business customers in County Durham.

Mr Donkin added: “Our refurbishment plans come as welcome news to the local area, adding to Durham heritage coast’s tourism and business appeal.”

The Seaton Lane Inn will be closed temporarily from January 3 to allow regeneration works to be carried out without disruption to customers. The newly refurbished inn is scheduled to reopen in time for Easter.

Experienced in pub redevelopments, multi-award winning The Inn Collection Group’s conversion portfolio includes The Kingslodge Inn at Durham, Northumberland pubs The Lindisfarne Inn near Holy Island and The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses as well as The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry in Cleveland.

The group’s new build credentials include Northumberland-based The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth, The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick and the newly announced The Amble Inn at Amble.

With a total bedroom number of 232, the Kings Park Capital backed Inn Collection Group is one of the north east’s largest independent accommodation providers.


Bamburgh Castle Inn pairs up with award winning wildlife operator for winter birdwatching spectacle

The Bamburgh Castle Inn has paired up with award-winning operator, Northern Experience Adventure Tours to offer new guided tours of some of the UK’s most spectacular wildlife displays. 

The tours, designed to take in seasonal wildlife extravaganzas during the year, include a Winter Wonderland package capturing the spectacle of thousands of migrating wildfowl that overwinter on the Northumberland coast and a summer seabird spectacle and photography holiday showcasing the incredible sights and sounds of thousands of visiting seabirds, along with the photography opportunities they offer. 

Nicola Austin, general manager of The Bamburgh Castle Inn said: “We are delighted to be partnering with a wildlife operator of the calibre of Northern Experience Adventure Tours, and giving people such unique wildlife opportunity that people travel the world over to experience.”

The four-day Winter Wonderland package, runs from February 4th – 7th while the Seabird Spectacle packages run from July 1st-4th or July 15th-18th. 

Tours include three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at The Bamburgh Castle Inn and two days guided birdwatching, with Northern Experience Wildlife Tours including transport and packed lunches. 

To find out more, or to book go to

Game qualification is feather in the cap for Inn Collection Group chefs

Chefs from The Inn Collection Group kitchens went lock, stock and barrel for game and were on target to take a full bag of qualifications. 

Chefs from the group’s seven pubs – The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal; The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses; The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick; The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth in Northumberland; The Seaton Lane Inn and The Kingslodge  in County Durham and The King’s Head Inn in Newton under Roseberry, took part in a Game Food Hygiene training course, and sat the assessment to gain the award of ‘Trained Hunter’ status as part of the group’s ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest standard of food preparation and service. 

The course saw chefs explore the processes involved to safely process game from fur or feather to the kitchen table.

Game enthusiast Sean Donkin is operations director at The Inn Collection Group.

He said: “Game dishes are amongst the most popular our award-winning kitchens create. It is a food we are very proud to champion. Not only is it incredibly tasty and versatile, it is a very healthy product being naturally leaner than farmed meat, has low food miles and is totally free range and ethically reared.

“Part and parcel with cooking with game is ensuring that we source and use game that is fully traceable and meets our rigorous standards of food hygiene.

“As well as a talent and flair for creating absolutely delicious game dishes in the kitchen, our chefs all proved themselves to be high fliers in their knowledge and understanding of hygiene issues relating to game, its sourcing, preparation and storage.”

He added: “The course is part of our ongoing commitment to staff training and development. Maintaining these high standards through training, education and best practice ensures our customers enjoy dishes that not only taste superb, but are prepared and made to the very highest food hygiene standards.”

Older people enjoy festive treat at The Kingslodge Inn

There was room at The Kingslodge Inn when over 100 older people joined us for a cracker of a Christmas celebration.

The Kingslodge Inn joined older people’s charity The Abbeyfield Society to support their annual Companionship at Christmas campaign.  Offering older people affected by loneliness the chance to share physical, emotional and spiritual warmth, Companionship at Christmas runs throughout the festive period and beyond. 

Silver revellers from Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and Corbridge were among the party goers who tucked into a three course festive meal donated by The Kingslodge Inn and Abbeyfield and with support from Age UK Durham, before taking to the dance floor and enjoying party games, live music performances and carol singing. 

For 89-year-old Jean from Gilesgate, the highlight of the day was enjoying being surrounded by company and good cheer. 

Jean, who has lived alone since losing her husband and childhood sweetheart 33-years ago, said: “I really enjoyed it and will think about this day for ages. I have enjoyed the company so much and there was a lovely atmosphere. I don’t get out and see everyone as much, as I don’t see so well. I am at my best having people around and today has been very special. I have made new friends today – and made lots of memories too.”

Also enjoying the party atmosphere and raising a special glass of birthday champagne was Rita Duckett who was celebrating her 101st birthday. 

Rita, who lives at Abbeyfield’s The Newcastle Society Grove House in Gosforth, puts the secret of her longevity down to a glass of sherry each night before bedtime. 

Alastair Mulvie, director of fundraising at Abbeyfield said: “It has been a tremendous day. Seeing so many older people simply enjoying themselves, laughing, sharing stories, dancing, enjoying good food and forging new friendships has been such a joy and captures the very essence of what Abbeyfield is all about. 

“Abbeyfield was founded over 60 years ago to counter the debilitating loneliness faced by a forgotten generation of older people. That ethos continues today with campaigns such as Companionship at Christmas and our winter Feel the Warmth initiative. 

“I would like to thank The Kingslodge Inn and Age UK in Durham for their support in laying on such a fantastic event. Working together with businesses and like-minded organisations like them allows us to be able to make a difference to the lives of older people and make their later years happier and more fulfilled. 

Leanne Jeffrey, general manager at The Kingslodge Inn said: “I think we all felt ourselves welling up at times during the afternoon to see everyone having so much fun and enjoying themselves, like 91-year-old Joe who was dancing away to the music.

“Christmas is a time we associate with excitement, parties and celebrations, but for many older people it’s a time when they feel even more isolated. For many of those here today their only company is the television or radio. 

“It means so much knowing that we’ve given so many people a day to remember; helped them to make new friends, given them a lovely meal and let them know The Kingslodge Inn is a place that’s welcoming and friendly for them to call in and see us at any time. We even have one lady coming along to join us for Christmas Day lunch and are now running a monthly lunch club that 50-elderly people come along to with Age UK and Abbeyfield. It has been a fantastic day and we have been very proud to play our part in hosting such a worthwhile event.”

Now in its eighth year, Companionship at Christmas has offered a lifeline of warmth and friendship to thousands of older people at Christmas. 

Sadly, an estimated 500,000 older people are expected to spend Christmas alone in the UK.

The campaign sees Abbeyfield houses and homes across the country open up their doors to offer free overnight stays – so people don’t have to wake to an empty house on Christmas Day, meals, entertainment in the build up to Christmas and beyond. 

The Inn Collection Group secured as operators of £4m The Amble Inn

The Inn Collection Group secured as operators of new The Amble Inn

Leading pub company The Inn Collection Group has been confirmed as operators of a multi-million pound Northumberland pub with rooms development, set to open in October 2018.

Arch, developers of the site in the marina town of Amble, selected The Inn Collection Group as operators ahead of national competition.

The seven-site company will now add the Northumberland development to its acquisition portfolio of pubs with rooms, which includes new build schemes The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth and The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick.

The addition of the 30-bedroom Amble development to the group’s estate takes their total bedroom number to 232, making the Kings Park Capital backed operator one of the north east’s largest independent accommodation providers.

Construction of the inn started last month, generating an anticipated 60 jobs during the build element, with a further 35 positions created once the inn opens.

Keith Liddell, chief executive of The Inn Collection Group, said: “We are delighted that The Inn Collection Group has been selected to operate this exciting new leisure development in Amble. Our brand is synonymous with delivering a value-for-money, quality service and attention to detail, principles we look forward to applying in Amble.

“Our eat, drink, sleep and explore model will be a tremendous addition to Amble and the surrounding area’s leisure and business markets and we are looking forward to revealing further details about the inn in due course.

“The Amble development will be an excellent asset to our portfolio and cements our positioning as a leader in the leisure operator sector. With growing investment and regeneration in Amble there is a shortage of accommodation of this nature in Amble. The new development will undoubtedly fill this current gap in the market, offering much-need accommodation in the town to visitors so they can extend their stay locally, fuelling more trade for local businesses.

“In both the short and long term, the new development will give a boost to Amble’s economy, both from the jobs created during construction and the 35 permanent, full time positions the inn will generate.”

Located on Amble’s Coquet Enterprise Park Quay Road, an area earmarked for redevelopment, the two-storey building has been designed to provide an attractive venue for daytime and evening trade. The development will compliment recent investment in the marina town’s harbour regeneration.

Richard Wearmouth Chair of Arch said: "This development will bring quality, new accommodation which would undoubtedly mean more visitors and therefore more business for Amble. The inn will not only enhance Coquet Enterprise Park as part of our long-term plans for the area but it will bring much needed jobs to Amble. It’s developments like this which increase the potential for attracting inward investment to benefit Northumberland as a whole.”

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP, said: “This is a significant investment in Amble and the surrounding area. The inn will contribute to the town’s leisure and commercial capability by increasing the area’s accommodation offer and helping to attract valuable additional overnight visitors.”

The development has been designed with a mix of 30 double, twin, accessible and family bedrooms across two floors. A ground floor bar and eatery area will provide covers for up to 150 diners inside with a further 100 covers outside and offer informal meeting spaces. There will be on site parking and cycle spaces.

The Amble scheme will operate on The Inn Collection Group’s model of providing value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages – with a focus on provenance and local real ales, and home made pub fare served all day, 365 days a year.

Construction of the development will be delivered by Tolent Living Ltd. 

Rock on with The Inn Collection Group

Eagle eyed people out and about the North East should look out for beautifully painted rocks featuring The Inn Collection Group inns.

The rocks, painted by talented artist Ashleigh Louise Legg of Fingerprint Art, each depict one of the group’s seven inns: The Lindisfarne Inn near Holy Island, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick, The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth, The Kingslodge Inn at Durham, The Seaton Lane Inn at Seaton and The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry. 

Each painted rock has a message asking the rock to be returned to the inn where they can claim a prize. People can share the rocks they find on social media before they are hidden again for people to discover.

Operations director Sean Donkin said: “We’ve been inspired by the rock painting craze of Tyneside Rocks, Durham Rocks and Northumberland Rocks that is sweeping the region, which sees people painting rocks and hiding them for others to find.

“We thought it was a lovely idea and a great way to get people out and about enjoying the coast and countryside around our inns and away from mobile phones or computer screens but there is still the connection to social media which children – and adults enjoy.

“Ashleigh, a talented local artist, has painted our inns – which are all distinctive in landmark locations like Blyth water front and beneath Roseberry Topping in Newton under Roseberry and the results are amazing.

“We hope people have a lovely time searching for our rocks. And if you’re not lucky enough to find one yourself, why not try your hand at painting one of our inns for other people to discover, too?”

Seafront inn nails its colours to the mast as being best of the best

Seaside pub The Commissioners Quay Inn has swept the boards in The Inn Collection Group’s inaugural Best of the Best Awards.

Introduced for customers to vote for their favourite pub in categories including the best food, drink and accommodation as well as the staff behind their favourite venues – the awards attracted over 2000 votes across 21 categories, with the Blyth inn coming top in a whopping 16 categories.

Fans of the waterfront inn ranked The Commissioners Quay Inn top in categories ranging from best overall establishment and most family friendly inn to best cask ale and best Sunday lunch.

General manager Daniel Evans said: “We are over the moon to have done so well in so many categories. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the fact that these awards are voted for by our customers makes them even more special.

“We are proud to have won categories across every sector of our offering – from our food and drink, to our outstanding team. It’s a real coup to have that accolade from our customers and I would like to thank everyone who voted for us and to the team here at The Commissioners Quay Inn for the great job they do.”

Food lovers at Durham city’s The Kingslodge Inn voted the Flass Vale inn top in dining categories including best chef’s special, best vegetarian meal and best seafood dish, while the inn also shone in the best housekeeping team award.

Newton-under-Roseberry based pub with rooms The King’s Head Inn was voted best by customers in the accommodation category.

Beal-based The Lindisfarne Inn narrowly missed the top spot for the best pizza category, taking the runner up slice.

A close runner up in the popular best fish and chips award was seaside pub, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses. The inn’s front of house and management teams were only just pipped at the post by The Commissioners Quay Inn in the awards’  two most voted for categories.

The Inn Collection Group operations director Sean Donkin said: “We were absolutely delighted by the response to our first ever Best of the Best Awards. Our customers cast their vote by the thousand to show what does it for them at our inns across the north of England.

“It was brilliant to see that without exception, the most voted for categories were those including people – such as the best front of house team and best management team. It is exceptionally rewarding for the people behind our inns to get such recognition. It affirms the hard work and dedication they put in to making sure our customers enjoy the best possible experience when they step through our doors.”

Going hook, line and sinker to support the RNLI's Fish Supper

The Inn Collection Group supports the RNLI Fish Supper

The Inn Collection Group are going hook, line and sinker to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Fish Supper fundraising campaign.

Promising ‘trout of this world’ fish dishes across its inns on Friday nights throughout October, the Group is giving a £1 donation (50p children’s meals) from every RNLI Fish special to the charity which saves lives at sea.

From crowd-pleasing local ale battered fish and chips to just-landed catch of the day plates, the Group is pledging to tip the scales when it comes to supporting the RNLI’s annual Fish Supper campaign to raise funds for their local lifeboat crews.

Dan Evans is general manager at The Commissioners Quay Inn, which overlooks the North Sea and busy Port of Blyth in Northumberland.

Dan: “Proper, homemade battered fish and perfectly cooked chips are right up there as being one of our favourite meals as a nation. To my mind there can be no better way to help a lifesaving charity like the RNLI than tucking into one of our local beer-battered fish and homemade chip meals in the knowledge that you’re helping to support a great cause.

“Our local volunteer Blyth crew are just a stone’s throw from our inn. We see the amazing work they do on an ongoing basis and the lifeline role they play in our community, which is so sea-orientated. We’re proud to support the RNLI so that they can continue to save even more lives at sea.”

The Commissioners Quay Inn will also have local brewers Cullercoats Brewery beer on tap throughout October, with 3p for every pint sold being donated to the RNLI – the perfect accompaniment for washing down your RNLI fish supper with.

The nationwide event honours lifeboat crew members who miss meal times and special occasions with loved ones to save lives at sea. 

The money raised from The Inn Collection Group pubs’ fish suppers will be used to buy equipment and pay for training for RNLI volunteers.

The RNLI’s fish-themed annual fundraiser aims to raise awareness of crew who drop everything ­– even weddings, birthdays and births – to venture into often dangerous waters to rescue people who have found themselves in difficulty.

Last year, RNLI lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland rescued 8,643 people and saved 431 lives. It costs over £485,000 per day to run the RNLI, and the charity relies on donations from the public to continue its lifesaving service.

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.

Robin Palmer, RNLI volunteer crew member at Blyth RNLI, said: “As a volunteer crew member, my pager can beep at any time. Whether I’m at work, asleep in bed or about to tuck into my dinner – I’ll stop what I’m doing and go straight to the lifeboat station, ready to save lives.

“Events such as Fish Fridays hosted by The Inn Collection Group are a great way for people to get together, enjoy a fantastic meal and raise vital funds for our lifesaving charity.”

In Northumberland, participating RNLI Fish Supper The Inn Collection Group pubs are The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses, The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick and The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth.

In Durham The Kingslodge Inn in Flass Vale, Durham City Centre is involved while also offering up RNL Fish Supper feasts are The Seaton Lane Inn at Seaton, County Durham and The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry, Great Ayton.

For more information about the RNLI’s Fish Supper campaign visit

41,413 plastic bottles...

Upcycled milk cartons have been used to make the Bamburgh Castle Inn's outdoor furniture

Not so much ten green bottles but 41,414 plastic ones have been upcycled to make our Seahouses inn, The Bamburgh Castle Inn’s stunning new outdoor furniture.

Settling down in one of The Bamburgh Castle Inn’s stylish new outdoors chairs with glass to hand, taking in the views of the sea and Farne Islands, you’d find it hard to believe our new outdoor furniture started life as a plastic milk carton - 41,413 of them to be precise.

The Bamburgh Castle Inn may have has one of the best sea front locations in the county – if not the UK. But finding outdoors furniture that can withstand the elements of being beside the North Sea is a challenge.  Cue Rondeau Leisure’s ‘Pacific Ocean’ outdoor furniture - not only for its stylish design, remarkable durability - but for the furniture’s compelling eco backstory.

Each one of our inn’s funky wood-effect tables and chairs are made from recycled plastic milk cartons.  Plastic waste,otherwise sent to landfill, undergoes an advanced moulded extrusion process, to be transformed into chic pieces of ‘Pacific Ocean’ outdoor furniture that grace the inn’s beer garden atop lime kilns in the fishing village of Seahouses. 

Each of their nine round picnic tables is made from 3613 recycled milk cartons and each swivel chair snapping up 556. 

Sean Donkin, operations director of leisure operators The Inn Collection Group, which owns The Bamburgh Castle Inn, said: “We are very fortunate to have an amazing location, right on the water’s edge here in Seahouses. But finding outdoor furniture that looked good and withstand the elements was a challenge. 

“We are wowed by the finished product, as are our guests.  The fact this furniture also has an amazing green backstory makes it all the more attractive to us. 

“We are committed to preserving the natural environment around our inns.  Supporting a company which uses such innovative and creative ways to improve the environmental impact of landfill waste and plastics in our seas is of great importance to us.” 

Rondeau Leisure’s managing director, Stuart Cooke, says: “We are delighted by The Bamburgh Castle Inn’s feedback, but also buoyed up by having another ambassador who can help us spread the plastic waste message and do our bit to clean up the world’s oceans and ease the strain on landfill.  All of our customers praise their ‘Pacific Ocean’ furniture to the hilt, so we are extremely proud to be its sole UK distributor.

“The Bamburgh Castle Inn has provided a shining example of how hospitality providers can cut Rondeau Leisure has christened ‘mood waste’. This can be done by not increasing the pressure on landfill sites by scrapping outdoor furniture every few years.”

The Bamburgh Castle Inn with Rondeau Leisure has backed the SKY Ocean Rescue campaign which highlights the worrying environmental issues caused by plastic in the ocean.  Even plastic destined for landfill sites often finds its way into the sea, so opting for furniture like ‘Pacific Ocean’, which recycles tonnes of plastic, makes sense to us.


Join our Inn Club and win a pub stay

Win a pub stay at The Inn Collection Group

If you're a fan of cosy pubs with rooms, homemade food and a glass of whatever takes your fancy, then don't miss your chance to win a   fantastic stay at an Inn Collection Group pub with the launch of our Inn Club.

Inn Club members get access to exclusive special offers and The Inn Collection Group pub deals, travel ideas and insider location secrets as well as being entered into a draw to win a three-night dinner, bed & breakfast stay for two at the inn of their choice.

The Inn Collection Group’s Sean Donkin said: “Whether you’re travelling for pleasure or for work, being a part of our new Inn Club brings you cracking new special offers and deals as well as insider insights from travel gurus with their ear to the ground about what's happenning around our award-winning inns. 

“If you’re a fan of gems like Durham Cathedral and Heritage Coastline, the Northumberland coast, Roseberry Topping and unique attractions like Lindisfarne Priory and Castle then all it takes are two ticks of your time to make a couple of clicks to be part of the inn crowd – and also to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic stay in one of our award winning inns." 

Join the Inn Club and be in with a chance of winning a pub stay by clicking here

Hop effort – The Lindisfarne Inn raises funds to preserve The Sandstone Way cycling trail

Cyclist friendly pub The Lindisfarne Inn in Northumberland has raised almost £200 to help towards the upkeep of the new mountain biking route, The Sandstone Way.

The Lindisfarne Inn, the nearest mainland inn to Holy Island, wanted to help support and maintain the new Sandstone Way trail, which passes right by the Beal-based inn and is used by many of its cycling customers.

For every pint of local brewery Hadrian and Border Sandstone Way Ale sold in the bar over the past six months, the inn has donated 5p to support ongoing vital upkeep of the 120-mile trail, enjoyed by cyclists riding between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Hexham.

The Lindisfarne Inn general manager Chris Taylor and his wife, Leonie, presented a cheque to Graham Vickers of The Cycle PaD, the social enterprise that helps manage The Sandstone Way. The funds will be used towards ensuring the route is managed and maintained for cyclists to enjoy in the future.

Chris Taylor said: “Cyclists and walkers are a growing part of our customer base here at The Lindisfarne Inn. We always do our best to make sure we give them a very warm welcome and have invested in facilities such as bike repair equipment, wash down areas and bike stands to add value to their visit.

“The Sandstone Way is a brilliant new trail that passes right by us, which many of our customers enjoy. We wanted to give something back to the cycling community and the route by pledging our support and contributing towards its upkeep by giving donations of our aptly named Sandstone Way Ale to the project.”

Graham Vickers said: “We are very grateful for the continued support of The Lindisfarne Inn and to their customers. Together, they have really put their money where their mouth is, to give something back to the cycling community. 

“The Sandstone Way was conceived in 2009 and took six years to bring to readiness as a waymarked, mapped and promoted route for mountain bikes. It took a lot of hard work, teamwork with time freely given by volunteers in the implementation process of creating the route.

“Once they are in place, however, cycle routes don’t just look after themselves. Donations like this will help us to maintain the route so many more cyclists can enjoy it for years to come.

“Upkeep of The Sandstone Way is an ongoing process and we rely on donations and contributions from businesses like The Lindisfarne Inn to help us. Inspired by the support of The Lindisfarne Inn, we’re calling for people to give us a pint-sized donation of £3 to help towards the upkeep of the trail.” 

Donations to The Sandstone Way can be made at 

Further information on the Sandstone Way is available at For more information on cycling in Northumberland visit 

The Commissioners Quay Inn steps up to welcome RNLI charity walker

RNLI charity walker Alex Ellis Roswell at The Commissioners Quay Inn Blyth

The Inn Collection Group's Blyth pub - The Commissioners Quay Inn -  stepped in to offer some much needed rest and recuperation to a charity fundraiser who is walking 9,500 miles for the RNLI.

Alex Ellis-Roswell started walking the 9,500-mile coast of Britain and Ireland in August 2014 and when The Commissioners Quay Inn heard his epic trek had reached Northumberland, though he was in need of a much-needed break.

General manager Daniel Evans said: “We were massively impressed with Alex’s incredible challenge and his unerring commitment to supporting such an important charity as the RNLI. We wanted to support his challenge – and show our continued support to the RNLI by offering to put Alex up for a couple of nights, to give his feet a well-deserved break so he can complete the final 1,000 miles of his walk down the east coast of England. 

“We were waved him off on the final stages of his journey with an extra spring in his step – and some great memories of Blyth and our legenedary Northumberland hospitality. 

“The RNLI is a charity we are delighted to support. Our location on the sea front here in Blyth and close proximity to numerous pleasure and commercial marine vessels as well as people just enjoying being by the sea and river brings home just how important the RNLI are in safeguarding people on the water.”

 When Alex completes his challenge, he will have walked for more than three years and taken over 20 million footsteps. 

During his time in Blyth, he went along to the local RNLI lifeboat station and met up with some of the crew who were training that evening. The challenge includes visiting all 237 lifeboat stations in Britain and Ireland. 

Alex, who has raised nearly £60,000 so far, said: “There’s no doubt lifeboat volunteers are heroes. “Their dedication, sacrifice and bravery is an inspiration. “The fact that I’ve managed to raise so much money to support them says to me how much respect people have for the volunteer crews and what they do for us. “It’s unfortunate there’s so much bad news in the world right now, but here are thousands of men and women – from all different backgrounds – coming together to help others. 

“I’m very grateful to The Commissioners Quay Inn for its hospitality during my time in Blyth, which is very much appreciated.” 

To donate to the charity online through Alex’s challenge, visit

Be the Early Robin - Book Now for an Inn Collection Group Christmas

Christmas party nights Northumberland Durham North Yorkshire Middlesbrough Cleveland

It may be the silly season with sun cream, shorts and sandals still uppermost in people’s minds.

But here at The Inn Collection Group the festive season is already upon us as our thoughts turn to Santa hats, party nights and turkey dinners.

If it seems a tad early to be talking about Christmas, think again.

Before you know it, December will have arrived, and if you haven’t got ahead of the game you could easily find yourself left out in the cold with nowhere to go for your office party, family get together or New Year’s Eve bash.

With the fantastic line-up of festive events on offer this year across our inns throughout Northumberland, County Durham and North Yorkshire, you’ll want to make sure you’re the early Robin that catches the worm.

Operations director Sean Donkin said: “While it may still be summer, now is the time to be thinking about the festive season to avoid the disappointment of losing out on the best Christmas party nights, festive meals and of course where to enjoy Christmas Lunch on the big day itself.

“We have our best ever line up this Christmas of entertainment acts and fantastic festive menus that you, your friends, family and work colleagues deserve at what is the most special time of the year.

“It's all too easy to put off booking with Christmas seeming so far in advance. But as our venues are such popular places to celebrate we recommend booking early to secure the venue and party occasion of your choice. Just drop in to one of our inns, give us a call, or send an email to, so we can make sure you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas rather than a Silent Night.

“After all…it tis the season to be jolly!”

Full details of entertainment, menus and how to book is available on the Christmas pages of each of our inns.  

Mark brings an army of flavour to The Lindisfarne Inn

Pub food near Holy Island at The Lindisfarne Inn with talented chef Mark Bocking

He’s served in both Gulf wars, cooked for Royalty and the Prime Minister and served up high-end banquets to over 300 guests. 

Now talented Mark Bocking has joined The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal as their new head chef.

It was in the fiery heat of a desert kitchen that Royal Air Force veteran Mark began his kitchen career. He joined the RAF as a chef, and has served in jungle field kitchens in Belize, and fed over 3,000 personnel at a time in Mount Pleasant, an RAF station in the Falkland Islands, where the corridors from one end of the camp to another were over a mile long.

Former Prime Minister John Major dined on Mark's food at Chequers, while Princess Anne was the guest of honour at an RAF banquet where Mark was part of a right-royal kitchen-brigade.

Closer to home, Mark is widely regarded on the local food scene for his stellar cookery. He spent seven years as head chef at The Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel in Embleton and three years as sous chef at the acclaimed Treehouse Restaurant in Alnwick.

Now, he is looking forward to making the kitchen at the award-winning Lindisfarne Inn his own and adding his flair to the food offer there. 

Said Mark: “It is an exciting new chapter for me and a completely different challenge to what I have done before. I’m really looking forward to putting my own stamp on the menu here, which is a lot more technical elements and dishes with a bit of a twist like a chicken panacotta – it’s my version of a chicken and sweetcorn soup. 

“I love the fact the inn uses a lot of seafood – I’ll certainly be keeping that on the menu, but adding in my own touches.”

Mark confesses to having a sweet tooth. “I have always been a dessert person. I like making my own desserts like a chocolate parfait. Everything is homemade – the pastry, the sorbets. It’s how it should be.” 

Look out for Mark’s new menu coming soon to The Lindisfarne Inn, the nearest mainland inn to Holy Island.

The Kingslodge Inn visit is just the job for Hedley College students

A group of disabled young people have had their job-seeking prospects boosted thanks to Durham city pub, The Kingslodge Inn. 

Students from Hedley’s College, part of The Percy Hedley Foundation, were given an insider insight into the hospitality industry during a behind the scenes visit to the Flass Vale pub with rooms.  

The access-all-areas tour gave the 18-25-year-olds - who have multiple learning disabilities, including cerebral palsy and autism - a chance to see how each section of The Kingslodge Inn operates, from housekeeping to check in and from front-of-house to the kitchen and to learn about the range of skills needed to work in the industry.

 The students enjoyed hands-on interaction, taste testing new dishes with sous chef Ashley Taylor and rolling up their sleeves to help prepare rooms with the housekeeping team during the visit organised by The Kingslodge Inn’s general manager, Leanne Jeffrey.

Leanne invited the students to The Kingslodge Inn, part of multi-award winning leisure operators The Inn Collection Group, after learning about the college’s work to help disabled young people boost their job prospects across the region. 

Leanne said: “I absolutely believe in helping young people who are keen and enthusiastic better their chances of entering into the workplace.

“I’m sure we can all remember a time when someone went out of their way to help us along our career journey and I felt it was important to do my bit to help such bright and motivated young people who refuse to be held back by their personal barriers.

“I was really struck by how confident and enthusiastic the students were. They would be an absolute asset in the workplace and we are looking at ways to work further with Percy Hedley to offer work experience and apprenticeships to students from the college.

“The hospitality industry is a particularly good area for disabled people as there are so many different paths you can go down, from housekeeping, to working in the kitchen, waiting, bar work, reception duties, and front of house. 

Dionne Smith is Employment Project Officer at The Percy Hedley Foundation. She works to help employers become more disability confident and organise work placements, visits and workshops to break down any barriers for students and employers. 

She said: “Leanne was really keen to get the students involved. We thought we would start with the visit and then look at the possibility of placements that can be specially tailored for our students. 

“The students were all really keen to find out what roles there were in the pub and its rooms and how they could get involved. 

“All the students approached the visit positively and responded really well. I hope going forward we can build closer ties with The Kingslodge Inn and The Inn Collection Group. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to develop a deeper relation and help bridge the gap for young people with additional needs to go from full-time education into employment.” 

For Curtis Curry, 20, who has Achondroplasia, a form of Dwarfism of the spine, The Kingslodge Inn visit was a course highlight and confirmed he wants to pursue a career in the hospitality sector.

He said: “I loved how big the kitchen was and I like making the food and getting to look round the bedrooms and seeing how big they were. I loved having a turn pushing the trolley and getting the bed linen. I want to get a job here!”

Celebrated head chef Kelvin joins The Hog's Head Inn's award winning team

Top chef Kelvin Gallaugher has joined The Hog's Head Inn's award winning pub food in Alnwick team

Renowned chef Kelvin Gallaugher has joined the award-winning team at The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick.  

Kelvin, whose name is synonymous with outstanding food, has a smorgasbord of gastronomic credentials including The Treehouse in Alnwick, The Mizen Head and Victoria Hotel in Bamburgh and high-end hotel and wedding venue, Newton Hall.

Kelvin cut his culinary teeth at the Collingwood Arms, where he realised he wanted to carve out a career in the kitchen. Encouraged by the head chef, who spotted Kelvin’s talent, he moved to London to hone his cheffing skills, working in top London restaurants including the hip Atlantic Bar & Grill, frequented by the likes of Madonna, Jack Nicholson, Robert de Niro and Kate Moss.

He has rubbed shoulders in the kitchen with some of the leading stars in British cookery today including Jason Atherton, Mark Sargeant and award-winning baker, Dan Lepard.

But after five years of London living, a trip home to his native Northumberland persuaded Kelvin to swap the cement and glass of city life for the beaches and castles of England’s most northerly county.

Father-of-two Kelvin is excited to be taking the helm of The Hog’s Head Inn kitchen.

He said: “'It's been a while since I've worked in a pub type operation and certainly never in a pub of the size of The Hog's Head Inn, but I'm relishing the challenge and look forward to the chance for more people to sample my cooking.

"The Inn Collection Group, who own The Hog’s Head Inn, who are a really progressive company. They give you the opportunity to have autonomy and put a personal stamp on things.

“There is a lovely atmosphere at The Hog’s Head Inn and I’m looking forward to working with the team in the kitchen to drive the food offer here.

“I thrive in the kitchen and enjoy teaching people as well. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some amazingly talented chefs and learnt a lot of techniques from them. Now, I have the opportunity to pass my knowledge and skills on to the kitchen team here to further both my own and their careers."

Kelvin will be bringing in a new menu to The Hog’s Head Inn which he describes as being ‘pub food and a little bit more’.

“I don’t have a particular cooking style as such. I just enjoy cooking and like people to enjoy what I make. I want people to be able to eat their way around the world in one building – a one stop eating house, if you like, where someone can come in for fish and chips, but someone else in the party can have a decent curry.

“We will always do the pub classics because that’s the backbone of the business, but there will be some different things. When people have confidence in your cooking style they are happy to give something they normally wouldn’t have a try. I want people to try new things.”

A sneak preview of those ‘new things’ includes Korean Pork Stir Fry and Chilli Fried Squid with Asian Slaw and a Piri Piri Spiced Chicken Burger.

An advocate of local produce, Kelvin is looking forward to bringing more local flavours and producers to the table.

“I like trying to use as much locally sourced produce as possible. I’m a big believer in using local stuff where possible and that’s something I want to be able to do here and we’re looking at bringing in more local dairy produce, game – when in season and local fish.”

New head chef Neil joins The King's Head Inn team

Neil joins the kitchen team at The King's Head Inn Newton under Roseberry

Acclaimed chef Neil Stephen has joined the award-winning team at The King’s Head Inn in Newton under Roseberry. 

Neil, who has over 20 years experience, has worked in critically acclaimed kitchens including Saltburn’s Spa Hotel and The Victoria as well as the AA rosette garlanded Grinkle Park near Whitby.

Living close to the sea at Skelton, it will come as no surprise that Neil is passionate about seafood, which, he says will feature strongly on The King’s Head Inn’s new summer menu, when it launches in July.

Said Neil: “I’m a great believer in keeping things simple, using fresh local ingredients and letting the flavours speak for themselves. I’d describe my cooking style as being British cuisine, but with Mediterranean and Asian influences.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the team to put in place a zinging summer menu, which still has the good, wholesome pub classics the King’s Head Inn is known and loved for, but has some sunny additions like Greek Salad, couscous salads and some fusion Asian flavours for a further added twist, like our new Thai Fishcakes.

Neil, who lives in Skelton, said: “I’m really inspired by the coast and countryside around where I live. There’s so much on the doorstep. I can walk on the beach yet be in the moors in just a short drive and I want to be able to bring those influences into the kitchen for our customers to enjoy.”

Welly Walkers put best foot forward for RNLI

Staff at The Seaton Lane Inn put their best foot forward - together - to raise over £300 to fund kit for The Royal National Lifeboat Institute’s volunteer crew members. 

Taking inspiration from the kit they were fundraising for, The Seaton Lane Inn’s Debbie Brown, Joanne Curtis, Keeley Mathewson and chef Jennifer Malkin wore their wellington boots for a three-mile, three-legged welly walk from the inn on Seaton Lane to the George Elmy lifeboat at East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre. 

Debbie Brown of The Seaton Lane Inn said: “It was surprisingly hard work - the last time any of us had done three-legged walking was in the school ground! But we had a laugh and it was amazing to know we’ve raised so much money for the RNLI and the fantastic work it does to save lives at sea. As we are such a short distance from Durham’s heritage coast, we felt it was important to do our bit to raise funds for such a relevant charity.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported us in our walk - and to the staff at Seaham Marina and East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre who gave us such a warm welcome when we arrived.” 
As well as raising funds through the welly walk, The Seaton Lane Inn has become a ‘Betty’s Jar’ pick up and drop off point, where customers can pick up small recycled jars called Betty’s 5p pots to fill with loose change and return these to the inns to be emptied, helping towards the cause.

The RNLI’s community fundraising manager for the North East Gill King said: Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. We are thrilled that The Seaton Lane Inn is helping to raise money for the RNLI and thank them for their support.”


The Inn Collection Group gives it some welly for The RNLI

The Inn Collection Group is supporting The RNLI

The Inn Collection Group is helping to raise funds that will buy vital kit for RNLI volunteer crews by supporting the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign across its inns.

The inn’s seven inns span the North East coastline or are close to inland waterways, like Durham city’s The Kingslodge Inn and are getting behind the charity with sponsored events, pop up RNLI shops and acting as ‘Betty’s Jar’ pick up and drop off points, where customers can take small recycled jars called Betty’s 5p pots to fill with loose change to help towards the cause.

A vital piece of kit the inns are fundraising for are yellow wellies. And staff at The Seaton Lane Inn are taking inspiration from this by taking part in a three-legged welly race. 

Duos from the inn will hop, skip and jump the three-miles from the inn on Seaton Lane to Seaham’s Lifeboat Museum wearing their welly boots on Saturday June 10. 

Debbie Brown of The Seaton Lane Inn said: “We jumped at the chance to support the RNLI and the fantastic work it does to save lives at sea. As we are such a short distance from Durham’s heritage coast, we felt it was important to do our bit to raise funds for such a relevant charity – and have a laugh at the same time.”

Debbie will be leading the three-legged teams from The Seaton Lane Inn as they make their way to Seaham Lifeboat at East Durham and Coastal Heritage centre. 

Both The Seaton Lane Inn and The Kingslodge Inn have become ‘Betty’s Jar’ pick up and drop off points, where customers can pick up small recycled jars called Betty’s 5p pots to fill with loose change and return these to the inns to be emptied, helping towards the cause.

Leanne Jeffrey, general manager at The Kingslodge Inn said: “The RNLI is an excellent charity and we are proud to be able to support them with the Betty’s jars campaign. We’re recycling and relabeling our own jam jars for the cause so they become mini-collection pots that are helping to save lives.”

Sean Donkin, operations director at The Inn Collection Group said: “We are delighted to be supporting The RNLI across our pubs which are all close to the coast and waterways. The RNLI does a superb and courageous job to save lives at sea and we hope to be able to help raise funds that will provide vital kit for their crew men and women.” 

The RNLI’s community fundraising manager for the North East Gill King said: Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. We are thrilled that The Inn Collection Group is helping to raise money for the RNLI and thank them for their support."

Other Inn Collection Group pubs supporting The RNLI include Northumberland-based The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick and The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth and The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry. 



The Commissioners Quay Inn wins Prestigious Property Award

The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth

The Commissioners Quay Inn in Blyth has won Commercial Development of the Year at last week’s prestigious Insider Media Property Awards ceremony.

The Insider North East Property Awards 2017 celebrate the remarkable achievements of the region's developments. Following the establishment of eight regional property awards dinners in the UK’s biggest cities outside of London over the last 20 years, the North East Property Awards 2017 recognize the most successful companies and projects over the previous 12 months.

The Commissioners Quay Inn was developed on the waterfront at Blyth to create a leisure venue for people to enjoy. The judges felt this was a true place-making development, turning a derelict site in an area of social deprivation into a space that the community can be proud. They also concluded that there was significant risk in this development that required strong leadership and decision-making.

The Commissioners Quay Inn was developed by Arch, and is operated by The Inn Collection Group. The jewel in the crown of Blyth’s impressive harbour development, the sleek Inn makes the most of every inch of its water’s edge location. Overlooking the River Blyth towards the sea, this vibrant and welcoming venue provides home made food and drink as well as providing much-needed bed and breakfast accommodation facility for tourists and corporate visitors to Blyth. A destination in its own right, The Commissioners Quay Inn really is the place to eat, drink, sleep and explore from.

Jacqui Kell, chief executive of Arch said: “Congratulations must go to the whole team that were involved in the development of the building for their vision and commitment in making The Commissioners Quay Inn the outstanding success it is today and a facility for Blyth and the surrounding community to be proud of. The facilities are second to none and as the second phase in the regeneration of the quayside area we are setting the quality bar extremely high. I am delighted that The Commissioners Quay Inn has won this.”

Keith Liddell, The Inn Collection Group chief executive said: We are absolutely delighted that The Commissioners Quay Inn has lifted the title for such a prestigious award. The service we provide to residents and visitors are first class, but to be able to say we are doing this from an award-winning building is even more special”. 

Daniel steps up to take ‘quay’ role at Blyth inn helm

Daniel Evans general manager of new pub with rooms in Northumberland The Commissioners Quay Inn

Northumberland’s newest pub The Commissioners Quay Inn has appointed Daniel Evans as its new general manager.

Daniel has stepped up to take the helm of the £4.5m waterfront pub with rooms at Blyth, where he has been assistant manager since its July opening.

Daniel, who hails from Blyth, brings a wealth of customer service, event management and hospitality experience to The Commissioners Quay Inn, which is part of multi-award winning hospitality operators The Inn Collection Group’s estate.

The Inn Collection Group operations director Sean Donkin said: “We are delighted that Daniel has risen through the ranks with the Group to become general manager at The Commissioners Quay Inn. Daniel impressed with his proven track record for implementing strategic business initiatives and with his inbuilt enthusiasm for the role.

“The Inn Collection Group prides itself on delivering a tremendous experience for all our customers, whether they are dining or staying with us and Daniel shares our customer-first vision.

“The Commissioners Quay Inn has enjoyed unprecedented performance in its first three quarters’ trading. We are confident Daniel will build upon this and take the inn towards further growth and exceptional customer service in its exciting new chapter.

Father-of-three Daniel said: “I am very proud to be stepping into the lead at The Commissioners Quay Inn. One of our most powerful assets is our people. Continued investment in staff training, confidence and progression is key for me, and I am looking forward to working with our 60-strong team to bring about further staff training, up skilling and development.

“My team are an integral part in how we deliver on customer expectation, so everyone who walks through our doors - whether they are eating, drinking or staying with us - enjoys a totally individualised experience and returns and recommends us.”

The 40-bedroom Commissioners Quay Inn, located on redeveloped land along Blyth’s Quay Road, is open 365 days a year, serving homemade food and drinks from breakfast through to 9pm.

The expanding Inn Collection Group, a finalist in the prestigious Publican Awards Best Accommodation Operator category, is the largest private bedroom provider in Northumberland with more than 200 bedrooms across its North East estate.

Its portfolio in Northumberland includes The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal and The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick. The estate includes The Seaton Lane Inn near Sunderland, The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry and The Kingslodge Inn in Durham city centre.

Built by Arch, The Northumberland Development Company, The Commissioners Quay Inn is spread across four floors with superb coastal views from its quayside location. It fills a proven gap in the market for quality and affordable accommodation in the area.





The Bamburgh Castle Inn staff become dementia friends

Staff from The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses have been learning how to make their inn more dementia friendly by taking part in special awareness raising sessions with The Alzheimer’s Society. 

Staff from the seaside inn took part in training to gain a better understanding of how dementia can affect people, so they can give a warm welcome to all customers, including people with dementia. 

General manager Nicola Austin said: “We give everyone who walks through our doors a very warm welcome, whether they are in a wheelchair, have hearing or sight impairments – or  people with dementia. 

“With the numbers of people living with dementia rising, it’s so important that our team understand what dementia is and how they can play a part in making a difference to people who are living with it. 

“We learned there are so many small things we can do that can make such a difference to people with dementia – and their carers and family members - to make them feel welcome and at ease. 

“Many of our staff, customers and their families have been touched by the effects of loved ones living with dementia and we want to do our bit to make sure each and every person who comes through our doors enjoys a warm welcome and excellent service.”

Helen Williams, Northumberland manager for The Alzheimer’s Society, led the session at The Bamburgh Castle Inn.

She said: “Nationally, we aim to have four million dementia friends by 2020, to raise awareness of the needs of people living with dementia. 

“Often when people are diagnosed, one of first things they stop doing is things they like to do, like going out to the pub and they retreat. 

“The aim of bringing this to businesses is that it makes them more aware of the needs of customers coming in, and people feel confident to still go out with their family and community, and it reduces feelings of isolation.

“People will know which pubs they can go into and be supported. The group at The Bamburgh Castle Inn were young and incredibly keen - they were able to say they were already supporting the needs of regular customers living with dementia.”

The Bamburgh Castle is the latest inn within the award-winning Inn Collection Group (ICG) to go through training as part of the group’s efforts to make each of its seven pub premises friendly, inclusive and accessible to everyone. 

The Inn Collection Group’s Operations Director Sean Donkin, said: “We already have plenty of visible accessibility facilities for people with different physical needs across our pubs. But we felt it was important to make sure we are trained and able to help people with dementia and those with accessibility needs you can’t see so easily, to make them feel welcome and at ease.”

The Inn Collection Group goes the extra mile to welcome walkers

Self guided walking breaks in Northumberland North of England with The Inn Collection Group Roseberry Topping beach coast sea

With hostelries in some of the country’s best walking bases, pub operator The Inn Collection Group is lacing up its boots to go a step further for walkers.

The Group has paired up with top self-guided walking publisher to offer a range of walking packages at a handpicked selection of its award-winning inns in picture-postcard locations.

The group’s new ‘Walk-Inn’ breaks include easy-to-follow, self-guided walks, key meals and accommodation in well-loved destinations like the Northumberland coast, Cheviot Hills, Cleveland and the North York Moors.

Great for walkers of all levels including families, relaxed ramblers and serious yompers, the breaks include Walking-Books’ self-guided packs, each containing 20 classic walks around your chosen pub.

Also included is a hearty, two-course dinner for you to walk off, plus a comfy room at the inn of your choice to bed down in and, of course, a full English breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead. Packages also include a welcome drink on arrival plus a picnic to enjoy while on the go.

Sean Donkin, operations director at The Inn Collection Group said: “We are proud to have pubs with rooms in some of the very best walking destinations in the country, with easy access to the Northumberland coast, Cheviot Hills, the North York Moors and more.

“ We have always attracted walkers thanks to our great locations and warm welcome. We wanted to go a step further to encourage people to come and experience the incredible coast, hill and countryside paths around our inns with inclusive breaks that also serve as walking guides helping them make the most of their stay.”

Walking Books director Mike Law said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with The Inn Collection Group and applaud their efforts to make walking accessible to as many people as possible. I hope that together we can inspire people of all walking abilities to head out and enjoy the fantastic scenery around their inns on foot.

“Walking Books guides are completely different to anything you will see in the shops. Our aim when deciding to publish our guides is to make them as user-friendly as possible so we decided on our concept of putting the walks on handy, durable, weather-proof walking cards with a unique combination of concise, easy-to-follow routes local information and professional mapping. To complete our pack we added a useful user guide and decided to provide a custom made map-case for the walking card which meant the walker had everything they needed for their walk on an A5 weather-proof card that could be carried conveniently around the neck or in a jacket pocket.”

The Inn Collection Group Walk-Inn breaks are available at the following Northumberland inns:

The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, the nearest mainland inn to Holy Island

The Bamburgh Castle Inn, which overlooks the harbour and Farne Islands in the fishing village of Seahouses

The Hog’s Head Inn, Alnwick, close to Alnwick Castle and Garden

The Commissioners Quay Inn, Blyth

And in Cleveland / North Yorkshire,The King’s Head Inn, Newton-under-Roseberry beneath iconic Roseberry Topping


  • A single night Walk-Inn break starts from less than £90 per person (based on two people sharing)

The Kingslodge Inn on Milbut’s front row for sponsor support

Inn Collection Group Six Nations Kingslodge Inn women rugby Milbut Durham University

As rugby fever grips with fans on tenterhooks wondering if England can clinch the Six Nations Grand Slam, The Kingslodge Inn has been proudly supporting The Durham University colleges Van Mildert and Josephine Butler’s Women’s Rugby Football Club, Combined Milbut as their shirt sponsor.

Flass Vale pub The Kingslodge Inn’s lions and logo graced the distinctive black, red and gold team shirts of the Combined Milbut players who have finished second in Durham University's Intra-University Premiership comprising of teams from all 16 of the University's colleges. 

General manager of The Kingslodge Inn on Waddington Street, Leanne Jeffrey said: “We would like to congratulate all the players, coaches and supporters of Milbut for a great league result. We jumped at the chance to become the shirt sponsors of Milbut and to be able to support such a great team of sportswomen and their connections.

“They have had a phenomenal season which is testament to their hard work training and some gutsy performances on the pitch. Well done ladies! We look forward to welcoming you into The Kingslodge Inn for some well deserved celebratory drinks soon!” 

Claudia MacDonald, corporate and social secretary of Combined Milbut said: “We have absolutely loved having The Kingslodge Inn as our sponsor, the additional investment in the team has allowed us to increase our professionalism, and improve our facilities for training. 

“Milbut only lost one game and completed the season in second place in the league and were winners of the Floodlit Cup. Five of our first-years, who had previously never played rugby before, have also progressed through to University level, an achievement we are very proud of.

“We hope that Milbut will continue to provide a stepping stone into higher level rugby, and an environment within which players can be introduced to the fantastic game of rugby, and given the right support to develop as a player. 

“We cannot thank The Kingslodge enough for their support of our team and hope this will continue next season."

Granny Knows Best - The Inn Collection Group and Abbeyfield celebrate British Pie Week

British Pie Week The Kingslodge Inn Abbeyfield

Granny Knows Best
The Inn Collection Group and Abbeyfield celebrate British Pie Week

Grandma is said to always know best, and The Inn Collection Group is setting out to prove the adage with the launch of a competition to track down the perfect pie.

The Kingslodge Inn and The Seaton Lane Inn, both in County Durham, have teamed up with older people’s charity, The Abbeyfield Society, to hunt out the most traditional and imaginative recipes in celebration of British Pie Week taking place between March 6-12.

Grandparents, older people and Abbeyfield residents are being asked to play their part in the quest to search out the tastiest time-honoured and home-grown pie recipes.

From formulations unique to the North East to sweet and savoury classics, it is hoped the over-65s will get behind what promises to be a delicious celebration of culinary know-how and British food heritage, that’s also set to raise funds for the national Abbeyfield charity.

The star recipe as judged by The Kingslodge and The Seaton Lane’s expert team of chefs, will not only be championed as a British Pie Week special on both the inns’ home-cooked menus, but see money raised from sales going direct to Abbeyfield to help support its work to ease loneliness in older people.

The victor will win a three-course meal for two at either The Kingslodge Inn in historic Durham City or The Seaton Lane Inn in the village of Seaton, just minutes from the county’s dramatic heritage coast.

The competition is part of a wider Granny Knows Best campaign being rolled out nationally by Abbeyfield, honouring the older generations’ culinary expertise and excellence.

The Kingslodge Inn general manager, Leanne Jeffrey, said: “When it comes to pies, it really is true that granny knows best. We’re hoping people will get in touch with us with recipes that will take diners back to the flavours and textures they remember from childhood.”

Paul Brown, general manager at The Seaton Lane Inn, added: “We’re looking for recipes for pies made the traditional way, using traditional techniques and ingredients – whether they’re sweet or savoury – and with that extra dollop of love that goes into a recipe that’s been passed down and eaten by generations.

“We’re looking forward to linking up with Abbeyfield for the project and we’re excited to see what our senior cooks come up with to share with diners.”

This will be the second time The Inn Collection Group – which owns The Kingslodge and The Seaton Lane – has joined forces to support Abbeyfield, after throwing  a free three-course festive meal to over 80 older people living alone, as part of the charity’s Companionship at Christmas campaign to bring food and friendship to isolated older people.

Abbeyfield’s divisional director for the north Teresa Parker said: “This is a fantastic chance to revive once-loved pie recipes, celebrate all that’s good about North East food and drink, bring people together, and get Abbeyfield residents and older members of our communities cooking and hopefully having lots of fun with family and friends.

 “Pies are as quintessentially British as fish and chips and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and we want to celebrate everything that is good about the sort of old-fashioned, homely cooking that has brought families together for generations.

“Even better, this competition won’t just raise awareness about our proud culinary heritage, but much needed funds for Abbeyfield so we can continue to ensure that people’s golden years are among the happiest of their lives.” 

Teresa added: “We’re delighted with the support we’re receiving from both The Kingslodge Inn and The Seaton Lane Inn, and their recognition of the input older people have in society. Projects like this help to get older people out into the community, which enriches their lives. It also reminds them that they are wanted and needed, and still have an important role to play.

“We’re looking forward to practising the recipes in our kitchens here at Abbeyfield before they are submitted – and of course feasting on the results.”

If you are aged 65 and over you can submit your pie recipe in person to either The Kingslodge Inn on Waddington Street, Durham or The Seaton Inn on Seaton Lane in Seaton; by email to or or by post, addressed to Leanne Jeffreys, The Kingslodge Inn, Waddington Street, Flass Vale, Durham City, DH1 4BG or Paul Brown, The Seaton Inn, Seaton Lane, Seaton, Co Durham SR7 0LP.

The closing date for entries is Thursday March 2.



The King's Head Inn backs veteran’s gruelling Everest-height climb of Topping for critically injured local girl

The Kings Head Inn Newton under Roseberry Maisie Welsh Roseberry Topping Chris Hames

The King’s Head Inn is backing a serving Army Captain who is set to climb iconic landmark Roseberry Topping 30 times in 24 hours – the equivalent to scaling Everest on February 25 and 26 - to raise funds for an 11-year-old girl critically injured in a riding accident.

The King’s Head Inn in Newton under Roseberry is providing round-the-clock refreshments and accommodation for Gulf war, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Capt Christopher Hames who is raising funds for local girl, Maisie Welsh. Maisie was left blind in one eye and sustained life-changing facial injuries following the accident three months ago and now needs years of painful, reconstructive facial surgery.

The challenge will see Chris take on a climb higher than Everest summit from its base camp as he ascends and descends the famous ‘Matterhorn of the North’. The challenge will take place over difficult, rocky terrain during night and day, covering a minimum of 56-miles and 17,010 feet of climb and descent. Everest summit from base camp is 11,377 feet. 

Admitting this will be one of the toughest physical challenges he has faced, Chris, 46, a serving officer with The Royal Army Physical Training Corps, said: “I’ve had some pretty epic challenges over my 29-years in the Army, but this will be up there as being one of the toughest. It will be worth every step to raise funds to support Maisie and her family who have had their lives turned upside down.

“Just days before the accident I saw Maisie play football with my daughter. It goes to show how quickly things can change for any of us. Everything has changed for her and her family and support is needed in so many ways. Maisie is fully aware of the extent of her injuries and with a huge amount of help is slowly coming to terms with them. She is a fighter but she still has to undergo so much throughout the rest of her life.”

The King’s Head Inn, part of The Inn Collection Group, will also be serving up a two-course special ‘Meals for Maisie’ throughout the weekend from Friday to Sunday night, with £1 from every special meal sold going to the Chris fundraising appeal. The pub is staging a raffle and will be running fundraising activities. 

General manager Chris Moor said: “As a father myself my heart goes out to Maisie and her family. We are in absolute awe of Chris’s challenge and are delighted to be able to support him and assist in raising much-needed funds for Maisie and her family at such a difficult time.

“We’re hoping for a great turnout of support from people to come and use us a base to cheer Chris on and to help raise as much money as we can for such a remarkable young lady as Maisie.”

Maisie’s father Adam Welsh said: “It’s a very special thing that Chris is doing for Maisie and we can’t thank him enough and to The King’s Head Inn for their support. It has been a very difficult time for our family and the fact that people are prepared to go to such lengths to support us is appreciated by us all.”

Chris’s 24-hour Moving Mountains for Maisie begins on Saturday February 25 at 1200 hrs from the gate to Roseberry Topping.  Meals for Maisie and fundraising activities will take place at The King’s Head Inn from Friday February 24 onwards.

·      Donations to the challenge can be made at