Having a comfortable place to rest is so needed after a day on the trail. After each length of our trek, we looked forward to a hot shower, a soft bed, and delicious breakfast. Each stop was a little different but they were all wonderful.
Our home in Whitley Bay was a beautiful Victorian-era terraced home, now the Metropolitan Guest House, steps away from the North Sea. It was also painted with one of my favorite Farrow & Ball colours, Hague Blue.
Paul made amazing breakfasts each morning as well. It was hard to leave when we were so comfortable there!
Wormald House B&B in Wylam is owned by Jayne and Ian, who purchase the property a month before the pandemic hit. Since they couldn’t rent out the rooms, they spent the lockdown redecorating the guest spaces and getting ready to welcome people back. They did an amazing job.
It was gorgeous and when Jayne learned we were interested in the history of the house, she brought out the original, handwritten deeds for us to see. The site was the birthplace of Timothy Hackworth, who eventually became a designer of steam locomotives. Indeed, Wylam is the home of Puffing Billy, a successful prototype used for hauling coal from local collieries. The current structure was owned by Joseph Wormald, an overseer at one of the coal mines.
In the hills of Northumberland is a stone field farmhouse is a delightful guesthouse and working farm. Carraw B&B is steps from the Hadrian’s Wall Path and was a joy to stay in. We had an upstairs room with beautiful old exposed rafters and a view to die for.
Following one of the more difficult hikes of the walk, we stayed at a real castle! So, most of it burned down in the 1950s, but our suite, and the restaurant of Blenkinsopp Castle Inn was beautifully restored. The innkeepers, Carol and Gary were kind and hilarious. Gary in particular loved to tease us about the werewolves that stalk the crags. Nancy, the restaurant manager, was the kindest, most welcoming person — and made an amazing gin cocktail.
The Scotch Arms Mews in Brampton is literally in a converted stables and mews. The lobby and lounge still have the old well and the original set of skeleton keys. The owner clearly has a very strong attention to detail, and she makes a delicious breakfast.
We stayed two nights at Lanleigh Guest House in downtown Carlisle. It was a converted Victorian home and reminded me of Henry Higgins’ house in My Fair Lady. Yvette and Norman couldn’t have been more gracious. Norman in particular always had a mischievous glint in his eye.
We ended out walk in Bowness-on-Solway. The Shore Gate House B&B sits right on the firth and overlooks a view to Scotland. It was originally a mill house dating back to the mid-1600s. The western end of the wall quite literally stopped on their front step. In fact, there is a small triangle about 2 square feet that is still “owned by the Crown.” The innkeepers Paul and Nicola were so welcoming and truly excited to share their picturesque home. And the view from our bedroom was unreal. Listening to the extreme tides was so relaxing. Watching the sun set over the firth from their back garden was the best place to celebrate our achievement.
Having such a comfortable place to stay after a long walk was so important to a great trip. Each place had its own character and charm that we will remember gratefully whenever we revisit our memories of this trip.