The Rose & Crown Pub with rooms in Barnard Castle, Co. Durham

Prices from:
£115 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Teesdale treasure in idyllic village
  • Classic inn; views of green & church
  • Rustic charm; beams, stone, log fires,
  • Menu has genuine local flavour
  • Rooms: comfortable and modern
  • Inn rooms ooze period detail

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelit

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Overview

The Rose & Crown Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 9EB

The personal touch

The three-storey, creeper-covered Rose & Crown in Romaldkirk holds a commanding position in the centre of the historic village, as it has done since the 18th century, standing right by the village green and 12th-century church of St Romald. There’s a rugged charm to the place, with its narrow passages, beams and stone walls, with logs sparking in the fireplace in the bar, and a touch of refinement in the lounges and oak-panelled restaurant. Cheryl and Thomas Robinson also own the grand Headlam Hall further down Teesdale, and, here in Romaldkirk, they’ve managed to inject high standards of hospitality and service while maintaining the essence of a village inn. The menu is as rooted in the environment as the pub itself, with a genuine local flavour, and a skilled chef at the stove. Wooden bench tables out front are the perfect place to perch and plan your day, with a pot of tea or a pint of Black Sheep to hand, or head into the safety of the main lounge with its wood-burning stove if the weather isn’t up to snuff.

Sticky fingers

A children’s menu will satisfy young appetites, with under-sevens permitted in the bar and dining room up until eight in the evening. When staying over, the three suites have sofa beds that suit family groups, and there are DVD players should a movie be in order.

Muddy paws

Non-muddy dogs on leads are welcome inside the inn, and there are facilities for washing down and drying resident canines (at no charge). Even the doggy treats are made locally.

Alfresco

The gravelled terrace out front has a few tables and gets the sun for most of the day; a fine position for eating, drinking and watching the world go by.

What’s the Damage?
14 doubles/twins/suites £115-£205

What Else?

  • All major credit cards taken
  • Private dining facilities
  • Disabled access to restaurant and some bedroomsParking

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Waitrose Good Food Guide; Michelin

Sleep

The Rose & Crown Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 9EB

Do not disturb

When it comes to staying the night, it’s true to say the Rose & Crown has something for everyone. There’s a genuine mix of styles on show, but every room is comfortable and tasteful, with bespoke furniture and local artworks on the walls. In the main pub building, the rooms are on the first and second floors, with the top floor providing suite-type spaces with the added appeal of views over the village. Expect some quirky features, old beams and, in one case, a superb en suite bathroom where anyone over six feet will have to proceed with caution. Behind the inn is Monk’s Cottage, a pretty 17-century building with views over the green and Saxon church, with flexible rooms spaces with separate sitting rooms, study areas, boot room and a small galley (an honesty bar ups the ante). Finally, there’s the single-storey Courtyard, with its contemporary-styled rooms and private patios.

Creature comforts

Molton Brown toiletries; bathrobes.

Gadgets

Free Wi-Fi; flatscreen TV; Bose radios.

What’s for Breakfast?

Full English; smoked haddock; Continental breakfast with homemade preserves.

What’s the Damage?
14 doubles/twins/suites £115-£205

What Else?

  • All major credit cards taken
  • Private dining facilities
  • Disabled access to restaurant and some bedroomsParking

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Waitrose Good Food Guide; Michelin

Eat & Drink

The Rose & Crown Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 9EB

Mastering the menu

Head chef Dave Hunter used to run the show at the Robinsons’ posh country hotel (Headlam Hall) and these days he’s turning on the style in the kitchen of the Rose & Crown. He’s still making use of Headlam’s wonderful kitchen garden, and just about everything else is sourced from favoured local suppliers. Once you’re over the threshold, you’ll find a real fire and a happy hum in the traditional bar, or seek out the more relaxed charms of the main lounge area (with its wood-burning stove), but, when it comes to eating, the oak-panelled dining room is hard to beat, with its period character and smartly laid tables. The well put together menu includes seasonal picks of local trout and game from local estates, and even the simpler stuff such as sandwiches and fish and chips are done really well (the fish shipped in from Hartlepool quay). Scottish smoked salmon with brown shrimps, fennel salad and lemon dressing is a simple and effective first course, followed by seared fillet of sea bass with herb crushed potatoes, beer-battered king prawns and toasted almonds, dressed with a fish velouté, or a meat feast of caramelised pork tenderloin with slow-cooked pork belly and grilled pork sausage (served with dauphinois potatoes, Savoy cabbage and mustard cream). The comforting desserts and an array of local cheeses show the same attention to detail, and Sunday lunches bring in the crowds. In the morning, you may well catch a glimpse of Cheryl Robinson in her whites preparing breakfast and baking.

On the menu

Chicken liver parfait with bacon jam, carrot and watercress
Baked cod with pea ragu, mussel, leek and lemon cream
Beef sirloin, triple-cooked chips and rosemary jus
Lemon pannacotta with orange and pistachio
Raspberry Bakewell tart with crème anglaise

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.00pm

Local, local, local

Real ales – Black Sheep Brewery, Masham (www.blacksheepbrewery.com) / Thwaites Brewery, Blackburn (www.thwaitesbeers.co.uk)
Wine – Bon Coeur Fine Wines, Masham (www.bcfw.co.uk)
Soft drinks – Fentimans, Hexham (www.fentimans.com)
Meat – Joe Simpsons Butchers, Bishop Auckland (www.joesimpsonsbutchers.co.uk)
Seafood – Hodgson Fish, Hartlepool (www.hodgsonfish.co.uk)
Cheese – Cotherstone Cheese, Cotherstone (www.cheese.com/cotherstone) / Leaside Cheesemakers, Lower Teesdale (www.leasidcheesemakers.co.uk)
Ice cream – Archers Jersey Ice Cream, Walworth Gate (www.archersjerseyicecream.com)

Behind the bar

Black Sheep Bitter and Wainwright from Thwaites are the mainstays at the pumps, two of the big guns in this part of the country, with seasonal support from the like of White Boar from the Village Brewer. Wines come from Bon Coeur Fine Wines in Masham, another local favourite, with a list that has decent global coverage and includes lots of interesting bottles from smaller independent growers; there’s always at least nine by the glass. A goodly range of Scottish malts and some small batch spirits (Durham Gin, for example) all add to the mix. Fentimans – established in 1905 in Hexham – is a local company that has had national success in recent years, and here you’ll find their proper ginger beer, dandelion and burdock, lemonade, and a mixer range to give your Durham G&T zing.

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
14 doubles/twins/suites £115-£205

What Else?

  • All major credit cards taken
  • Private dining facilities
  • Disabled access to restaurant and some bedroomsParking

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Waitrose Good Food Guide; Michelin

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Rose & Crown

2

Cross Lanes Organic Farm, Barnard Castle DL12 9SL

Located just off the A66 on the outskirts of Barnard Castle, Cross Lanes Farm comprises of an organic cafe-restaurant with a farm shop and deli that supports artisan producers, and includes an in-house butchers, deli, bakery, general store and local crafts. Organic, local and green thinking is at the heart of the business, and grass-fed Shorthorn beef and rare breed pork on sale in the butchers is reared on the farm.

3

The Crown, Mickleton DL12 0JZ

Just a couple of miles up the road or via the old railway track, now a good footpath, The Crown, a village local, has been refurbished to mix old world charm with contemporary flair. Enjoy good beer and food a cut above the ordinary.

5

Dropswell Farm Cured Meats, Trimdon Village TS29 6NL

A great all round farm shop and café with its own speciality cured meats, including smoked meats from their own smokehouse, plus hand-made pies and a range of top-notch produce sourced from farms across the region.

6

Eggleston Hall Gardens Cafe, Eggleston DL12 0AG

Just across the Tees is the classical Georgian country house; although not open to the public, the walled gardens are open to visitors throughout the year. Both the Coach House cafe and tea shop, which offers tasty brunch and lunch dishes, prepared from local produce, and scones and homemade cakes for afternoon tea, and the Garden Room gift shop are open daily from March until Christmas.

7

Leaside Cheesemakers, West Leaside Farm, Hilton DL2 3JB

Artisan Teesdale Blue and White Hilton semi-soft cheeses are made on this small farm about 12 miles away from Romaldkirk. They can be bought from the the farmers' market, Peats Deil and Cross Lanes Farm Shop in Barnard Castle.

8

Headlam Hall, Headlam, Gainford DL2 3HA

The home of the Robinson family, this very fine building set in lovely grounds was the their original farm house. It now offers special rooms, a restaurant, a spa and a nine-hole golf course. As guests of the Rose & Crown you would be made very welcome.

10

The Fox Hole, Piercebridge DL2 3SJ

Back down Teesdale, the Fox Hole is now a contemporary 'pub & kitchen' with open fires, an elegant dining room and a gorgeous alfresco dining terrace. It is lively and the rustic-smart bar and elegant dining room ooze atmosphere. Expect to find local hand-pulled ales and interesting modern pub food, including sharing platters, scotch eggs, Sunday roasts, and cakes for afternoon tea.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Rose & Crown

Activities

3

Raygill Equestrian Centre, Lartington DL12 9DG

If you fancy the idea of an exhilarating trek in the beautiful limestone country of Teesdale, the welcoming staff at Raygill Farm, near Barnard Castle, will work out a programme to suit your schedule and requirements.

4

Teesdale Sailing Club, Barnard Castle DL12 0PW

Hire a boat at Grassholme Reservoir in the glorious heart of Teesdale and spend a few hours savouring the enjoyment of a trip on the water. Alternatively, sail with a boat-owning club member and share the fun.

Shopping

11

Durham Dales Centre, Stanhope DL13 2FJ

At the Durham Dales Centre, a few miles north of Romaldkirk, in the Weardale village of Stanhope, you'll discover a striking mix of gift shops and craft galleries. Shop for jewellery, clothing, cards and more.

12

Thorpe Farm, Greta Bridge DL12 9TY

Located at Greta Bridge, near Barnard Castle, Thorpe Farm is the place to visit if you like browsing in farm shops and are easily tempted by their many delicious products. Here, you'll find an extensive range of local produce and gourmet goodies, and there's a coffee shop just next door.

14

Zara Countrywear, Barnard Castle DL12 8NB

Located in Barnard Castle, Zara Countrywear stocks a broad range of menswear and ladies fashion, as well as accessories and clothes for children. Designer labels include Toggi, Hunter and Stetson.

15

Oswell's, Barnard Castle DL12 8PQ

Situated in the centre of Barnard Castle, this stylish shop specialises in cards, stationery and gifts. If you love books, there are plenty here and it’s just the place to find that rare limited edition.

Places to visit

5

High Force, Middleton-in-Teesdale DL12 0XH

One of the North of England's great scenic attractions and located within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, High Force is a spectacular waterfall on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale. Turner came to High Force in 1816 to sketch the scene and looking at it today, timeless and unspoiled, you can understand why.

6

Moulton Hall, Moulton DL10 6QH

This elegant 17th-century manor house at Moulton, near Richmond, is famous for its beautiful carved staircase which rises in eight flights from the ground floor to the top of the building. Surrounded by 25 acres, legend suggests James I spent a night here on his way south from Scotland to claim the English throne. Moulton Hall is tenanted, so you'll need to make an appointment to see it.

7

Egglestone Abbey, Barnard Castle DL12 9TN

A collection of crumbling remains is all that is left of this 12th-century abbey, which is now administered by English Heritage. The riverside setting near Barnard Castle is delightful, so much so that Turner was inspired to capture the scene on canvas.

8

Raby Castle, Staindrop DL2 3AH

The seat of the Nevill family for two centuries, Raby Castle stands in magnificent parkland extending to nearly 300 acres, with several lakes, gardens and a deer park. Raby's octagonal drawing room is considered to be one of the finest Victorian drawing rooms in the country. Situated near the village of Staindrop, the castle is open to the public at Easter and between May and September.

9

Shildon National Railway Museum, Shildon DL4 1PQ

In the Great Hall at Shildon you can wallow in nostalgia, marvel at some of the biggest and best-known locomotives and encounter history-makers and record-breakers. The museum is based near Bishop Auckland.

10

Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle DL12 8NP

If you don't know the area, it might come as something of a surprise to find this French-style château on the outskirts of Barnard Castle. John Bowes, son of the 10th Earl of Strathmore, built it with the intention of turning it into a museum. Open daily, the museum contains collections of furniture, ceramics, clocks and a large display of French and Spanish paintings.

13

Durham DH1 3EH

A shopping trip to Durham is much more than just trudging around the shops spending money. Here you can seek out wonderful independent retailers, boutiques and quirky craft shops, all in the shadow of stunning Durham Cathedral and the city's many other great landmarks.

Walking

www.walkingbritain.co.uk
www.thisisdurham.com
www.teesdalediscovery.com
www.walkingindurham.co.uk
By a stroke of good fortune, the Rose and Crown is surrounded by some of Northern England’s most spectacular scenery. You’d have to make countless trips to Romaldkirk to cover every stunning mile of this unique landscape, dubbed ‘England’s Last Wilderness’. Teesdale and Weardale are obvious contenders for great walks and close to the inn is the route of the legendary Pennine Way, now an amazing 50 years old.

Cycling

www.cycle-route.com
www.woodnwheels.org.uk
North Pennines region is a cyclists’ paradise but you need to be pretty fit to complete some of the routes in this magnificent landscape. A popular haunt of cyclists is Hamsterley Forest, to the north-east of Romaldkirk. This is the largest man-made forest in County Durham, offering many miles of off-road trails and challenging tracks to cycle along. You can hire cycles locally.

Events

www.teesdalediscovery.com
www.thisisdurham.com
Throughout the year Teesdale hosts an assortment of established festivals and cultural activities. There are walks, talks, family fun days and exhibitions. The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle is a popular venue for many key events in the region’s social calendar. Elsewhere, there’s the Bishop Auckland Food Festival and the Durham International Festival, among many familiar fixtures.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Romaldkirk is on the B6277 4 miles up Teesdale from Barnard Castle, itself a couple of miles from the A66 and 14 miles Scotch Corner on the A1.

Address:

Romaldkirk,, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, DL12 9EB

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