There’s only one thing better than a pub that serves award-winning food and drink – a hostelry that comes with a stunning view on the side.
With pubs once again open – albeit with some restrictions still in place – it’s time to get out and support the region’s hospitality providers.
And when we say out, we mean out.
We’ve all spent too long sat inside since the beginning of the year, and with the weather improving and the longest day still to come, it’s time to make the best of the great outdoors in all ways – not least when it comes to treating ourselves to a well-earned pint or plate of food with friends and family.
Here are just a few of North East watering holes which boast a stunning view:
The Ship, Low Newton By the Sea, Northumberland
This whitewashed pub stands at the head of Low Newton’s large open ended village green, which is bordered by attractive former fishermen’s cottages.
But it’s the view over one of Northumberland’s most tranquil and attractive beaches stretching all the way from Embleton Bay and the iconic ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle, that takes your breath away.
As you might expect, fresh local seafood served with seasonal vegetables is a mainstay of the pub’s simple but well-cooked menu. The beer, with wonderful names like Dolly Day Dream, Red Rye and Sand Castles at Dawn, comes from the pub’s own Ship Inn Brewery.
The Jolly Fisherman, Craster, Northumberland
Combining striking sea and harbour views with home cooked food and real ales, this historic pub with its stone flagged floors and low beamed ceilings offers everything from fresh catches of the day (the pub is well known for its crab soup served with sourdough bread) to rib eye steak and confit duck.
Muddy boots and dogs are welcome, and if you don’t fancy food there are plenty of real ales to enjoy in what must be one of the most gorgeous beer gardens in Northumberland with its sweeping views over the North Sea towards the romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.
The Rat Inn, Anick, Northumberland
Atop a steep hill overlooking Hexham in the hamlet of Anick, stands The Rat Inn.
A former 18th century drovers’ inn affectionately known as just ‘The Rat’, you will find an ivy clad exterior, flagstone floors, wooden beams, tankards lined up neatly on shelves, log fires in the colder months, chamber pots hanging from the ceiling, and scrubbed pine tables.
The terraced beer garden is just as impressive with its sweeping views across the Tyne Valley and the river. The perfect place to enjoy a drink or al fresco meal now the warmer months have arrived.
King Arms, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland
Another seafront pub – but again set on a stunning stretch of North East coastline with views to match.
Standing on a cliff overlooking Seaton Sluice Harbour, on a clear day you can see for miles along the coast from the sheltered beer garden of this traditional white washed pub that is proud to boast it doesn’t have a TV, jukebox or fruit machines.
If you’re lucky you might spot a pod of dolphins whilst supping on your pint.
Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
If it’s a great city location you’re after, then The Bridge Hotel on Castle Garth in the centre of Newcastle, ticks all the boxes.
Only a few minutes’ walk from both Grey Street and the Quayside and next door to the Castle Keep and High Level Bridge, the pub offers a bird’s view across the River Tyne from both inside and out on the terrace.
By the River Brew Company, Gateshead
This independent container settlement beneath the Tyne Bridge on the Gateshead side of the river, is home to the acclaimed Trakol restaurant, a street food market, and the Brewery and Tap microbrewery and taproom.
It offers broad views up and down the river of not just the bridges but the Newcastle skyline and Quayside. A perfect backdrop to enjoy an al fresco meal or drink on a warm summer’s evening.
Sand Dancer, South Shields
This pub (the name derives from the colloquialism used to describe those born and raised in South Shields) overlooks Sandhaven, a long stretch of golden beach lined with impressive dunes.
From the terrace you can enjoy the all-encompassing sea view from Tynemouth on the north side of the Tyne estuary to Trow Rocks, or even a late summer sunset.
The Rose and Crown, Romaldkirk, County Durham
This is the perfect country pub. Standing tall and proud next to a Saxon church, this 18th century coaching inn overlooking a village green is set amidst the stunning countryside of Teesdale, where the Durham and Yorkshire dales meet.
The outdoor seating area is the perfect place to enjoy a local real ale or plate of award-winning food after a countryside walk, or to sit and soak up the atmosphere of the picturesque village of Romaldkirk.
Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, County Durham
Nestled on the Northumberland/Durham border, the Lord Crewe Arms has a picture postcard position in the village of Blanchland, and can trace its roots back to the 12th century when it was the guest house for the local abbey.
The inside is full of history with quirky corners and a barrel vaulted bar, but it’s the sheltered outdoor beer garden on what was once the site of the cloisters of Blanchland Abbey, that’s the real delight on a sunny day. From here you can savour an all-around view of the surrounding moors and rolling fields, listen to the birdsong, and perhaps even spot a red squirrel darting up a nearby tree.
King’s Head, Newton under Roseberry, Great Ayton
The King’s Head is sat right at the foot of the iconic Roseberry Topping in the picture postcard village of Newton under Roseberry.
Surrounded by peaceful countryside, dog friendly walks and forests, there are real ales – including guest hand pulls on rotation – as well as bottled craft beers and a varied menu of honest pub food, to be enjoyed in the beer garden under the watchful gaze of the Matterhorn of Cleveland.