Lord Crewe Arms

Blanchland, County Durham, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £214 per night

Lord Crewe Arms

Blanchland, County Durham, United Kingdom

An ancient, history-soaked coaching inn, holding court over a beautifully remote Pennine village

An ancient, history-soaked coaching inn, holding court over a beautifully remote Pennine village

Take the comfort of a country-house hotel, mix with the heartiness of a rural pub, deliver with a cool eye for design - and you’ve got the measure of this place. Commanding the centre of tiny Blanchland, a pin-neat estate village (think honeyed-stone cottages and hanging baskets), the Lord Crewe was originally the Abbot’s house of a 12th-century monastery. All thick walls, flagged floors and oversized fireplaces, it’s the sort of place where you take wrong turns and discover another staircase.

In the 21 bedrooms, the style is stripped-down but comfortable with lots of exposed stone and plain woods, battered leather and wool throws. Fires and candles burn throughout, enhancing the already atmospheric building. Most guests (including smart shooting parties in season) disappear all day to walk, cycle or explore Hadrian’s Wall, then return to skilfully cooked yet honest food (including spit-roast options at weekends), a good local pint and a blissfully quiet night’s sleep.


  • Ridiculously relaxed, but with a well-honed professionalism
  • Sister property to the famous Cotswolds' Calcot and Spa, yet very affordable
  • Rooms are generous in size, with luxe linens and Noble Isle toiletries
  • A choice of eating areas so you can go smart, casual, cosy or romantic; if you’re staying several nights, each dinner feels different
  • Friendly staff who all live locally and are great sources of advice and tips


  • Although it’s in a small village, few bedrooms have countryside views
  • You'll need a car to get here, and it's a 20-minute drive to shops
  • No mobile signal, not even outside
  • Some bedrooms are a little dingy and feel rather spartan in their décor

Best time to go

This is a place that inspires outdoorsy activities so spring and summer are good times; August is particularly fine for the moorland heathers. Autumn, however, is our favourite; the colours are fabulous and the morning and evening mists magical. It’s also prime shooting season, so book ahead.

Our top tips

  • Bring your walking boots or borrow hotel wellies for a walk along the river
  • Nobody does tea and cakes like the village’s White Monk Tearoom (in the former school)

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 21 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Fishing rods
  • Board games
  • Electric car charger


The 21 rooms are scattered between the main building, a handsome house (The Angel, formerly a pub) across the square, and a row of miners’ cottages. An assortment of shapes due to the nature of old buildings, each has a contemporary-rustic style: wooden floors, panelling, wool-padded headboards. Although stripped down to the point of plainness, there’s a sprinkling of quirky touches - an antler’s head, a telescope or a Baroque-style mirror - and many have beamed ceilings and deep window seats. Heathery colours and tartan patterns add softness.

The larger Canny and Champion rooms offer more space but the Cosy category by no means skimps, and all rooms have a bath or shower (most have both) and Noble Isle potions. The Suites are proper two-room affairs with private entrances and wood-burning stoves (though no views).

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • WiFi


There’s a modern British feel to the menus, with fresh produce from the kitchen garden and lots of hearty options - perfect after a day exploring the Pennines. Dishes are skilful but not fancy: pea, lovage and courgette soup with crusty bread; tender hogget with crispy potatoes and greens. Puddings are simple but tasty, perhaps Bakewell tart or a berry cheesecake.

Breakfast is just as good: help yourself to fresh pastries or toast your own crumpets, then pick and choose your hot option - all the usual Full English suspects are on the list. Brunch, lunch and afternoon tea are also available, and on Sundays they do a ‘sharing feast’ for the table which sounds delicious.

For most meals, you eat where you want. The Bishop’s Dining Room is light and rustic with huge arched windows. We preferred the cosy Derwent Bar with its low ceiling, slate-blue walls and flickering fire, and the medieval-style Hilyard Room with its gargantuan fireplace, spit roast and wrought-iron chandelier. In summer, the garden offers views down the Derwent Valley.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service


  • This is walking country, from serious hikes across the North Pennines to strolls around the Derwent Valley. A lovely walk follows the river banks direct from the hotel, and there are OS maps and a compass in each bedroom
  • Try your hand at fly-casting (rods to borrow) and hook a brown trout. The hotel can smoke it for you to take home
  • At Derwent Reservoir there’s windsurfing and sailing, and more fishing (novices can sign up for a ‘Try it Day’), plus picnic spots
  • The hotel has bicycles to borrow (free); for a tougher challenge, hire a mountain bike and tackle packhorse trails or the nearby C2C route
  • Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage Site, is 32km (20 miles) to the north, with a flurry of archaeological treasures including Chesters and Housesteads Roman forts and Vindolanda with its life-size wall recreation
  • For tea rooms, honey-coloured cottages and attractive shops (gift, vintage, kitchenware, fashion), Corbridge is a gentle day out; neighbouring Hexham has a twice-monthly farmers’ market and a handsome Norman abbey (lunchtime concerts plus a September music festival)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Windsurfing


Although not targeted at families, the hotel has a Family Suite plus baby cots and extra beds. There is no specific children's menu but the kitchens can prepare food for little'uns on request, and there are highchairs.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Suite has a double room and a twin room. Most bedrooms have a bath and shower and can fit either a baby cot or z-bed.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


On request.

Baby equipment:


Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

Baby monitors will not work through the thick stone walls.

Kid Friendly:


Lord Crewe Arms is set in the small village of Blanchland in the centre of northern England. It's half an hour from Newcastle and Sunderland.

By Air:
Fly into Newcastle or Teeside.

By Car:
It’s best to have a car here (you’ll be relying on taxis otherwise) - see our car rental recommendations. The hotel has a car park and an EV charging point.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to the UK and getting around


  • Newcastle 31.0 km NCL
  • Newcastle 55.0 km MME


  • Beach 55.0 km
  • Shops 15.0 km
  • Restaurant 15.0 km

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Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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