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A boutique church? It certainly is – and a serene B&B too.

St Cuthbert's House

192 Main Street North Sunderland Seahouses NE68 7UB 01665 720 456

We say

For a charming base on the coast at Seahouses, it's hard to beat St Cuthbert's House, a former Presbyterian church of 1810 brought back to life as an award-winning B&B. Owners Jill and Jeff restored the church premises while hanging on to much of the character in the building, so there are original pillars, wood panelling and lovely arched windows throughout, and a balcony view from the old pulpit down onto the impressive lounge and dining room. Guests have a choice of six rooms – two on the ground floor, four upstairs – in an understated, country-house style, all with handmade furniture and particularly nice bathrooms, plus dressing gowns, slippers and fancy toiletries. Breakfast is a high point, locally sourced and supplied, from the local butcher's bacon to a kedgeree made with Seahouses oak-smoked haddock. Their neighbour makes the marmalade and the honey is from their own bees. If you're getting the idea that it's nice and relaxed, you'd be right – you're invited to help yourself to drinks, pick up a book or chat to Jill and Jeff about the local attractions. The B&B is just a short walk from the harbour, for boats to the Farne Islands, or it's a 3-mile walk north to Bamburgh and its castle along gorgeous, windswept duned beaches.

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