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Stars, real ale and a fabulous pub in Dark Sky country.

Holly Bush Inn

Greenhaugh Hexham NE48 1PW 01434 240 391

We say

A proper little pub – the sign above the door says it all. The farming hamlet of Greenhaugh has one of the best-kept inns in the whole of Northumberland, a charming place of old stone walls, cosy rooms and a garden with glorious valley views. There's no TV signal and no mobile reception – do we hear cheering? – but there are three very nicely turned-out en-suite rooms in the pub itself (one above the bar, which closes at midnight – fair warning), four more in an adjoining cottage, and a rather flash and spacious one-bedroomed apartment five minutes' away with a vast first-floor lounge with more dramatic views. This is 'Dark Sky' country, so night-time star-gazing is pretty much compulsory, and you're just a short drive from Kielder Water and Forest. If the rooms get a lot of plaudits then so does the food – really good locally sourced posh pub grub, all lovely and local. Book ahead as it's not that big, though you can always just call in for a warm in front of the old black-leaded range and a pint of ale.

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