The Ancient Unicorn

UK England North East England County Durham Barnard Castle

01833 628 576   The Street, Bowes, Barnard Castle, Durham DL12 9HL

  • 17 Guest Rooms

  • Classic Coaching Inn

The Ancient Unicorn occupies what was once a Teesdale coaching inn less than four miles southwest of Barnard Castle, the County Durham market town. Close to the point where the A66 and A67 meet, the 14-room property is a short stroll from the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty. The Pennine Way’s Bowes Loop is accessible from The Ancient Unicorn, which offers seven bedrooms in the main building. Charles Dickens stayed at the inn while researching Nicholas Nickleby, whose Dotheboys Hall was inspired by Bowes Academy, then a private school. Across the cobbled courtyard that now provides parking more en-suite guestrooms stand within the inn’s converted stables and cottage. Dogs are welcome to stay in eight of the rooms with advance booking. The inn is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of the 18th century lovers whose story is told in The Bowes Ballad. Ask to stay in room four if you believe in ghostly goings on. The food prepared in the kitchen is dominated by hearty traditional British dishes. Pie, fish and chips and a mixed grill feature on the menu. Looking for something lighter? You may prefer to sink into a leather armchair for afternoon tea or cake in The Ancient Unicorn’s coffee shop. Warm yourself by the open fire after walking on chilly days. On sunny afternoons you have the option sitting outside at one of the wood tables in the long-used courtyard.



Open all year. 


Double rooms from £63 a night, breakfast not included. 


Contact Website  01833 628 576  The Ancient Unicorn, The Street, Bowes, Barnard Castle, Durham DL12 9HL

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