With Father’s Day approaching (21st June), why not ditch the traditional gift idea and treat your deserving dad or husband to something he’ll really love this year – a long weekend filled with wonderful scenic walks and real ale pubs. We’ve asked our friends at the Ramblers and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) for some great walks and even greater pubs, and with cottages nearby you can treat him to a fantastic weekend!
Explore the North East coast and country
Sleep: The Mistal, Glanton, Nr.Alnwick Ref: MNO – Located between the Cheviot Hills and the Northumberland coast, this grade II listed converted granary is perfect for walking and exploring the wonderful countryside. There are also some fabulous places to visit such as Alnwick Castle, museums, pretty harbours and fishing villages as well as activities locally available including cycling, golf, riding, gliding and fishing.
Price: £378 for three nights self catering arriving on the 19th June, sleeps six.
Walk: Embleton Bay, Northumberland. Distance: 7.5 miles Time: 3 hrs 30 mins The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle cast a melancholic spell over one of the emptiest, most beautiful stretches of the Northumberland coast. Start at the fishing harbour of Craster, where you can steel yourself for the walk ahead with a plate of locally smoked kipper, our route winds across Embleton Bay to reach Low Newton-by-the-Sea – a tiny cluster of stone fishermen’s houses overlooked by a coast-guard’s post.
Drink: King’s Arms, Deptford, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR4 6BU CAMRA Branch and Regional Pub of the Year for the last two years, the King’s Arms is a privately owned old-fashioned pub with an unspoilt interior. Nine handpumps offer an ever-changing range of beers from microbreweries from the North East and across the country, as well as real cider.
Mountain and Moors by foot
Sleep: Longbarn Cottage, Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire Ref: OWH – Nestled in rolling countryside, this converted stone barn is set within three acres of private land. The property adjoins one other, but benefits from its own fabulous decked area where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Activities available close by include fishing, riding, mountain biking and walking. There is also the quaint town of Llandeilo with its boutiques, restaurants and tea rooms and market towns just a drive away.
Price: £378 for three nights self catering arriving on the 19th June, sleeps four.
Walk: Pembrokeshire, Newport Distance: 9 miles Time: 4-5 hours. This West Wales walk is blessedly mud-free and magical in all seasons. Spring brings moor, meadow and woodland alive – spangled with flowers and buzzing with insects and birdsong. From the centre of the lovely seaside town of Newport climb the heathery mountain, Carn Ingli. Its rocky summit hides a tiny rabbit-nibbled lawn, the perfect spot to watch buzzards riding the wind and gaze from the Preseli mountains to the sea – a landscape marked by ancient stone circles and tombs of its first inhabitants. Then it’s a glorious stroll across open moorland, descending to the woodlands of the lonely Gwaun Valley. The walk returns to Newport via a different route over the mountain, through a network of ancient trackways sunk between stone walls and gnarled oaks. The hawthorn blazes red and the Irish sea is coloured gold in the dying sun as the lights of the town shine welcomingly below.
Drink: Tafarn John y Gwas, Drefech-Felindre, West Wales, SA44 5XG Originally a series of shops, this traditional village inn was built in the early 1800s. A locals’ pub, there is always a friendly welcome for tourists- and their pets. Two real ales are on offer in winter, three in summer. Home-cooked food is available until 9pm every day, with a roast on Sunday.
Take a ramble through the Valley of the Rocks
Sleep: Honeysuckle Cottage, Winkleigh, Devon Ref: RCHR111 Set in the heart of the Devon countryside, this pretty stone cottage is ideal for sampling the best of the region, including the Dartmoor National Park and the coast. With the villages of Dolton and Winkleigh close by, you can enjoy a gentle stroll around the shops or breathe in the countryside on one of the many walking routes.
Price: £314.77 for three nights self catering arriving on 19th June, sleeps five.
Walk: North Devon Distance: 4.25 miles Time: 1.30hrs A circular walk from the pretty coastal town of Lynton and using the spectacular coastal path to pass through the Valley of the Rocks an area marked by rock pinnacles weathered into bizarre shape and forms. A moderately easy cliff-top and hill walk but a little steep in places.
Drink: Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon, EX17 5AL Still riding high on the success of winning National CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2006, the pub attracts visitors from all over the country who come to witness the remarkable turnover of up to 22 ales at any one time. This 16th-century village inn always gives a warm welcome in the homely bar and spacious dining room.
Reach the peak of Pendle Hill
Sleep: Stone Cottage, Millom, Cumbria Ref: 18345 – Situated on the southwest peninsula, just five miles from Broughton-in-Furness, this terraced stone cottage is ideal for exploring the blue flag beaches with their wonderful walking opportunities. You can venture further afield to explore the wonders of Windermere, Coniston and Wastwater or enjoy bird watching, fishing or water sports locally.
Price: Was £235.77 NOW £204.72 for three nights self catering arriving on 19th June, sleeps four.
Walk: Pendle Hill, between Burnley and Clitheroe in northeast Lancashire. Distance: 6miles Time: 3hrs–3hrs 30mins Enjoy fantastic views over the Ribble Valley, Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, extending to the Lake District and Snowdonia in clear weather. The terrain includes good tracks, eroded moorland and field paths – some stepped in places with one strenuous ascent and descent.
Drink: Manor Arms, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6HY This is a friendly, family run traditional pub overlooking the village square. Six regularly changing guest ales come from far and wide, usually from microbreweries, often from locals. The bar area is covered in numerous certificates awarded over the years, including CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year. This is another of the magnificent seven pubs of the Broughton parish taking part in the Festival of Beer in November.
North Wales and Snowdon in all its Glory
Sleep: Lodge 34, Graig Park, Dyserth, Nr. Prestatyn Ref: W41807 Set in a wonderful country club close to the coastal town of Prestatyn, this wooden lodge is ideal for a long weekend. With Snowdonia and the coast on your doorstep, there are plenty of walks to enjoy, as well as pubs, castles and shops all just a short drive away. There are also on site gym facilities including a large indoor pool, steam room as well as Sky and Setanta Sports.
Price: £299.77 for three nights self catering arriving on 19th June, sleeps four.
Walk: Beddgelert, Snowdonia, North Wales Distance: 10miles Time: 5-6hrs Aberglasyn Pass, Llyn Dinas lake and views of Snowdon. Enjoy the ruins of a Dark Age fortress and the Welsh Highland Railway. The rhododendrons may be a perennial pest hereabouts, but they look spectacular in early summer (May–June). There are clearly defined paths along stony riversides, through woodland and over some exposed hillsides which can get boggy and muddy in places, with sections over rock that may be slippery if wet.
Drink: Blue Bell, Halkyn, North-East Wales, CH8 8DL Situated on Halkyn Mountain with spectacular views, this pub is a focal point for community activities including organised walks, games nights and Welsh classes. The house beer brewed by Facer’s is accompanied by two guest beers usually from small independent breweries.