After weeks of seeing the nights draw in, it seems that winter - while still officially some way off - is very definitely trying to make its presence felt.
While we have enjoyed an unseasonably mild spell, the mornings now are usually dull, the dark seems to cut in as early as mid-afternoon and the cold is starting to gnaw at our bones. So with that cheery thought in mind we're, naturally, inclined to keep ourselves warm and cosy and the good news is that we don't have to stay in to do that - as there are plenty snuggly pubs around, some with a roaring fire which will be an added attraction in cold weather.
So, we're bringing you a reminder of our list of favourite fireplace pubs to curl up inside with a pint or a glass of wine. Some are in Newcastle city centre while others are further afield. If you don't live nearby then they're well worth venturing out to - why not combine a Sunday lunch visit with a bracing walk in the countryside?
Read more: 10 best pubs for food around Newcastle according to TripAdvisor
Once you take a seat in a deep and comfy armchair and tuck into a wholesome hearty meal, you'll have to drag yourself away. And you'll snort at the mere memory of summer.
Hunter's Road, Spital Tongues NE2 4NA, 0191 260 2895
Initially recommended by one of our readers, this pub, about a 15-minute walk from the city centre, is open seven days a week, serving sandwiches, lunch and dinner - wherever possible with local suppliers and ingredients.
And, adding to its welcoming, accessible nature, its kitchen is an open one so everyone that feels like they're sharing the experience.
The Cumberland Arms
James Place Street, Ouseburn, NE6 1LD, 0191 265 6151
The Cumberland Arms is a great traditional pub in the heart of the Ouseburn Valley. It has something for everyone – great beer, delicious food, a fantastic place for live music, comedy and theatre.
With its stained-glass windows, open fires and traditional back-room music nights, it is a popular haunt for all ages.
Of course, the pandemic brought an end to everyone's squashy cosiness but first the front bar was back open, with table service, and now events are happening again.
The pub has an open fire and has been known to thoughtfully provide “snugglepacks” (hot water bottle and blanket for a deposit) to help ward off the chill out in the beer garden. It’s also dog friendly and even has plans to host a dog show soon.
Pink Lane, Newcastle, NE1 5DW, O191 232 6478
This city centre pub, close to Central Station, was previously famous for hosting Victorian boxing matches and a nod to its former boxer landlord hangs on the wall of the bar which had a revamp not too long ago and also boasts a "super-cosy courtyard roof terrace".
It's still a laid back local - only with more colour - and has a roaring log fire and a relaxed atmosphere that makes you want to stay all day. As it said earlier this week: "Plenty of room for walk ins and we have the heating on so it’s nice and toasty!"
It serves freshly prepared pub food every day and The Forth also hosts DJ nights.
Street Houses, Ponteland, Newcastle, NE20 9BT, 01661 871037
This country pub and restaurant oozes rural charm and rustic character and is a great place to cosy up on a cold winter’s day. You can enjoy a spot by its roaring log-fire and choose dishes from its seasonal menu whilst enjoying a couple of drinks.
There are many public footpaths around the pub, so if you fancy walking off a Sunday lunch there’s plenty of routes to choose from including one that takes in the Pele Tower, a 14th Century fortified tower.
Lamesley, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE11 0ER, 0191 4876023
Set in the lovely conservation area of Lamesley Pastures and not far from Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, this is a traditional-style country pub which is ideal for a relaxing Sunday lunch by the fire or for meeting up with friends for a classic pub meal. The Ravensworth offers all the regular pub favourites as well as seasonal dishes.
There are several tranquil trails set out from the pub itself, taking in the unique medieval landscape including the atmospheric ruins of Ravensworth Castle and the abundant wildlife of the River Team.
Hartley Lane, Earsdon, Whitley Bay, NE25 0SZ, 0191 252 9352
The Beehive is a great country pub offering a range of food. It is close to the coast and in view of St Mary’s Island and it says that whether it’s a lazy Sunday lunch, a quick drink after work in its one acre secret garden, or watching the match with friends, the pub has it covered.
The Grade II-listed building was built in the 18th Century and became an inn in 1896 and despite a refurbishment, it still maintains its old charm and character with low beamed ceilings and snug dining areas.
It is also the perfect stopping place for dog owners, as the pub has dog treats available from the bar (and ask about its a separate dining room for dogs).
Station Road, Wylam, Northumberland, NE41 8HR, 01661 853431
Sitting opposite Wylam train station on the south-bank of the river Tyne, this has won a best pub in South West Northumberland.
It is a traditional pub, with low-beamed ceilings and a dark wood bar decorated with tankards, pump-clips, and paintings.
It serves traditional home-cooked ‘hearty’ food in its separate restaurant and specialises in around 12 real ales. The pub is just off the Newcastle-Hexham rail line, as well as the Keelman’s Way cycle route, so you can warm yourself in front of a heartening open fire during the cold winter nights.
North Road, Ponteland, NE20 9UH, 01661 822684
This historic pub goes back over 500 years and part of the pub is made up of the remains of Ponteland Castle. In 1935, experts uncovered an ancient tower a beautiful Tudor fireplace and many other ancient objects which, due to restorations, can still be found in the pub today. It’s a blend of old and new and is central to village life with a good mixture of customers.
The Blackbird’s food menu changes with the seasons and boasts country pub favourites combined with contemporary flair. Diners can choose to sit in the bar or the main dining and the pub is also very dog-friendly.
The Rat Inn
Anick, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4LN. 01434 602814
Set in the hamlet of Anick, The Rat overlooks the Tyne Valley and the market town of Hexham, and has spectacular views from its stunning terraced beer garden.
You can enjoy a drink or meal in its cosy bar while a cast iron range blazes away with a further log burning range at the opposite side of the room. The Rat is well known for its hearty and traditional locally-sourced food, hand pulled beers and welcoming atmosphere.
The Angel of Corbridge
Main Street, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5LA, 01434 632119
The Angel is a historic coaching inn built in 1726 in the beautiful countryside of Northumberland. Renowned for its use of local produce, it is a great gathering place for all day dining with Northumbrian traditions in its bar, lounge with a real log fire, barn restaurant, private dining room, and an Angelfish fish and chip takeaway.
As it reopened fully after the lifting of restrictions it noted: "Our hotel is also ready to welcome human guests, along with the four-legged ones."
The Keel Row
Foremans Row, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, NE25 0QG, 0191 237 0060
This lovely country pub has had a past recommendation from a reader who said it is ‘really cosy and we always get a lovely warm welcome from the staff and owner. It’s definitely one to try and it’s dog friendly too.’
The Keel Row is an award winning pub which is renowned for its home cooked food, as well as offering a full a la carte menu with dishes from around the world. There is a range of menus - including a gluten-free one - and diners can either eat in its large conservatory restaurant, or more casually in the bar area. There's also a function room.
The Plough Inn
Stamfordham Road, Eachwick, Northumberland, NE18 0BG, 01661 853555
The Plough Inn describes itself as a traditional pub with a modern twist and has come highly recommended by one Chronicle reader who praised it following a refurbishment for its “amazing food”. She also said it is very cosy and "a perfect place to stop for a drink!! Lovely warm atmosphere.”
The family run pub is located in the countryside on the outskirts of Newcastle and whether you are looking for a somewhere to enjoy a meal out, a refreshing drink or just a quiet coffee, The Plough Inn is a great place to visit.
The Feathers Inn
Hedley on the Hill, Stocksfield, NE43 7SW, 01661 843 607
This Northumberland pub is very popular and so it should be as it was named The Good Pub Guide’s County Dining Pub of the Year 2021 for the Northumbria region - havig previously won it a remarkable nine times in a row.
It was also named 2019 winner of the Good Food Guide North East Local Restaurant of The Year.
The Feathers Inn overlooks the Tyne Valley and was praised by one reader for its ‘amazing food and lovely warm welcome’. Its owners pride themselves on serving the very best food and ale in a warm, friendly and relaxed environment.
The Jolly Fisherman
9 Haven Hill, Craster, NE66 3TR, 01665 576461
Combining stunning sea and harbour views with home cooked food and real ales, this historic pub with its stone flagged floors and low beamed ceilings offers everything from fresh catches of the day (the pub became well known for its crab soup served with sourdough bread and its crab sarnies) to steak.
The Jolly Fisherman has tradition and character at its heart, and in the winter months, you can relax by one of its roaring open fires while enjoying a fireside pint.
The Red Lion Inn
22 Northumberland Street, Alnmouth, NE66 2RJ, 01665 830584
The Red Lion Inn is a traditional 18th Century coaching inn that’s a welcome retreat where you can stay over, eat great food, and drink some of the finest local beers.
Its owners pride themselves on its cosy and relaxed atmosphere and offer a genuinely warm Northumbrian welcome to all their guests. The inn serves locally produced food in its bar and restaurant and also provides bed and breakfast accommodation. It’s dog friendly too but dogs on leads are only allowed in the bar and beer garden.
The Kings Arms
The Harbour, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, NE26 4RD, 0191 237 0275
Overlooking the famous Seaton Sluice Harbour, “The Kings” is situated in a beautiful location on the Northumberland coast. It is a traditional pub which has recently been refurbished and customers can sit back, relax and enjoy a cosy atmosphere, real log fires and traditional home cooked food. One Chronicle reader asked: “What more do you want?”
The Snowy Owl, Cramlington
Blagdon Lane, Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 8AU, 01670 736111
The Snowy Owl in Cramlington is a country pub oozing rural charm and rustic character, situated on the site of Plessy North Moor Farm, which was originally part of the estate owned by the Ridley family of Blagdon Hall.
Its next door to Northumberlandia and its picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying its hearty, seasonal pub-food after a wintry walk, especially by its log fire.
The Anchor Inn
Whittonstall, County Durham, 01207 561110
The Anchor Inn is known for its warm welcome, fine food, character and charm and was praised by one Chronicle reader for its ‘great log burner and even better food.’
Originally built as a coach house in the 1700s, The Anchor Inn is a traditional pub with two bars and a large and spacious restaurant area, featuring traditional beams, natural stone walls and log burning stove.
South Causey Inn
Beamish Burn Road, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0LS, 01207 235 555
South Causey Inn is a friendly independent hotel situated in the beautiful Beamish Valley. Set in 100 acres, it is an adaptable venue for a host of different events from family get togethers to weddings. It offers an extensive menu and diners can enjoy a meal in South Causey Inn’s restaurant, and a relaxing drink in one of its four bars or its comfortable seating area next to a roaring log fire. For those of you with pets, you can take your dog into the bar and snug area.
The Pack Horse Inn
8 Market Place, Stanhope, County Durham, DL13 2UJ, 01388 528407
The Pack Horse Inn is a former 18th century coaching inn in Stanhope, in the centre of Weardale. It is a popular pit stop with cyclists as it is on the coast to coast route and during the summer months it is a wash with walkers, cyclists and day visitors.
In winter months the cosy open fire and multi fuel stove in the bar areas make it a perfect setting for enjoying a friendly drink, especially after a long walk in the nearby picturesque countryside.
Meldon, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3SL, 01670 772662
The Dyke Neuk Inn in the village of Meldon near Morpeth is a stone-built bed and breakfast offering great views of Northumberland.
With the nearby Bolam Lake and Wallington Hall attracting visitors from all over the country, the Dyke Neuk Inn is caters for all types of guests.
Visitors can enjoy home cooked traditional dishes and local ales in the bar, which is dog friendly, and in the winter months you can warm up by the fire.
Front Street, Earsdon, Whitley Bay, NE25 9JU, 0191 2532318
Located in Earsdon village, on the edge of Whitley Bay, the Red Lion is a great local village pub. It is popular with everyone, particularly families and one Chronicle reader said it’s the perfect wintry hideaway as you’re “always greeted by open fire in bar and lovely log fire in restaurant.”
The public bar is home to the pub’s sports facilities and attracts locals for a quality pint, whereas the separate lounge and dining area is perfect for families and passers by who can’t resist it pub food menu.
The Bay Horse
8-40 Fore Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7PE, 01388 609 765
This is one to keep an eye out for as there is scant online information about The Bay Horse in Bishop Auckland which has been well known for its friendly atmosphere and professional staff. ‘The Bay’ as it is fondly know to regulars, stands on historic Fore Bondgate Street where it has stood since it was built in 1530.
One Chronicle reader previously said it is ‘a lovely cosy pub with a roaring fire’ and with a wide range of traditional cask ales, beers, wines and whiskies it is the perfect watering hole for any wishing to explore the area.
The Causey Arch Inn
Beamish Burn Road, Beamish, Marley Hill,Gateshead, NE16 5EG, 01207 233 925
This traditional country pub is ideally placed if you've been out and about enjoying the Beamish countryside.
If you haven't booked, don't worry as walk-in groups are welcome, and it's dog-friendly - and there are even allocated areas where you can dine with your pet.
Its menus boast home booking, meat supplied by local farmers and include traditional Sunday roasts, a specials board and one to three-course options for lunch or dinner -or just drop in for a coffee or a drink.
If you're tempted to leave the car at home, the pub is easy to reach by bus apparently: the X30 from either Newcastle or Stanley goes to a bus stop outside.
Pubs you need to visit
- Pubs with children's play areas
- Bets pubs for food
- Cosy pubs with fires
- Dog-friendly pubs
Do you know of anymore perfect wintry hideaways? Suggest your favourite places for a fireside pint in the comments below.
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