A Bell Inn has stood here since 1500, although this one, reputedly the oldest coaching inn on the old Great North Road, is mid-17th century, with an impressive stone façade, a splendid inn sign and a fine original interior with an upbeat feel. It once welcomed (or maybe not!) highwayman Dick Turpin, as well as Clark Gable who was stationed nearby in 1943. Famous as the birthplace of Stilton cheese, the pub is again making its own, called Bell Blue – the Stilton cheese sampler is a must. Modern British dishes in the bar/bistro include salt-baked celeriac with air-dried ham, cabbage and yeast flakes; roast and confit lamb with split peas, turnip and English lettuce; Jerusalem artichoke risotto with king oyster mushroom and truffle; ale-battered fish and chips; and chocolate and fig roulade with hazelnut praline and chocolate cake ice cream. All the en suite bedrooms are round the old courtyard – two have four-posters.