In the early 17th century, long, long before nearby Kielder Water and Kielder Forest were created, agricultural workers drank at a beer-house in Stannersburn. This ivy-clad country inn is that beer-house, now finding itself where the Northumberland National Park meets the Border Forest Park, and surrounded by verdant valleys, high moors and tranquil woodlands. It’s well positioned too for cycle tracks, a sculpture trail, an observatory, endless walks and wildlife watching, including red squirrels. What you see today is what Walter, Irene and Robin Kershaw have achieved since they acquired it, then rather run down, over 32 years ago. Most spaces in the two bars have been filled with historic Northumberland memorabilia, and on the exposed stone walls that support the blackened beams are photos of yesteryear’s locals. The daily-changing traditional British menu makes the most of what Northumbria has to offer. Excellent beers from Wylam Brewery and Timothy Taylor may cloud the mind, but not the dark night skies, which make the area a mecca for astronomers. There is a tranquil stream-side garden.