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The Bamburgh Castle Inn staff become dementia friends


Staff from The Bamburgh Castle Inn have been learning how to make their inn more dementia friendly by taking part in special awareness raising sessions with The Alzheimer’s Society. 

Staff  took part in training to gain a better understanding of how dementia can affect people, so they can give a warm welcome to all customers, including people with dementia. 

General manager Nicola Austin said: “We give everyone who walks through our doors a very warm welcome, whether they are in a wheelchair, have hearing or sight impairments – or  people with dementia. 

“With the numbers of people living with dementia rising, it’s so important that our team understand what dementia is and how they can play a part in making a difference to people who are living with it. 

“We learned there are so many small things we can do that can make such a difference to people with dementia – and their carers and family members - to make them feel welcome and at ease. 

“Many of our staff, customers and their families have been touched by the effects of loved ones living with dementia and we want to do our bit to make sure each and every person who comes through our doors enjoys a warm welcome and excellent service.”

Helen Williams, Northumberland manager for The Alzheimer’s Society, led the session at The Bamburgh Castle Inn.

She said: “Nationally, we aim to have four million dementia friends by 2020, to raise awareness of the needs of people living with dementia. 

“Often when people are diagnosed, one of first things they stop doing is things they like to do, like going out to the pub and they retreat. 

“The aim of bringing this to businesses is that it makes them more aware of the needs of customers coming in, and people feel confident to still go out with their family and community, and it reduces feelings of isolation.

“People will know which pubs they can go into and be supported. The group at The Bamburgh Castle Inn were young and incredibly keen - they were able to say they were already supporting the needs of regular customers living with dementia.”

The Bamburgh Castle is the latest inn within the award-winning Inn Collection Group to go through training as part of the group’s efforts to make each of its seven pub premises friendly, inclusive and accessible to everyone. 

The Inn Collection Group’s Operations Director Sean Donkin, said: “We already have plenty of visible accessibility facilities for people with different physical needs across our pubs. But we felt it was important to make sure we are trained and able to help people with dementia and those with accessibility needs you can’t see so easily, to make them feel welcome and at ease

Self guided walking breaks holidays in Northumberland

New Walk-Inn breaks at The Bamburgh Castle Inn

The Bamburgh Castle Inn is lacing up its boots to go a step further for walkers with a new range of walking breaks. 

The Bamburgh Castle Inn has paired up with self-guided walking publisher, to offer new ‘Walk-Inn’ breaks with easy-to-follow, self-guided walks, key meals and accommodation at the award-winning Bamburgh Castle Inn, close to well-loved destinations like the stunning Northumberland coast, Cheviot Hills, and Scottish Borders.

Great for walkers of all levels including families, relaxed ramblers and serious yompers, the breaks include Walking-Books’ self-guided packs, each containing 20 classic walks around The Bamburgh Castle Inn.

Also included is a hearty, two-course dinner for you to walk off, plus a comfy room to bed down in and, of course, a full English breakfast to fuel you up for the day ahead. Packages also include a welcome drink on arrival plus a picnic to enjoy while on the go.

Nicola Austin, general manager at The Bamburgh Castle Inn, said: "We have always been a hub for walkers thanks to our amazing location, close to miles of empty beaches, Holy Island and the Cheviot Hills. We wanted to go a step further to encourage people to come and experience the fantastic walking routes around us with self walking packages to help them make the most of their stay.”

Walking Books director Mike Law said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with The Bamburgh Castle Inn and applaud their efforts to make walking accessible to as many people as possible. I hope that together we can inspire people of all walking abilities to head out and enjoy the fantastic scenery around the inn on foot.

“Walking Books guides are completely different to anything you will see in the shops. Our aim when deciding to publish our guides is to make them as user-friendly as possible so we decided on our concept of putting the walks on handy, durable, weather-proof walking cards with a unique combination of concise, easy-to-follow routes local information and professional mapping. To complete our pack we added a useful user guide and decided to provide a custom made map-case for the walking card which meant the walker had everything they needed for their walk on an A5 weather-proof card that could be carried conveniently around the neck or in a jacket pocket.”

  • A single night Walk-Inn break starts from less than £90 per person (based on two people sharing)

Cheers! The Bamburgh Castle Inn raises a glass to wine

March 2017

The Bamburgh Castle Inn has been raising a glass to wine by learning their Rioja from their Riesling with a special course organised by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

 The Bamburgh Castle Inn's general manager Nicola Austin took part in the one-day course, which helps wine and spirits professionals become wine wizards, helping guide customers into making informed choices about wines to match their palates and taste buds as well as food and wine pairings.   

The course, which Nicola passed with flying colours, mixed together hands-on wine tasting and theory. It featured an introduction to the world of wine, with an exploration of the main types of and styles of wine including sight, smell and taste.

Nicola said: “The course was absolutely fascinating and gave a great insight into wines and spirits for both professionals and enthusiasts. With such a wide range of wines available, it can be bewildering. Just like a full bodied red, the course was a well balanced mix of theory and practical learning, which I'm looking forward to sharing with my team and putting into practice at The Bamburgh Castle Inn.

 “We have a superb cellar with a great choice of wines from across the globe at The Bamburgh Castle Inn. While everyone has their own preferences and tastes it was an excellent opportunity to find out more about wines so we can help customers make the best choices whether they’re relaxing with a drink in the bar, or looking for the perfect wine to complement their choice of meal."





The Bamburgh Castle Inn celebration of local craft gin is the perfect Dry January tonic


If the thought of Dry January leaves you cold, award winning The Bamburgh Castle Inn has the perfect tonic with their Try ‘Ginuary’ local craft gin showcase. 

The Bamburgh Castle Inn is capturing the spirit of the gin renaissance with by turning the spotlight on pioneering local gin distillers throughout January, to bring something different to their customers’ gin and tonic. 

The inn will feature gins distilled nearby to encourage customers to put a different gin in their glass throughout January.

Already well-known for the choice and quality of the local and craft ales The Bamburgh Castle Inn serves, it is now giving spirit lovers and gin newbies the opportunity to sample some of the best gins in the North and to work their way through a hand picked selection of lesser-known gin varieties.  

David Walker of The Inn Collection Group which owns The Bamburgh Castle Inn said: “We’re trying to make January a little less blue by trying something that’s more of a tonic, with a small collection of local craft gins that we’ve tasted and loved. What’s more, they’re all distilled in locations close to our inns. 

“Gin is so quintessentially British, and with so many different taste variations now available, the possibilities for flavours from gin seem endless, we’re keen to showcase some directly from our little region of the world.  

“People are trying different garnishes too – ice and a slice of lemon no longer cuts the mustard and there are plenty of premium mixers upping their game to support the in-gin boom.”

Walter Riddell of Hepple Gin said: “We are thrilled that Hepple has been included in The Bamburgh Castle Inn's Ginuary line up. We make our gin rather differently, using young green juniper sourced from the hills around Hepple near Rothbury in Northumberland. 

“We use two separate distillation systems and a high-pressure extraction system to bring a crisp freshness not found in any conventionally made gin. Because of the complexity of our distillery process and our exacting harvesting regime, we only make a small quantity of Hepple, our only product.”

The Bamburgh Castle Inn's Try Ginuary will be showcasing: 

  • Durham Gin -  a small batch gin distilled in a 400 litre copper pot still called Lily, using traditional methods. Only a couple of hundred bottles are made from each batch and are labelled by hand. 
  • Hepple Gin – north Northumberland produced gin that’s vacuum distilled at lower temperatures to capture more flavour, including the young green juniper gathered from the Hepple Estate. 
  • Masons Yorkshire Gin – distilled slowly and traditionally in two 200-litre stills called Steve and Lefty, the first gin to be distilled in Yorkshire contains juniper and citrus flavours. 
  • Poetic License – flavoured with juniper and cardamom spice, lemon, lime and eucalyptus, this is a fresh scented gin that also contains a host of secret botanicals. 

Tasters will be able to try the different garnishes and serving suggestions recommended by the distillers to bring out the best in their gins.

Dave said: “We’re initially offering the craft gins on a limited basis during January but if they prove popular, we’ll be looking to put them behind the bar full time. 

“But if you are taking part in Dry January, don’t worry, we have plenty for you too – a fantastic selection of soft drinks, mocktails and non-alcoholic beers and wine.”