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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Romaldkirk epitomizes a traditional north-of-England village with honey-colored stone cottages set spaciously round the large village green where the old pump and even older stocks (for punishing wrongdoers) still stand. The surprisingly sophisticated Rose and Crown pub bordering the village green has a pretty sitting room (where guests can escape the hubbub of the bar) and a paneled dining room serving four-course dinners. However, like all great pubs, The Rose and Crown also has an excellent traditional bar where beams are decorated with horse brasses and locals gather for a pint in the evenings. Delectable bar meals are served here or in the adjacent Brasserie. Up the narrow stairs you find five attractive bedrooms (room 10 is a lovely large double-bedded room overlooking the village green) and two suites, under the eaves, which are especially suitable for families as the sofas in the sitting rooms make into beds for children. Five additional, modern bedrooms are in the courtyard beside the carpark. Walking is a popular pastime hereabouts and a few minutes’ drive brings you into quiet Pennine countryside. Barnard Castle is a lively local market town where the Bowes Museum merits an all-day visit. A 40-minute drive finds you at Beamish Museum, a turn-of-the-century mining town hosted by costumed staff.