A few months back I had the pleasure of visiting Bush Nook Guest House in Gilsland, Northumberland. Gilsland is just about half way across the Hadrian’s Wall Path and undoubtedly on the best section of the wall, situated in an idyllic location for easy access to the wall but also a stone’s throw from the Pennines.
I travelled to Gilsland from the BookMyTrail HQ (also my home) in Nottingham. Malcolm who runs Bush Nook welcomed us despite our late arrival and allowed us space to settle in and took orders for breakfast the next morning.
After a great nights sleep we woke up and drew the curtains to reveal possibly one of the best sunrises I have seen in a long time. Being April, morning frost was still laid thin over the ground and into the distance. Visiting B&Bs is a great way for me to gain perspective on my accommodations and I could only imagine Bush Nook being an unforgettable experience for any guest, if not simply judged by its views alone. Not many B&Bs these days are seated in such a secluded location, a unique attribute which can only be experienced.
Over the weekend we were really treated well. A great breakfast was cooked for us each morning and it was a delight to share the dining room with other guests for one of those mornings. I must add that Malcolm, a born and raised Irishman did a great job at cooking us a vegetarian breakfast, despite this being against his very nature.
We were treated to a fascinating guided walk around the local countryside and along the wall, past Birdoswald Roman Fort and back to the house. I know that when possible Malcolm will take his guests out for a day’s walking and make every effort to engage with his visitors, whether it’s helping with transportation to and from the station or pub, making suggestions on the best places to visit, guided walks or renting out the on-loan electric bikes so guests can enjoy traveling a bit further afield.
Bush Nook Guest house is in itself a stunning property. As mentioned above it sits in a perfectly secluded rural location. Perhaps with the kind of views and grounds you would pay a pretty penny for to play host to a wedding. But the beauty of Bush Nook is that it’s really a traveller’s retreat, an authentic and traditional bed and breakfast which ticks all the boxes required by the weary traveller, the tourist and the passing walker.
The bedrooms are decorated to a high standard, without any loss of the original charm of the house. Most of the rooms have en-suite, and those that do not enjoy adequate separate facilities, often private. The house itself is more or less an open space for guests to enjoy with a cozy lounge and an airy conservatory, ideal for curling up with a good book or planning a day’s adventure.
The dining space oozes Country Life magazine but with far less protense. Instead of trying to be magazine perfect Bush Nook is itself, and that is exactly its charm. It’s the property’s ability to be extraordinarily at home with itself without having to jump and shout. And it’s warm and welcoming hosts? Well they only enrich the property with their humble charm, feeling they are mere custodians for the next entrants to take on the responsibility to run this incredible bed and breakfast.