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The Delaval Arms

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A historic Northumberland pub, forced to close for the first time in 273 years, is once again welcoming visitors to its nearby castles and coast.

Built in 1748, The Delaval Arms, in the Saxon village of Old Hartley, overlooking the North East coastline, had just changed ownership when the Covid lockdown came into force in March 2020.

Now it has re-opened, to reveal the results of a complete makeover under new owners, the Bartlett family.

And is set to resume its mantle as a favourite stop-off point for those visiting Northumberland this summer.

Its four separate dining areas all serve home cooked pub food with ingredients sourced from local suppliers – with fish landed at nearby North Shields a particular favourite.

Beer lovers can enjoy a pint or two of real ale from the pub’s King Ælle Brew Co – named after the Anglo Saxon King of Northumbria responsible for slaying the Viking warrior Ragnar Lothbrok – and there is an added treat for history fans.

Because, located in the front garden of the Delaval Arms, sits the blue whinstone, a Saxon boundary stone which once marked the centre of the village of Hartley.

The stone became a symbol of good fortune and by tradition you had to kiss it to become a citizen of the village.

Original features are evident throughout the Grade 11-listed building, built in 1748 by Lord Delaval’s family estate as a coaching inn for visitors to Seaton Delaval Hall and workers at the world-renowned port and bottle works at Seaton Sluice.                

And they have been highlighted by interior designer co-owner Simon Bartlett, to create an interior which pays homage to the building’s history, while being unmistakably contemporary.

“Not only is the pub fascinating historically but its location – right on the cliffside of the coastal path – makes it a hugely popular destination in its own right,” said Simon.

“However, when we took it over we were determined it wouldn’t be a museum to the past or a timewarp – so, while we’ve restored it and are proud of its past, it’s very contemporary in its décor and in its menu and drinks choices.

“Our aim was to provide luxury and comfort – for locals calling in for a midweek meal or for those walking to St Mary’s Lighthouse or cycling the Coast and Castles route, for example.

“And even though we’ve only been re-open a short time, the response has been amazing – and the Delaval Arms now has a future as well as a past.”

For more information about The Delaval Arms – or to make a table reservation – visit  

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