A while back, we had the pleasure of staying at The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Essentially, The Hog’s Head Inn is a pub with rooms. But, it’s more than that. It’s a modern family-friendly pub, with tasty food and exceptionally comfortable accessible bedrooms.
Part of The Inn Collection Group, a hospitality and pub company based in the North, The Hog’s Head Inn is a good alternative to faceless budget hotels.
And, a good choice when all that matters is a quality accessible room, good food and a pleasant environment.
The Hog’s Head Inn is not a hotel, so there’s no 24-hour room service, but apart from that, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Before I go any further, as you know, the acid test for me is would I stay again and would I recommend it to my friends?
On both counts, the answer is a resounding yes!
Disclaimer: When I talk about “Accessible”, I mean accessible to Bridget and me. Bridget uses a manual wheelchair and is able to stand to transfer. Please contact The Hog’s Head Inn to confirm it is accessible to you. Our stay was complimentary for the purpose of this review.
Where is The Hog’s Head Inn?
The Hog’s Head Inn conveniently sits just off the A1 in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Accessibility in The Hog’s Head Inn
Pubs with rooms aren’t usually accessible to us because first and foremost they’re pubs, not hotels.
The Hog’s Head Inn, however, is a pub and rooms earning it the status of an inn.
Definition of Inn:
Inn’s are generally establishments or buildings where travellers can seek lodging and, usually, food and drink. They are typically located in the country or along a highway
I know accessibility is important to The Inn Collection Group. I can see that from the website where they have visual and audio features as well as their access statement on the front page.
How accessible was The Hog’s Head Inn for The Bimblers?
For the size of The Hog’s Head Inn, the car park is huge. There are plenty of disabled parking spaces close to the entrance. When I say close, as you can see in the pictures, I mean as close as you can get to the walkway that leads to the entrance.
Access to Pub and Accommodation
The walkway is made up of paving slabs. As such, there are gaps between them but they’re not bumpy.
If you are a part-time wheelchair user, I would recommend using your chair because the walkway although not long, is still a walk.
Then you have to add on the distance to your room, using your chair makes sense.
Access to reception is via a pair of large doors and a single door. The doors aren’t automatic. I managed them, but if you travel alone, they could be tricky.
There is an intercom next to the door so you can call for assistance should you need to.
Reception is at the end of the bar and as such is quite high. There is, however, a break in the bar so it’s easy for members of staff to come around the counter to help you. I foolishly didn’t take a photo of the gap?
Our accessible room was on the ground floor. There is a lift to the upper floor but I don’t think you’ll need it as I’m sure the accessible rooms are on the ground floor.
The corridors are carpeted and wide. The rooms are a reasonably short distance from reception, but remember what I said about using your wheelchair if the distance is a problem for you.
The Hog’s Head Inn Pub and Restaurant
Using the wheelchair inside The Hog’s Head Inn was straightforward.
The interior is large and staff are only too willing to move tables and chairs around when access gets a bit tight. This is mainly due to other patrons moving chairs into walkways.
On the subject of staff. I had a chat with a few of them and they all seemed fully aware of the difficulties people with mobility problems face.
More importantly, they were all keen to make sure our stay was comfortable and worry-free.
How to Save Money in The Hog’s Head Inn
The Inn Collection and individual pubs in the group post deals and discounts for their followers and friends. I’m signed up for all of them because I would love to return.
Food and Drink in The Hog’s Head Inn
The bar area is large and generally easy to move around. Despite its size, it feels welcoming and cosy.
I’m not a drinker so it’s difficult for me to rate the selection at the bar. If you like your craft ales and cocktails, there are details on their website for your perusal.
The restaurant is one where you find a table number, then order your food at the bar.
I asked about alternatives to finding a table in the restaurant, then going up to the bar to order food.
Without hesitation, the staff said,
“We would simply make table service available to save you the trouble”
For dinner, I had a Prawn Salad followed by Beef in Black Bean Sauce.
And Bridget had Potato Skins followed by Pork Loin.
The food was served quickly, hot when it arrived at the table, well presented, fresh and scrumptious. What more can you ask for?
Breakfast is served buffet style and includes everything a cooked breakfast connoisseur could ask for.
For me, the only omission is black pudding. Mind you, maybe in Northumberland they don’t eat black pudding for breakfast?
For those of you who prefer a healthy start, there is fruits, yoghurts and pastries.
Here’s the current: Menu
Accessible Bedrooms at The Hog’s Head Inn
The first thing to note about our accessible room was the size.
As you can see, there is more than enough turning space for a wheelchair.
The second thing is the ambience. Yes, the bedroom had an ambience!
Size, smell, light, colour, warmth and quality come together to give the accessible room a cosy, homely feel.
It’s obvious you’re staying in a premium room, a far cry from faceless, samey hotel rooms.
The bed was at a good height and was “very” comfortable. There was tea and coffee making facilities, a TV and a good range of information on things to do in the local area.
Who said size doesn’t matter?
When it comes to accessible bathrooms, space does matter, and our bathroom had it in abundance.
The bathroom had what we needed, a toilet with grab bars, a sink and a walk-in shower with a seat.
The bathroom was clean, if not a little bit dated but it worked perfectly for us.
I did, however, raise a few points with housekeeping.
Firstly, never tie up a “Red Cord”. These are alarms and if they’re tied up or wrapped around a grab rail they can’t be used in an emergency.
As you can see in the pictures below. There is no toilet roll holder. Not ideal if you’re unable to turn around. There had been a mix-up and the toilet bar with the holder on it had been put in the shower. Maintenance assured me it would be rectified.
I wonder why nobody had reported it before?
This is more of a design issue than anything else. Around the shower, there is a lip on the floor. I understand it’s there to stop water from spreading, but if you use a wheelchair and miss it, you get a nasty jolt. It could do with being a brighter colour to make it more obvious
Our opinion on an accessible room in The Hog’s Head Inn
Overall, we were more than happy with the accessible room. For us, with our health conditions and mobility problems, the room was perfect!
Also worth mentioning, especially in regards to me, there is a McDonalds about fifty yards away. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s ideal if you fancy a late-night fast-food hit.
Would we stay at the Hog’s Head Inn again?
The Hog’s Head Inn is our type of accommodation.
It’s accessible to us and much better quality than a budget hotel. It’s clean and the staff are friendly and deliver exceptional service.
The premium accommodation and food offering by far exceed what you’d expect in a pub.
It’s well placed to explore the Northumberland coast and inland attractions.
Yes, we would stay at the Hog’s Head Inn again. In fact, we’d stay at any of the Inn Collections Inn’s because we know they’ll be of the same high standard.
I say this with confidence because we also stayed at the Commissioners Quay Inn which didn’t disappoint and I’ll be reviewing it in my next post.
Things to do in Alnwick
On our way to the Hog’s Head Inn, we travelled across the country and followed Hadrian’s Wall. We stopped off at:
Once we’d settled in, we also visited:
I’ll be writing more detailed posts about these attractions. If you haven’t already, sign up for our free newsletter to be notified when I publish new posts.
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