Once a blog post is at least two years old you have free licence to use the same material again, confident your readers (and yourself) will have long forgotten it.  And you can’t yet plagiarise your own work.


Into ancient Hexhamshire.  According to Wiki, now a name for a civil parish of 797 people, and rather more sheep.  Basically a vast farming rural area below Hexham racecourse*.


An area immortalised in one of the classics.

Dipton Mill Inn has been in the Guide for a few years, oddly labelled under Hexham itself this year to annoy pub tickers.  Several of the Guide entries round here are of the “improved gastro” type that Northumbria does so well (no irony intended), but the Mill looks a masterpiece of leaving a good pub well alone.

Dipton Mill
Phone box, post box, pub

I had time for a circular walk around Shield Green in light drizzle before opening, to see how much time I could knock off the Google Maps time estimate (about 20%).


Too misty for great views, bar sheep and the famous “Welly tree“.

Welly Tree

The view you as approach the Mill isn’t bad, particularly unencumbered by cars.

Two minutes to opening

This is pretty much the understated country pub of southerners (and American) dreams.

Proper fire,


unpretentious good value menu,


just 3 local beers of different strengths but high quality,

Hexhamshire – NBSS 3.5

and no sign of table reservations.

Cheery, chatty bar staff and locals, most of whom were regulars. The first bar order was lime juice and a cup of tea, which tells you a lot about country pubs in 2018.

Some purists will find it a little bit chintzy, despite the proper seating,

Bench seating
Scatter cushions

but scatter cushions are compulsory under Hexhamshire Byelaws. And it’s appealing to gentlefolk, not Sam Smiths customers.

A real gem, leaving only one pub in southern Northumberland to tick.  When I phoned them up to confirm opening times they told me they were closed for redecoration, which clearly was much too trivial an event for social media.



*It’s all racecourse towns these days; I’ve got an Epsom trip to do so soon.




      1. This area looks like a great area for a pub to pub walking trip. Am I right? It seems lodging, pubs, and towns are fairly reasonable distances from one another.


      2. That sounds more fun to me than the Lake District. Hopefully less rain. I have a terrible record with rain in the Lake District. Kind of like Malta I hear.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Scatter cushions”

    As opposed to throw pillows? 😉

    But yes, looks a cracker indeed. 🙂


    PS – “Bench seatig”

    Pretty sure the throw pillows, ahem, ‘threw’ you off. 🙂


  2. I hate to adhere to an American stereotype (wouldn’t be the first time) but that really does look like an idyllic pub, especially in terms of the location and the exterior. Pheasant casserole! Never saw that on a menu before, I’d order it just for the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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