Still to come in this endless series of posts on our Hadrian’s Wall walk are a micro, a Spoons, a gastro and a Proper Pub, IN THE SAME TOWN, and two (2) posts from the Covid hotbed that is North Tyneside.

At Bardon Mill’s spartan station I got chatting to a lovely young man off to Hexham for a walk or some other wholesome activity. He had no watch, no mobile phone, and consequently no idea of either the time or how long he’d have to wait for the next train. The notices said “Don’t rely on our timetables, check online“; it’s not just my Mum who doesn’t have a phone.

I asked the chap what I’d find new in Hexham. “There’s scaffolding on the Abbey” he confided. There’s been scaffolding since AD 674, I thought.

Scaffolding or no, Hexham was buzzing when we arrived 22 minutes later.

What do you do for 70 minutes before you can dump your bags in the next hotel ?

Complain that the station clock is an hour slow ?

No, let’s go in the pub. Who know, the Platform Bar is as good a pre-emptive tick as any on this trip. Mrs RM,, here modelling the Hadrian’s Wall Adventurer Range ’21, found the perfect spot in the corner.

Now, I loved this place, micro or not. The lady manning (?) the bar was just wonderful, chatty and cheery and very specific when I asked her nosey questions.

And she let me collect my halves of local Matfen from the bar. It was better than their beer at the brewery (NBSS 3.5).

Proper benches, sandwiches and crisps, open 9 till 9 Thursday to Sunday, and no-one adding entries to Untapped.

A GBG cert.

Unlike the Station Inn, which had a turned round pump clips I tried to read from behind as we checked in.

Once again on the trip, the nice people gave us keys to the room well before the advertised check-in. You don’t get that many places, or the tray of crumbly biscuits that allowed us to restore the calories walked off on the way to Bardon.

Sadly, despite the glorious Reception, that was as good as the Station Inn got.


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