The historic Northumberland pub that has been named the North East's Pub of the Year

Inside the bar area at The Blackbird

The team at an historic Northumberland pub are celebrating after coming up trumps at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Blackbird in Ponteland was named Pub of the Year at the North East England Tourism Awards last night (24 March).

The venue was praised for its quality service, al fresco offering and how the team adapted to challenges brought on by the pandemic.

It was originally a castle built by warriors in the 14th Century, but in the famous raid by the Earl of Douglas which ended at Otterburn in 1388, the Scots destroyed the castle on their retreat back from Newcastle.

It was then rebuilt in 1597 as a manor house and stayed in the same family for 200 years.

In the last century it was licensed as ‘The Blackbird Inn’, and in 1935 an ancient tower, a Tudor fireplace and other ancient objects were uncovered during restoration work.

The Blackbird was originally built as a warrior's castle in the 14th century.

Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates The Blackbird, says he is delighted to be recognised by such a respected awards body, "We are over the moon to be named Pub of the Year at the North East England Tourism Awards.

"This award is a testament to the hard work of our whole team, who pride themselves on going above and beyond and delivering the best possible experience for our visitors.

"A great pub would be nothing without great customers to fill it and we are very grateful to everyone who has stopped by to support us by drinking and dining with us over the last seven years.

"It’s a fantastic feeling to know that all of our hard work during the challenges of the last few years have paid off and we couldn’t be prouder to become an award-winning venue."