Allenheads Inn . . .

We’ve seen a few landlords come and go at the Allenheads Inn, over the years. Since the bus service was curtailed several years ago now, we don’t ourselves get up there any longer, but some regulars are still very faithful, and congratulations to the Pool Team for their recent victory in the pub league!

Allenheads itself, claimed by some to be the highest village in England, (though this claim is disputed in Wikipedia by at least two other contenders, but certainly the village high in the hills would never have existed were it not for the original lead mine there which, at its peak, contributed to the status the village does enjoy as having had electrified facilities even before Newcastle!) now hosts five public amenities: the Hemmel Café, the Allenheads Centre for Contemporary Arts, the North Pennines Observatory, the Heritage Centre, and Allenheads Inn.

Without the seasonal traffic of the C2C cycle route (which links Whitehaven or Workington/St. Bees on the west with Tynemouth or Sunderland on the east) the Allenheads Inn would probably not be sustainable. Incidentally, the C2C route is officially known as the Sea-to-Sea route, though locals will persist in calling it the Coast-to-Coast ride. That designation, though, refers to the 192 mile walking route from St. Bees to Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire.

At one point, some twenty-five years ago, the Allenheads Inn was famously so overwhelmed with objects of odd interest festooned from every available ceiling and wall space as to have very little capacity for its customers. Successive generations of landlords by then had added their own collections, and the place was incredibly idiosyncratic. It’s less so now, as its previous landlords tidied it up significantly, to turn it into a place of both interest and welcome, which proprietors Ann and Phil Homer now maintain.

Still essentially a deeply rural pub with a small local clientele, a seasonal trade from passing cyclists, for whom its central location on the route is crucial, and listed in the CAMRA ‘What Pub‘ online guide, the Allenheads Inn survives with truncated winter opening hours and high hopes for clement weather ahead.

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