Whether it’s down to Olympic success for Team GB, the Tour de France arriving in Yorkshire or the enthusiasm for a more healthy and active lifestyle, there’s no doubt that cycling is on the up. Indeed cyclists are regularly to be seen on the B roads and country lanes around St Mary’s Inn, especially in the warmer months. It wasn’t always so. This writer can remember a time when cycling in the region was limited to child’s play, a means to commute to and from work or else the hobby of a small albeit fanatical minority.

In my youth, racing bikes weren’t a common sight and I remember vividly the excitement when my father brought one home for me which he’d bought from a semi-professional who happened to be his work colleague. I proudly cycled once around the block and left the sleek black machine at the back door to find that when I had finished my tea and returned outside the bike had gone – never to be seen again. I was the proud owner for no more than an hour. This early lesson in the consequences of naivety was only made palatable by my father’s restraint in his reaction to the stupidity of his son. I can also remember a visit to Hull in my teens where the sight of thousands of cyclists of all ages made a great and lasting impression – this mass phenomenon was witnessed by me and my friends from the Northeast with a mixture of mirth and astonishment – it was quite simply beyond our prior experience. My fondest memory of childhood cycling relates to a day long journey from the coast to Barnard Castle and back but this tale must remain untold at the request of my long-suffering colleagues.

We’re thinking hard about how we might make St Mary’s Inn cycle-friendly including providing on- site parking facilities, making small tools and repair kits available and offering drinks and snacks in the morning alongside breakfast. We’re even thinking about the idea of a cycling club although exactly what form it might take we’re not yet sure. What is sure is that we’re looking to connect into the network of cycle routes throughout the region which takes in the C2C and other Sustrans routes. Who knows, if Northumberland can emulate the success of Yorkshire then maybe we can look forward to a stage of the Tour de France and the temporary renaming of our pub – Auberge Sainte-Marie!









Dear Family and Friends of St. Mary’s Inn,

We are absolutely committed to the well-being, health and safety of our guests and staff.

The COVID-19 virus is rapidly spreading throughout the world and each Government is following their own strategy to minimise the impact on their people.

The UK Government have advised most recently that people should avoid pubs, theatres, clubs, and by implication, restaurants, though businesses are left to make their own operational choices based on their unique circumstances.

This is a rapidly changing situation and in order to ensure we put our guests and staff at the front of our considerations we have made the decision to temporarily close the Inn effective from 19:00hrs, Sunday, 22nd March 2020.

We will keep everyone advised as the situation changes and look forward to welcoming you all back at the earliest possible time and in accordance with future Government and WHO advice.

We wish the people of the village of Stannington, our guests who travel so far to see us, and our loyal staff and your families well through this difficult time.

The St. Mary’s Inn team