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14 February 2019 | Hotels

Christie & Co brings historic hotel & restaurant in Northumberland to the market

The Centre of Britain Hotel and Restaurant, situated in the town of Haltwhistle, Northumberland, the geographic centre of Britain, has been brought to the market through specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.

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The hotel comprises a total of 12 spacious, en suite guest bedrooms; five of which are located in the original hotel building, four Scandinavian style, two-storey lodges built in the courtyard on the footprint of the original coaching inn stables, and three large suites in the separate Old Dairy Building.

Three dining rooms provide a combined 84 covers; the 24 seat a la carte restaurant, the Garden Suite, a cocktail bar and function room for up to 50, and a private 10 cover dining room situated in the ancient Pele Tower.

The Old Dairy building also houses an extensive laundry facility, catering for the hotel and restaurant requirements as well as providing a launderette and service laundry offering for visitors, local residents and other accommodation operators.

The Centre of Britain is Haltwhistle’s most historic building, with the oldest part of the hotel previously a Border Reivers' Pele Tower, dating from the 15th century. Later it was adapted for various uses including a manor house, excise office, coaching inn, post office, temperance hotel, pub and cafe. In 1997, the almost derelict property was completely refurbished, which included the installation of invisible underfloor and ceiling heating, high insulation and heat recovery filtered ventilation.

The hotel is ideally located in the heart of the Northumberland countryside in the thriving town of Haltwhistle, famous for its status as the geographical Centre of Britain, and which was recently named as one of the top 10 ‘Best Places to Live in the UK’ by the Sunday Times in 2018. Located only a few minutes away from the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site, the Centre of Britain provides easy access to a number of local foot and cycle paths and is close to local natural and historical attractions, including the Northumberland National Park, North Pennines AONB, and the Dark Sky Park. 

Current owners, David Taylor and Grethe Kirkebjerg established Haltwhistle as the official centre of Britain in 1994 and have owned and operated the business since its opening in 1997, naming it after the town’s new geographical status. With previous experience in restoring and developing historic buildings as well as in the travel and accommodation sector, David and Grethe took the opportunity to breathe new life back into the building. 

They are now looking to sell after over 20 years of trading in order to retire and comment, “It will be sad for us to leave the business, but we hope can find new owners who can take it forward.

“The Centre of Britain is a powerful brand and I hope a future owner will be able to take full advantage of it. When we came here it was 'Haltwhistle, where's that?' They had never heard of us, but now it’s ‘Haltwhistle – the Centre of Britain.’”

Mark Worley, Director at Christie & Co who is handling the sale, comments, “We are very pleased to offer this wonderful hotel to the market. It’s the kind of place that you could spend hours just walking around looking at the historical features. It makes a lot of sense as a business purchase as it provides good profits and healthy advance bookings. We feel it would ideally suit an owner operator, perhaps a couple or family, or simply someone who would like to run a leisure based hotel in a lovely part of the world.”

Christie & Co is seeking offers of £895,000 for the freehold interest of The Centre of Britain.