Sean Donkin of Lindisfarne Inns does Q&A: Northumberland, Bamburgh Castle Inn, Alnwick Castle, Rosyln Chapel, local food & more
Sean Donkin is area manager for Northumberland Accommodation provider Lindisfarne Inns which includes The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses and the new Hog’s Head Inn opening later this summer in Alnwick. Sean completes our interesting question and answer interview and shares some of his best kept secrets Northumberland with our readers.
How long have you lived/worked/visited in Northumberland or The Scottish Borders?: I’ve worked in Northumberland for the last four years but have been visiting the area all my life.
What is it about the county that appeals to you?: The fact that it is natural and unspoilt. The county has real natural beauty and because it is such a large county it never feels overcrowded, regardless of the number of visitors passing through. There’s always somewhere you can go where are no crowds or people.
What’s your favourite Northumberland/Borders beauty spot?: The coast surrounding Seahouses between Dunstanburgh and Lindisfarne – The Bamburgh Castle Inn surely has the best possible sea views in the region if not further afield.
Tell us about your favourite view/walk/cycle route/town/nightspot?: My favourite view is from the Beacon at the boarders on the A68 on a clear day.
The list of places to visit is endless. But some are more special than others. A trip to Northumberland/the Borders wouldn’t be complete without: . . a visit to Alnwick Castle and Garden.
Why is locally produced Northumbrian/Borders food the best?: The fact that is has low food miles and that you’re supporting local businesses. My favourite local food is Game – we have an abundant supply. It is free range food at its best and is so versatile.
Do you have a preferred place to eat out in the county and why?: I don’t think you can beat a meal in our inns – the food is such good quality, home made and very reasonable.
Northumbrians and people from The Scottish Borders are renowned for the warm welcome they offer holidaymakers and day trippers alike. What do you think is the secret ingredient for this friendliness?: We are genuinely interested in people.
Coast or country, and specifically which part?: Coast – the Seahouses area as viewed from our beer garden above the lime kilns on Seahouses harbour.
Your favourite market town and why?: Alnwick, it has plenty to see and do with a good variation of places with historical interest alongside some fantastic shops and cafes.
Your favourite historical site?: My favourite historical site is a little further north. There are some great and well-known castles but my favourite is Roslyn chapel.
And the best road to take a leisurely and scenic drive along?: Unfortunately I rarely have the chance to take a leisurely drive, the one that springs to mind is the one which goes round Kielder, it’s a really nice feeling driving through the forest.