About Us

Andy and the team welcome you to The Ancient Unicorn, a 16th Century coaching inn located in the historic village of Bowes, close to Barnard Castle in beautiful Teesdale, a stone’s throw from the Pennine Way, with easy access to the A66.

Since 2015

We purchased the Inn in early 2015 and set about restoring the fabric and character of this historic building to ensure our guests have a warm and comfortable environment to enjoy and relax in. The building is steeped in history – Charles Dickens was a guest in days gone by and based some of his writing on the places he discovered whilst visiting. Another famous visitor was the artist William Turner, who painted some landscapes in the local area. It is rumoured from local folklore that the building is haunted by two young lovers – you can see their graves in the village churchyard.
Now you can be assured of a warm welcome whatever the reason for your visit and we can offer these facilities for your enjoyment: 12 guest bedrooms, 10 of which are en-suite and the remaining 2 with a shared bathroom. Four of the rooms are available to book by guests with well-behaved dogs (available by advance booking). Guests can enjoy the hotel bar or coffee shop, and our restaurant offers a seasonal menu of delicious, home-cooked dishes. The entire Inn can be hired for business meetings or family celebrations.
Please pay us a visit and let us offer you some traditional Teesdale hospitality, whether it’s for a quiet cup of coffee, a pint or two of real ale or a home-cooked meal, a good night’s rest, or even to see one of our legendary ghosts! Whatever the reason for your visit, we will do our best to give you a warm welcome.

"Lovely, Peaceful stay"

We absolutely loved this clean, spacious, unique place. Are room was huge with a superb shower and lovely views. The breakfast was delicious! It has a well stocked, cosy bar set in a beautiful, rural location. What more do you need!

Caroline M Tripadvisor

"Fantastic stay"

My partner and I stayed at the inn this weekend and I have to say the staff were so friendly and the food, all homemade. I recommend the steak and ale pie. After dinner we sat over the open fire and had a few drinks. Our room was nice and warm and homely. Thank you to all at the Inn.

Angela S - tripadvisor

"Great getaway spot"

We came here to enjoy a night away, and we were very impressed. Beautiful settings, log fires, great selection of drinks, excellent food. This place was great. Also, we stayed in the infamous 'Room 4' which is steeped in ghostly lore! I would really recommend this place. It just had that nice homely feeling about it.

Liam s - tripadvisor