Looking for places to stay near Lancaster? Want a stylish bed and breakfast in Bay Horse? Read our b&b review and check out more places to eat in the Ribble Valley here…
Lancaster Barn B&B in a nutshell
Stylish, eco-friendly B&B, set inside a stone barn and surrounded by lush countryside, just a few miles from historic Lancaster and the M6.
With its bespoke hand-crafted oak furniture, calming Scandi colours, and stonking breakfasts, Lancaster Barn is the design-conscious foodie’s dream. The ethos here is ‘natural’, starting with the ancient stone barn the B&B was converted from but also encompassing the slate, stone and wool that furnish its nine bedrooms, and a more general respect for nature demonstrated by planet-friendly toiletries and water-saving showers. Owners Clare Holt and Paul Riggs, who spent three painstaking years creating the luxuriously serene space, have thought of everything – from binoculars for bird-watching to mini-bar ales brewed just across the road. Its proximity to the M6 (two minutes’ drive away) makes it a perfect stop-off if you’re heading up to, or back from, Scotland or the Lake District but it’s also a great base for exploring Lancashire’s finest food spots.
Which room should I book at Lancaster Barn B&B?
All bedrooms have hand-made white oak beds, side tables and desks plus soothing white and pale grey walls hung with oak-framed lino prints by local artists. A Nespresso machine and a mini-bar provide sustenance when needed. If you like a view, book Number 6 at the back, which looks over the River Cocker (grab those binoculars to spot the herons) and cow-grazed fields beyond. If you fancy having both a free-standing bath and a walk-in rain shower, choose Number 9, whose bathroom has gorgeous slate basins and limestone floor and wall tiles.
The food and drink
Being a B&B, breakfast is the only meal served here, but what a meal it is. Most produce is local, including bacon and sausages from the local butchers (served as part of a “Barn Breakfast”), free-range eggs from Penrith and, in season, home-grown raspberries and tomatoes. We tried the Veggie Breakfast of eggs, roast asparagus (we visited in May), tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado and tomato jam. Vegans and veggies will adore the almond milk porridge sprinkled with blueberries, almond butter, honey and dark chocolate shards, as well as chia seed pots topped with home-grown soft fruits. Tea and coffees hail from Atkinsons in Lancaster (see below); you can also buy them to take home from a little crafts-and-food shop at the B&B’s entrance.
For dinner, there’s the Bay Horse Inn, a family-run gastropub just up the road. Chef Craig Wilkinson’s must-eat main is the Goosnargh Duck legs from nearby Swainson House Farm, served with wine-braised lentils, roast potatoes and kale, although the rack of lamb from Honeywells butchers in Woodhampton (near Preston) is terrific too. For dessert you’ll struggle to leave without sampling Craig’s comfortingly carb-laden warm orange and almond cake with rich vanilla ice cream.
What else can foodies do?
Lancaster’s go-to for foodies is Atkinsons, who have been roasting and grinding coffee beans since 1837 – you’ll know you’re nearby when you catch the aroma. Beans are still stored in original gold-and-black cannisters on wooden shelves behind the counter. Buy teas and coffees here, or try them with cakes or sandwiches at one of Atkinsons’ three cafes – we liked the Art Deco-style Hall cafe two doors down, where you also see the cakes being made. For French bistro-style cooking and atmosphere, head to Quite Simply French, on St George’s Quay, or for Indian food in a splendid 17th-century building, try Babar Elephant.
No. This is very much a grown-ups-only space, perfect for parents looking for a peaceful kid-free escape or professionals seeking a restful retreat.
Don’t miss the honesty fridge by reception. Its wines are hand-picked by Master of Wine Miles Corish so whichever you choose it’s likely to hit the spot. We particularly enjoyed the Sugarbird Californian White Zinfandel.
Lancaster Barn, Bay Horse, Lancaster LA2 0HW
Clare travelled as far as Manchester with CrossCountry Trains
Words and photographs by Clare Hargreaves