A short drive (or modest walk) from our holiday cottage Wooler provides a wide range of shops with two bakers, two butchers, a Co-op and deli as well as pubs and restaurants.
Wooler is a pleasant 20 minute walk from Homildon Cottage, or the drive takes a few minutes and there is plenty of free parking spaces along the high street or in the bus station.
Food shops in Wooler
You will be able to find almost everything you need in Wooler. For day to day essentials, the Co-op (open 7am until 11pm every day) is the obvious choice. For fresh ingredients and local produce, you will want to visit some of the many independent shops.
There are two butchers in Wooler: T R Johnson (61 High Street, opposite the Post Office) does a great selection of home-made sausages, scotch eggs and delicious ready-to-heat steak pies, as well as the usual wide range of fresh meat and cooked ham. Farm to Freeze, again selling a wide range of fresh meat and pies, has a smaller shop on the high street and larger store on the A697 (South Road) just at the bottom of the hill from the main town .
For fresh vegetables, the convenience store attached to Farm to Freeze on the A697 has a storage area to the left with a great selection of fruit and veg. The convenience store also sells locally produced Chainbridge Honey, Doddington Ice Cream and Ford’s Bread.
The best place to buy eggs is Glendale Garden Centre, again just off the A697 (South Road) at the bottom of the hill from the centre of town. Beautiful mixed colour eggs from a local farm are always tasty and only £1.60 a half dozen. The garden centre also sells fresh fruit and veg.
For fresh bread you have three options. Trotters Family Bakers on Market Place sells fresh bread, a wide range of cakes, filled hot and cold rolls to take away, pies and pasties (both hot and cold) and more. Cheviot Farm Bakery sells the usual fresh bread and rolls and does a range of sandwiches and cakes. You can also occasionally find fresh bread at the Good Life Shop deli.
The Good Life Shop delicatessen sells a good range of more speciality produce. Their cheese counter has an excellent selection, including local cheeses from Doddington Dairy just up the road. They usually stock meat and vegetarian fresh pâtés, puddings from Proof of the Pudding in Alnwick, Doddington Dairy ice creams, salamis, and other fresh and dry deli goods. You can buy dry goods by weight including a wide range of herbs and spices, and also freshly ground coffee.
Other shops in Wooler
There is a pharmacy (Glendale Pharmacy) on the high street, which as well as providing the usual range of goods and prescription services, has a fantastic original set of wooden apothecary drawers behind its glass topped counter.
There are now two antiques shops in Wooler: Hamish Dunn and Glendale Antiques Centre, both near the Market Place end of the High Street. Florins, near Hamish Dunn, sells some antique items as well as an interesting range of gifts and trinkets. The Hedgeley Antiques Centre, not far from Wooler in Powburn (about 15 minutes’ drive), has a number of traders under one roof, and a traditional tea shop next door.
Clothes shops are a little limited, but there is a women’s outdoor gear shop, Gear for Girls, on the high street and a charity shop, the RSPCA. Better for clothes is Berwick, on the outskirts of which is a discount outlet outdoor clothes and equipment store, Marshalls and many more high street stores in the centre of town.
For a traditional sweet shop, its shelves lined with rows of large jars, try The Chocolate Box near Market Place. This place makes even the most serious “grown up” feel like a kid in, well … a sweet shop!
The town has a newsagent, Brands, near the Post Office. This shop sells not only newspapers and touristy gifts, but also sellsa range of fascinating books about local history and, unexpectedly, speciality liquorice (including Belgian and Finnish varieties!)
For handmade crafts and gifts you would not do better than The Crafty Collective, selling work by a range of local crafters and artists.
Restaurants in Wooler
For a town of its size, Wooler has a wealth of decent local places to enjoy a meal out.
If you are after a casual meal or a lunchtime bite, the town centre has several good pubs serving food.
Sunday Lunch at the Black Bull
The Black Bull is usually reasonably busy and does pub grub all week with steak night on Friday evening and a generous roast lunch on Sunday. Highlights include giant yorkshire pudding filled with sausages and veg, and golden battered cod and chips. There are usually one or two ales on handpump, both changing regularly. You will often find beers from the local Hadrian and Border brewery.
The Angel Inn, right next door to the Black Bull, also does decent pub grub, which on sunny days you can enjoy in its small lawned beer garden or in the conservatory at the back. All day breakfast, sandwiches and toasties and larger meals such as lamb chops all feature on the wide menu. Usually one ale on handpump.
Just up the road is the Anchor Inn, another choice for pub grub, serving by all accounts a very generous and tasty Sunday lunch. The pub was taken over relatively recently (Jan 14) by a new landlord and is thriving. Has a weekly quiz night and two ales on handpump (though less interesting choice than the Black Bull nearby).
Slightly outside the centre of town on the A697 is the Tankerville Arms, dating from the 1700’s. It has a large beer garden for sunny days and a large bar and dining area inside. The food is again fairly standard pub fare, but the portions are generous and the food is good.
If you are looking for something other than pub food, there are a few restaurants and take-aways in Wooler.
Milan restaurant is round the back of the Black Bull (you will find it by heading down the alley to the left of the pub). The restaurant serves Italian style food – meat and fish mains, as well as pizza, pasta and risotto. Milan has a lunch menu and a kids’ menu too. A place to go if you want a nice evening meal with a bottle of wine.
Continuing the European theme is No 1 Hotel and Wine Lounge opposite the Black Bull, an ex-pub turned wine and tapas bar, also serving cocktails. Not the cheapest meal out – tapas average around £4-5 per plate – but tasteful decor and cosy atmosphere makes for a good evening.
The town’s Indian restaurant is Spice Village. A classic local Indian, the food is pretty good (spicy lamb Jul Jal is recommended, although the mild chicken dishes can be a little over sweet I think) and reasonably priced. They do a fiery chilli paneer if you ask. Tables are available to eat in, or pop in for a take-away and eat back at Homildon Cottage. They have now started offering delivery too.
For fish and chips the only option open all week is Fry Fry on Market Place. The take away is fish and chips, pies, kebabs and pizza – can be busy on a Friday night. You can also eat in – they have a small restaurant area with tables adjoining the take-away. On Fridays, you may also catch the Geoff Allen mobile fish and chip van (as featured in Antiques Roadshow!) open on South Road near the junction with The Peth.
For fast food you can also try Cindie & Millie’s, a small purple-fronted outlet on Market Place, selling burgers, pizzas and kebabs. They proudly proclaim their fresh pizza dough in the front window, and again delivery is offered.
For a Chinese take-away, Oriental Kitchen just off Market Place on Ramsey’s Lane offers quick service and reasonable prices in a classic setting. Excellent value for a dish with rice or chips, or try the larger selection on the main menu.
Cafes in Wooler
For a hot drink, cake, or even breakfast or lunch, there are a number of cafes to try in Wooler.
Wooler Milk Bar is just at the bottom of the hill from town, next to the A697. An excellent breakfast using local ingredients is available. Try their milkshakes, cakes or an ice-cream from the local and award-winning Doddington Dairy!
Ramblers coffee shop on the high street serves a range of hot food from breakfasts to lunches for a quick bite or a coffee.
Breeze on the high street also serves as a gift shop. Often busy, it serves a range of hot lunch food as well as real coffee and tempting cakes.
Terrace Cafe, overlooking Market Place, is a cosy caff serving good breakfast, lunches and cakes.
No 1 Hotel and Wine Lounge serves a full afternoon tea with cakes and finger sandwiches (G&T option available!)
Being a cottage near Wooler means we are lucky enough to have all this almost on our doorstep. The most direct walk from Homildon Cottage to Wooler takes 15-20 minutes. An alternative, more circular route along part of St Cuthbert’s Way can be walked in an hour.
Find out more about Wooler history or places of interest in and around Wooler.