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The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

Courtyard garden at The Talbot Hotel, Oundle
Exterior of The Talbot Hotel, Oundle

What’s The Talbot Hotel like?

This 16th Century coaching inn, in the historic market town of Oundle, blends old and new seamlessly. The hotel is allegedly home to the staircase that Mary Queen of Scots walked down to be executed – and she is said to haunt the corridors at night. While the front of the hotel dates from the 1600s, glass-fronted extensions and manicured grounds have helped bring it bang up-to-date. The Talbot Hotel is part of the Coaching Inn Group.

How dog-friendly is The Talbot Hotel?

Really good. You’ll need to bring your own beds and food but a water bowl and tin of treats by the main entrance lets you know pets are welcome here. Dogs are welcome everywhere in the hotel except the main restaurant – which has steps leading up to the garden. Guests have plenty of options when it comes to dining with their dog, however, as food can be served in the bar, glass-walled lounge, garden or picturesque courtyard. There’s an additional charge of £10 per dog per night.

Tell me more about The Talbot Hotel

There are 34 rooms at the hotel, ranging from Classic to Superior and Deluxe. Dogs are only allowed in some of them but our Classic Double – Room 412 – was ideal as it was right at the back of the hotel on the ground floor, close to the garden. It was also housed in a more modern extension so we weren’t tormented by the creaky floors that old buildings often have! It backed on to the car park too, which is accessed via Drumming Well Lane.

Our spacious room had a neutral colour theme broken up with splashes of blue, and was dominated by an enormous bed with feature leather headboard. Framed paintings and ornate mirrors also adorned the walls, contrasting nicely with the modern glass lamps dotted around. There was also a little tea and coffee ‘nook’ with a great selection of hot drinks, as well as complimentary water, biscuits and chocolate bars.

Soft robes hung in the wardrobe and we also had plenty of options when it came to keeping ourselves entertained, thanks to a Freeview TV, retro radio and a booklet detailing the hotel’s history. There was even a book about local witches, which could be purchased at reception. The bathroom was equally well-equipped with soft towels, lush H2K of Harrogate toiletries and a little rubber duck, which is a Coaching Inn Group staple.

What’s the food like at The Talbot Hotel?

Delicious. The seasonal menus change regularly but have a good mix of pub classics, as well as grazing dishes and meals under 800 calories. My Spinach, Wild Mushroom & Tarragon Pithivier (pictured above) was delicious, while other options included a 12oz T-Bone Steak and Seafood Stew. The hotel’s very own coffee house also serves a great range of sandwiches and cakes, and the breakfasts – served wherever you like – are amazing.

If you don’t fancy eating at the hotel, Oundle is home to a number of lovely independent shops and cafes. Many of these have outdoor seating but if the weather isn’t on your side, pets are allowed inside Brew Babu and on the covered terrace at Nene Valley Brewery’s Tap & Kitchen, at picturesque Oundle Wharf. The brewery shop is also right next-door.

Are there resident dogs at The Talbot Hotel?

No, but you are more than likely to meet other pet pooches staying over or out walking in Oundle. When we visited, we met four other dogs enjoying a mini getaway.

Where are the best walks near The Talbot Hotel?

The historic market town of Oundle itself is well worth exploring. It is home to several Grade I Listed buildings – including The Talbot Hotel – which means that they are so significant, they are in the top 3% of all listed buildings in England. The town’s Heritage Trail is the best way to take in its impressive limestone buildings. It is roughly a mile in length so should take around 30 minutes to complete. Maps can be downloaded online.

Just outside the town centre is Barnwell Country Park, which has 37 acres of lakes, riverbanks and meadows to explore. There are three waymarked trails around the park that take between 15 and 45 minutes to walk. To find out more about the trails, click here. It’s free to visit Barnwell Country Park but if you drive, you will need to pay £3 to leave your car.

There are a number of walks along the River Nene that can be enjoyed from Oundle, too. Northamptonshire County Council has created a leaflet that details a few of the best, ranging from one to five miles. You can pick up the public footpaths in both the town centre and Barnwell Country Park and the recommended walks take in nearby Ashton and Cotterstock, too. For more information, click here.

What Ernie and Stan loved about The Talbot Hotel

Meeting other doggy guests, the great walks on doorstep, the sausages for breakfast

What I loved about The Talbot Hotel

The beautiful old building and the way it’s been renovated, the stylish rooms, the fantastic value for money

How to book The Talbot Hotel

Overnight stays start from £70, including breakfast. For more information or to book, call 01832 273621 or visit The Talbot Hotel website.