THE owner of a popular country pub has put it on the market after 12 years at the helm.

Hilda Wright, owner of the Bay Horse Inn in West Woodburn, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time running the Bay Horse, but feel the time has come for us to hand the reins over to a new owner-operator.

“I’d love to see the business go to somebody who can take it to the next level and capitalise on the opportunities for camping or glamping pods.”

Hilda originally bought the premises in 1983, moving to the Redesdale Arms in Rochester two years later, and retired after 19 years there.

“During my retirement I got bored, so I bought back the Bay Horse and have been here since 2006,” she said.

Hilda was born in North Shields and moved to the Redesdale area after marrying husband Johnny, from West Woodburn.

“I was always interested in owning my own place right from the age of 16 when I had my first job at a hotel,” she said.

Hilda said that the 18th century coaching inn’s prime location in West Woodburn ensured its rooms were sold out all year round.

“It’s a lovely spot in an ideal location,” she added.

“Throughout the year, there’s a constant stream of people, with tourists in the summer and shooters in the winter.

“There’s a lovely atmosphere in the pub.

“I always considered renovation, like all pubs are doing nowadays, but then people would come in and compliment the traditional aspects of the interior and exterior of the building.”

And now, after an enjoyable and successful career in the local hospitality industry, and a recent move to the Coquet Valley, Hilda is looking to retire for good this time.

“We will still be visiting, but I’m past retirement now, so it’s the right time to put it up for sale.”