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“Wonderful Christmas Present!”

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String of Horses Inn
Ranked #2 of 61 Carlisle B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Last Christmas we received a voucher for a 2 night stay at the wonderful String of Horses, a beautiful 17th Century Coaching Inn in a lovely little village just outside Carlisle.
We were there last weekend and had a fabulous time!
We were in Room 1, just at the top of the stairs, a lovely room with a bathroom almost as big as the bedroom! Comfy bed and all spotlessly clean.
Colin and Jill were both very friendly and welcoming, even though we hadn't visited before, they made us feel as if we were old friends!
We ate there on the first evening, food was good and so was the atmosphere!
Plenty of choices for breakfast too!
During our stay we visited the lovely city of Carlisle, Gretna Green and Hadrian's Wall, all of which were really easy to get to from the Inn, the weather was good too, which was a bonus!
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this wonderful place!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank CheshireRocky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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399 - 405 of 502 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2013

The "String of Horses Inn" probably gets its name from the fact that for most parts, since its birth in the 1650s a string of horses were tied outside it rather than a 'string of cars'. The bar still resides on a fascia which reads "1694", that's over 300yrs old.... the place though is remarkably maintained by Colin, his wife and the staff...all happy folks.

Being only a few miles from Carlisle its a great place to break journey on any London - Scotland journey or even a place to part if you're visiting the Lake District or Hadrian's Wall areas.

Another great attraction for us was that they had a perfectly sized room for a family of 4, with 4 beds and decent space. While the building is old, the rooms are new and the bathroom, fortunately was spacious and modern. The hot water bottle to keep the beds warm was nice touch.

The dining experience was also rather interesting, their cook prepared some delectable spice salmon and lamb tagine, and their service was quite happy indeed.

Room Tip: its a quiet village so there really isnt much noise, except the music of the birds. the family rooms...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank huzefac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Just come back from a 2 night stay this weekend and I would recommend booking.
The Inn itself is very Olde Worlde with log fires, cosy tables and candles.

From arrival Colin the owner looked after us and was one of the most polite men we have ever met, his staff are a credit to him and they all ensured we had an enjoyable stay.

We had bedroom 6 which is a spacious twin with a great size bathroom (bath and walk in shower). The beds were comfy and the rooms were clean and tidy.

We ate here both nights and you can tell they cook their food fresh and to order. It was very tasty with plenty of choice and they didn't scrimp on the portions.

Will definitely be booking again in the near future!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JoanneLeighton5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

I would highly recommend a short stay at this very cosy and welcoming inn. The staff are very polite, helpful and hard working. Meals were tasty and wholesome. Quiet location - very relaxing. Very clean throughout.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank BarbieNewcastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

On friday afternoon on the 5 april,Colin welcomed us into his lovely pub/hotel and showed us to room 1 which is flawlessly decorated with lovely fixtures and fittings,the bathroom is spacious with a great bath and shower.The olde worlde nature of the pub is not repeated in the rooms as they are warm modern and very comfortable.Oh and just too mention totally spotless.Breakfast was superb and you can tell its not supermarket bought ingredients.I would recommend this pub/hotel to everyone and will be making a point of telling friends and family the must try it.I cannot believe some of the negative comments on here you people must want buckingham palace.Oh and value for money is also a reason that we will be coming back thanks everyone.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank neil1188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Some good bits
Nice rural location near Carlisle. Nice old building. Has an attached pub. Lots of car parking. Good Wifi.
A lot of bad bits.
Room 14 was small and pokey. The room was over the pub and was VERY noisy and the noise went on until 1130 plus. The noise affected the room and the resident’s lounge and was really intolerable in the room. Washer/drier room next to room and drier put on late – noisy in the room. Quite loud child noise from (? owner’s family) next to lounge. Lots of cobwebs in room and in hallway. The webs were many and old. Uncomfortable cheap skinny mattress and skimpy duvet.. Shower mouldy on inside and needs a real good scrub which it clearly had not had for a long time. Lots of dust – very thick in some areas such as tops of pictures. Long hairs in shower, on bathroom floor and on the kettle. The kettle, which was ½ full of water on arrival, was filthy and was replaced with a kettle that was just dirty. The spoons, cups and saucers were dirty. The bin had rubbish in it on arrival. The room was cold noting the central heating was turned off at night even in the bout of very cold weather. Bland dated cheap feel to everything in the room. The area guide in the room only had a few pages left in it. No hand towels in the room on arrival. No shelf in the bathroom to put toiletries on.
We had planned to stay 2 nights but took a full refund offer and left the next day and stayed elsewhere. We were told no other rooms were available at this hotel for the 1st night. Refund was a good offer but needing it does mean there were real problems with the room. I understand that refurbishment is on-going so there may well be better rooms. On-going refurbishment is no excuse for the problems we encountered and the cleaning issues are a basic failing.
An annoying interaction with the female of the owners occurred. We had been told the noise would cease about 1000pm. About 1120 pm the noise was louder than ever and my wife phoned to complain and was told they would not do anything as they felt it would be disrespectful to the patrons in the bar and anyway what did we want as we were to get a full refund. The rude attitude was inappropriate and really unacceptable.
I think that they should warn at booking the risk of noise if these rooms were to be booked as it is a big problem. Rooms elsewhere in the hotel may be quieter but I cannot at all recommend this hotel if there is a chance of being in put in a noisy grubby room along the grubby corridor over the bar.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Whatbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colin r, Owner at String of Horses Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Dear Guest.

Thank you for your review of our hotel. First and foremost, I would like to apologise that your stay did not meet your expectations.

Finding a wastepaper bin that had not been emptied and a hair on the kettle were obviously not a good start when checking into your room and were regrettable lapses on our part. I would disagree that the replacement kettle was dirty as I checked it myself. It may have had a small amount of limescale on the element but I this is very difficult to remove without the risk of damaging the element.

This initial bad impression obviously did not wear off and it is understandable that you were not happy with anything else during your stay. Your other grievances such as cobwebs which you showed us at the time were, in my opinion, small and had be keenly searched for. Nevertheless, they were there and you are right, they should not have been there. We have reviewed our cleaning procedures since your stay to make sure that this does not happen again.

Therefore, we were happy to offer you a full refund and also to let you stay in the room for the night as a goodwill gesture. This despite the fact that it was still relatively early (6-7pm) and time to look for somewhere else if it really was so terrible. On reflection this only gave you a longer list of grievances as you had longer to look for more.

Regarding the noise, we did ask the customers to be a bit quieter after your phone call and we are certainly not a loud drinking pub. We do take customer experience very seriously and accept that there were audible sounds that could be heard by yourselves but I don't think we have ever had any guests who have been quite so sensitive to every single noise, particularly as you were sitting in a public TV lounge area for most of the night.

Once again thank you for your review which we will act on for the benefit of future customers. Perhaps in future for extra credibility you might steer clear of using words like "grubby" which we certainly cannot agree with.

Kind regards

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Reviewed April 3, 2013

Impressed by previous reviews we were so looking forward to a night in a cosy pub with good food...sadly The String of Horses did not live up to its expectations.

we booked the top priced four poster room and were extremely disappointed by this dull room and bathroom. Although large, the bed was cheap and nasty with the worst mattress and pillows we have ever encountered. The bathroom was large as was the corner bath but there was no separate shower and you have to sit in the bath using the hand -held hose which dribbles out.
We had booked a table for dinner in the restaurant but we had to wait 45 minutes for our table which had obviously been given to another couple. When it did eventually arrive the food was poor and more like a bar meal (sausage and mash, scampi and chips etc) than a decent restaurant even though the prices were restaurant prices.
Breakfast is only served until 9.30 even on Easter Sunday, the selection is average and certainly not good. We asked for poached eggs but told they were not available - even though they were on the menu! Guests at adjacent table asked for boiled eggs but again not available. It was eggs fried or scrambled. We have never known a chef who could not, or would not, boil or poach eggs for a guest's breakfast.
All in all a poor room even though top price, long wait for an average meal, no sleep on thin mattress and pillows and a very poor breakfast. Sorry but that's how it was for us. On the plus side the beer was good.

Room Tip: Do not choose room 5 four poster.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AileenB15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colin r, Owner at String of Horses Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review of our inn and I'm sorry that we could not meet your expectations on this occasion.

I am slightly perplexed as to your comments about the room and the bed as we have always had such positive feedback on these. The room has been recently refurbished and I would urge prospective guests to look at photos of our room with the white 4 poster bed while reading these comments.

Regarding dinner, I am aware that you had a 20 minute wait in the bar for your table, during which time you ordered and your table was ready in time for your starters coming out. I know you were not happy with this wait and it was regrettable, but all I can say is that it was Easter Saturday which is an extremely busy night and we (very) occasionally need a little leeway on dining times on such a busy night.

Regarding the food being more like a bar meal, this is perhaps because you ordered bar-type food, (sausage and mash, scampi and chips) which are available on the menu alongside more restaurant-type food. I would urge prospective guests to look at our menu on our website to see if it suitable for their tastes. I do believe it offers an excellent choice and value for money.

Regarding breakfast, the inn was full and during busy times we occasionally have to limit the choice of eggs to fried or scrambled. We make no apologies for this and the menu reflected that poached eggs were not available.

Overall, i'm sorry that you were not happy but I do think 20 minutes wait (sitting down) is not so terrible on one of the busiest nights of the year. I know that you were not happy after this and for the rest of your stay. Obviously, we are always try to avoid this at all costs but if you look at other reviews it is not a problem which we encounter often.

Thank you once again for your feedback which will help us to monitor customer satisfaction and keep our standards high.

Kind regards

Colin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about String of Horses Inn

Address: Faugh | Heads Nook, Carlisle CA8 9EG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Carlisle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 61 B&Bs / Inns in Carlisle
Price Range: $95 - $124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — String of Horses Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
String Of Horses Hotel Carlisle

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