Run by: Thomas Brodie

This old market town hotel in the main square is perfect for groups and preferential rates can apply (quote the website and book). Thomas is experienced in the hotel trade and has breathed new life into the Howard since taking over in early 2011. There's a secure lock up out the back, nicely fitted out rooms and a good bar with decent wines and real ales. Charles Dickens stayed here in the days when it was a bustling market town at the Pennine cross-roads of northern England and Scotland. Food is locally sourced.

Rooms: 6D/T, 1S, 3Tpl. B&B: from £35. Eve meal: from £9.95. Award winning chef. Pk lunch: £5.25 Secure lock up. Drying and laundry facilities. AA: 4-stars.