Welcome to Inns of Character

We currently have eight Thwaites Inns of Character and are always looking to expand. Our vision is to offer a selection of inns that provide high quality service, honest home cooked food and a relaxing stay. We believe in delivering high standards in a friendly, yet professional atmosphere and want to ensure you have the best possible experience with us.   

Each of our Inns have been carefully chosen based on its location, we aim to be located either in the middle of some of the country’s historic towns and cities or amongst the most breathtaking countryside in the Yorkshire Dales, Lancashire and the Lake District.

All of the ingredients that make up our hearty dishes are seasonal and sourced from local handpicked suppliers. We take great care in the execution of our food to make sure our customers go home feeling happy and satisfied with their dining experience.

Our bedrooms are individually decorated and bursting with character; another reason why our inns are so unique. They contain all the facilities you need to have a comfortable night’s sleep and an enjoyable stay. Then you can wake up to one of our delicious full English breakfasts that will set you up perfectly for a day of exploring.

A look at some of our recent awards…


We’re delighted  – winners of the Best Accommodation Operator at the 2013 Publican Awards.  The competition was fierce and judging intense with mystery visits, panel interviews and financial scrutiny – but we’re proud that our wonderful team of people at the inns, and the support team back at the centre too, have been recognised for all the hard work that goes in to setting up and establishing a new business.


We’re delighted to announce that two of our Inns of Character have been awarded with AA 5 star inn status – a small but exclusive club of just 28 in the UK. This is fantastic news for The Fleece at Cirencester and The Millstone at Mellor, who are both already award winning inns.


The Independent Award for pubs serving great quality cask ale. The Cask Marque scheme is operated by an independent body, pubs are visited unannounced by an assessor twice a year. The assessor checks all cask ales on sale for – temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. All 6 of our Inns are awarded with Cask Marque INN-PRESSIVE! The Millstone at Mellor is the proud winner of The Lancashire Life Hotel of The Year award.


The Millstone at Mellor won The Tourism Pub Of The Year in The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2012-13. We are also proud to have been highly commended for The Small Hotel Award & The Taste Lancashire Award.

A Horsing tradition

Since 1960, delivery horses have been a big part of Daniel Thwaites heritage, and until very recently they still delivered beer to our pubs within the Blackburn area. And although we now use vehicles to deliver beer, our horses are not forgotten. In fact, they have a very hectic schedule throughout the year with appearances at numerous horse shows and events to raise money for charities up and down the country.It’s always best to check with the venue before travelling as the horses schedule can change at the last minute and is also weather dependant.


A Great tradition

Thwaites plc is a family-controlled company, based in Blackburn, Lancashire. The company was founded in 1807 when Daniel Thwaites, an excise officer, bought a small brewery. From humble beginnings and five generations of the family, the business has gone from strength to strength and now includes:

  • Thwaites Brewery – creating a range traditional cask ales for sale throughout our own pubs, inns and hotels and to retail and free trade accounts throughout the UK.
  • Thwaites Pubs – a collection of 290 tenanted pubs .
  • Shire Hotels – founded in 1980 these six award-winning four star hotels offer exceptional hospitality and service levels.
  • Thwaites Inns of Character – formed in 2011 and managed by Shire Hotels.
  • James Pickup Wine and Spirit Merchants – a great connection to help us secure some of the best wines at great value prices.