AN historic inn in one of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages is set to reopen under a new name after a £650,000 refurb.

The Owl at Hawnby, near Helmsley, in the heart of the North York Moors National Park, opens on Thursday evening (December 3).

Formerly called The Inn at Hawnby, it has been transformed into a beautiful country pub and restaurant with rooms. It had been closed for two years.

The long-term leasehold of the Owl, which remains an integral part of the Hawnby Estate, has been bought by the Coastal and Country Inns Group.

The £650,000 restoration of the 19th century inn includes a bar, lounge, restaurant, and nine double en-suite bedrooms.

Situated on the Hawnby Estate, the Inn is integral to the village, serving as a hub for the local community, as well as being very popular with hikers, cyclists, countryside sports enthusiasts and tourists.

Jamie Savile, who runs the estate, said: “The hill-top village of Hawnby has really missed having a thriving country inn. The Owl is now looking magnificent and it will really put our picturesque village on the map again.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Owl is going to be managed by an accomplished company such as Country and Coastal Inns. They have a tremendous track record, with a number of other successful rural inns across the UK, and they share our enthusiasm and desire to build a sustainable and successful business.

“It goes without saying that the every effort has been made to make the Owl as safe as possible in these testing times. Social distancing, face masks and hand sanitisers are in place and we are confident that everyone who comes here will feel very comfortable, especially as we are in the middle of the countryside.

“We believe the Owl will now be a destination pub and restaurant with rooms, becoming the beating heart of the village again, as well as a welcome oasis for hikers, tourists to the National Park and lovers of good food and drink.

“The success of The Owl is crucial to the estate and the wider village and we are extremely happy to have found somebody who shares our enthusiasm and desire to build a thriving rural business.

“The restoration of the pub is part of an on-going regeneration of the whole village and this includes transforming a number of run-down properties into lovely holiday cottages and shepherd’s huts.”

Chris Hannon, the managing director of Coastal and Country Inns, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for us – and the perfect fit for our operation. It will be the jewel in our crown and we are determined to justify the faith which Jamie and Mexborough Estates have shown in us. Hawnby is such an incredibly gorgeous village and we are determined to do it justice.

“Our aim as a company is to create a portfolio of attractive inns of which we can be very proud. We want our inns to be individual, friendly, accessible and tasteful, a far cry from the big pub chains. We also place great emphasis on using sustainable local produce – and the Hawnby Estate will be perfect for this

“For us it is important that each inn has a unique design, a mix of modern, comfortable, beautiful and practical antique furniture. Each inn must have open fires to welcome you on a chilly day and, when the sun makes an appearance, our gardens and outside spaces are somewhere beautiful to be.”