AN historic inn in one of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque villages is set to reopen on Monday (April 12) – with a brand-new shepherd’s hut on site and bookings stretching into 2022.

Formerly the Inn at Hawnby near Helmsley, the Owl has been transformed into a country pub and restaurant with rooms in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

As The Press reported last year, the pub underwent a £650,000 refurb.

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

Chris Hannon, managing director of Coastal and Country Inns, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be reopening again. It has been a difficult and challenging 12 months for us all, but we strongly believe that April 12 heralds a new dawn. We are looking forward so much to getting started again.

“The lockdown has enabled us to complete the £650,000 refurbishment which has transformed the 19th century Owl into one of the finest restaurants with rooms in Yorkshire. We can’t wait to show everyone the new-look Owl.

“We already have lots of future bookings, both leisure guests and shooting parties.  The shoot parties start arriving at the end of September and continue right through until the end of February next year. These bookings give us such confidence and are a ringing endorsement of what we are creating here,” said Chris.

When the Owl opens on Monday April 12, the highlight will be a brand-new shepherds hut with a wood-burning pizza oven which will enable both food and drink to be served outside in line with the Government’s Covid regulations.

Chris continued: “That’s how we will be operating for the first month. Then, from May 17, we will be open fully, with outdoor and indoor eating and guests being able to stay overnight.  Our superb new menu, which has been refined during lockdown, will be available then, together with our well-stocked bar.”

Jamie Savile, who runs the estate, said: “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.”