AN HISTORIC inn which has been closed for two years reopens this week following an extensive refurbishment.

The Owl at Hawnby, near Helmsley, formerly the Inn at Hawnby, has been transformed into a country pub and restaurant with accommodation.

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

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.

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.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

The estate also received significant funding for the refurbishment of the inn through the LEADER grant scheme, a European Union initiative to support the development of the rural economy.