AN inn that has undergone a major refurbishment has opened its doors again after the pandemic.

The Owl at Hawnby, near Helmsley, reopened on April 12, with a new Shepherd’s Hut on site and bookings stretching into 2022.

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

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.

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.”

The Shepherds Hut has a wood-burning pizza oven, which will enable both food and drink to be served outside in line with the Government’s Covid-19 regulations.

Situated on the Hawnby Estate, the Owl is integral to the village, serving as a hub for the local community, as well as being 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."

He said they were delighted that the Owl is now managed by Country and Coastal Inns, which shares their enthusiasm and desire to build a sustainable and successful business.

“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 said.

The estate also received significant funding for the refurbishment of the Inn through the LEADER grant scheme.