We stayed at the ship for a week 12th Dec for my husbands surprise 40th birthday! I still can't believe we managed to keep it a secret for a year and actually pulled it off to perfection it couldn't have gone any better. My family arrived before us and accessed the ship by code, they were able to decorate the downstairs with photos, banners and balloons which we had arranged to be delivered by Sandra at Clown Around just up the road which is good to know if you want somebody local to deliver balloons and reasonable to. All we needed then was the guest of honour who thought was going away with just me for a quiet romantic weekend in a remote cottage (something we have done before so easy to trick him). I delayed our travel by telling him the cottage had had a power cut and the owner had asked if we could come later and call in the pub he runs to collect the keys. He totally fell for this hook line and sinker and at 7pm we arrived at The Ship! I stopped at the services ten minutes before to make a call to family to get ready as we were nearly there. Outside The Ship he reluctantly wanted to stay in the car and wanted me to run in for the non-existent keys. I had a wobble at this point as I had to get him inside but he didn't want to leave the dog in the car. After a mini disagreement with my defence as I don't like walking in pubs alone he reluctantly got out to come with me. Heart was in my mouth at this point as I encouraged him to push the front door which leads to the main lounge area. Party poppers went off and cheers went up (they had the ligthts off) as he pushed the door open! His first reaction wasn't good as he thought we had walked in on a private event and ruined somebody else's surprise, then the lights went up and he focussed in on the family faces and realised we had got him good and proper, it was brilliant and so glad I did it. He had the most amazing time partying, relaxing watching footy on the humongous projector screen and spending time as a large family. Cannot fault the ship, yes it had a few leaky radiators in a few bathrooms but nothing is perfect and nothing ruined our stay. I was surprised at some of the petty complaints in the guest book as it's over 100 year old probably listed building which has been tastefully upgraded. All the bathrooms were modern and clean, everybody commented how comfortable the beds were, being zip locked beds we expected them not to be but couldn't fault them. The kids loved exploring and we had the most funny murder mystery game on the Saturday which my brother arranged. It is the ideal place to play a murder mystery game as there are so many rooms. The log burner kicks out powerful heat and wall radiators keep you nice and toasty so don't worry about being cold and the lovely down duvets were a hit with many guests vowing to go home and switch to them. The kitchen communal area is just fantastic, very adequately equipped and just a lovely space to be together. We did our own buffet on the Saturday night, both Tesco's and Icelands deliver here which made life easy as I ordered the week before. I could go on and on about the Ship as we had the best time, most of the guests left on the Sunday with a few staying on the rest of the week with us which was nice and chilled. The only negative I have which would improve the Ship is some outdoor lighting at the back door for the smokers and also if you have a dog so you can see where they are doing their business. Mark was great to deal with, and promptly replied if we had any problems, we had slight issue getting the projector to come on it seems to be connected to the light switches but we figured it out. To sum up the Ship Inn is the ultimate venue to be together as a group and we were all ages and everybody had a great time. Thanks Mark for providing a great place to party at a reasonable cost.