Accommodation, Accommodation, Accommodation
1) The Rose 'n Crown Chop House and Hotel in Knutsford, Cheshire. I had a meal here with my family and we all enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. We had no need to stay over but if the welcome in the restaurant is anything to go by, I'm sure the weary traveller would be well looked after.
2) The Riccarton Hotel in Currie near Edinburgh. I stayed here on business recently and was very pleased with the accommodation, the friendly atmosphere and the meals served in the bar. I was so glad that I found this hostelry rather than another soul-less branch of a national hotel chain.
3) The Old Well Inn in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Sadly, I was only passing by on the other side when I saw this beautiful hotel on a steep main street coming up from the water's edge. (How like The Three Cups!). There was no chance to stop and sample the hospitality. Next time. The motto emblazoned on the hotel's frontage is certainly an encouragement to return and enter in, "Drink Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well".
These hotels have other factors in common. They have charm that comes from their antiquity which is good for business. They are well maintained in keeping with their character. And they are centrally located, giving them a commercial advantage and adding economic benefit to their host towns. I'm afraid I haven't come across any famous visitors to these inns so perhaps The Three Cups could be even more successful when re-opened as a HOTEL with all its literary connections.