England’s north-eastern coastline is one of the most stunning in the UK, yet less populated and more peaceful than many others. Sandy beaches give way to moorlands and forests, providing open, calming space to recharge and spread out, far from any crowds. Kids and dogs love the outdoorsy lifestyle here. But rainy days can be spent wandering the castles, museums and shops found in the area. And of course, having a fine hotel to which you can return, will make any staycation in beautiful Northumberland, an extra special experience.
An Edwardian mansion is the centre-piece of this sprawling resort, surrounded by farmland and woods. 141 large bedrooms are decorated in a traditional baronial style. Public areas feature real fires, dark oak panelling and rich velvet upholstery. By contrast, the restaurant is bright and airy, with two additional bars serving child-friendly hearty classics. Guests can play golf on its two championship courses, take part in country pursuits, get pampered in the spa and try a range of malts in the hall’s Whisky Snug. Well suited to families, dogs are also welcome in some of the rooms. And there’s plenty more to see and do in the local area – Hadrian’s Wall and Derwent Water are just two of the attractions close by.
Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa
15 years were spent transforming this property to create a grand, yet cosy 36 bedroom hotel. Originally constructed in 1818, it’s now Northumberland’s only four AA red star awarded hotel and comes with 10 acres of its own land. Conveniently close to the A1, it’s the perfect luxury stop-off if travelling further afield, or booked for an elegant getaway, and canine companions are made extremely welcome, no matter their size. A spa with an indoor pool, carefully manicured gardens, afternoon teas served fireside in the library and a fancy two AA Rosette fine dining restaurant, add to Doxford Hall’s wide appeal. If you’re planning a romantic trip away, you can request a room with a four-poster bed.
One of the oldest hotels in the area, this four-storey castle was erected in 1350. The restored medieval tower house has walls seven inches thick, ensuring a quiet night’s rest. Another superb option for couples celebrating a special occasion, it has many four-poster beds (some in the main body of the castle) and a two AA Rosette eatery, the Josephine restaurant. Interconnecting rooms ensure families are well catered for as well and despite its age, the hotel offers a good level of accessibility. Guests can learn more about the Grade I listed building’s colourful history with tours of the battlements.
Stay in a Georgian mansion a stone’s throw from Hadrian’s Wall. Perfect for those who like a little seclusion with plenty of outdoor activities, there’s a tennis court, gym, bike storage, children’s playground and a boot room for muddy walks, as well as fishing or shooting trips arranged by the hotel staff. The bijou spa, steam room and adjoining pool are encased in a glass-walled pavilion building and the grounds look out onto the Tyne valley beyond. 10 bedrooms reflect the property’s original era, as well as the surroundings – expect traditional country style, except in the bar which is comparatively glitzy. Meals are served in a relaxed restaurant, or on the terrace.