eshott hall northumberland 2 p

Nine amazing luxury hotels in Northumberland, from historic halls to medieval castles

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest guidance before travelling. Our writer visited these hotels prior to the pandemic.

Northumberland may not have big cities with grand and glamorous hotels, but this huge and sparsely populated county offers its own version of grand accommodation with many of its stately homes and country houses – and even a castle – turned into luxury hotels. Often surrounded by acres of grounds and woodland, and sometimes with a spa, these hotels also offer the luxury of peace and space. In other cases, cosier but equally lavish bedrooms are found in more modest-sized inns or historic buildings. Here’s our pick of the top luxury hotels in Northumberland in and around locations including Eshott, Chathill, Alnwick and Hadrian’s Wall.

Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa

Chathill, Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A large Georgian country house in a remote-feeling location in Northumberland, close to the stunning North East England coastline. The 34 rooms are light-filled, ridiculously large (even the so-called standard ‘Classic’) and furnished with carved bedsteads, wardrobes and dressing tables. There are plenty of areas to relax with a book or just hang out, including the ‘Library’ with over 2,000 books. Set in 10 acres of gardens and woodland, featuring a yew-tree maze, there’s also a paved terrace that makes a nice spot for afternoon tea. Dining here is a treat: think starched napery, fresh flowers and dinner orders taken in the cocktail bar over canapés. A small spa includes a pool and sauna.


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£
135

per night

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Eshott Hall

Eshott, Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

An elegant country house with a house-party atmosphere. With eclectically furnished rooms and fine dining, it’s favoured by older folk who like the peace, those celebrating anniversaries, or people looking for a luxury stop-over on journeys to and from Scotland. It charms with all the essentials: a creeper-covered façade; window seats; panelled walls; plasterwork ceilings; and a walled kitchen garden. There’s a tennis court (equipment to borrow), croquet lawn and woodland walks, plus guests have discounted use of the spa facilities at sister hotel, Doxford Hall, 20 miles away. Confident, punchy cooking, produces dishes that are tasty, well-balanced and surprising.


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£
134

per night

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Langley Castle

Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This is the real deal: a 14th-century castle – all battlements and seven-foot thick walls – where you can swan around in grand rooms with window seats, huge fireplaces, wrought-iron candelabras and suits of armour. Only the top bedrooms are in the castle though; most make do with the impressive view from the converted lodge and coach house. There are historical tours of the castle – including battlements and rooftop chapel – plus walking trails in the grounds. The two-AA-Rosette restaurant offers either a tasting or three-course table d’hote menu with everything, including bread, made from scratch.


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£
133

per night

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Lord Crewe Arms

Blanchland, County Durham, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

A lord-of-the-manor building that oozes atmosphere at every stone-flagged turn. The original fabric of the building – the Abbot’s lodging of a 12th-century priory – has been blended with a 21st-century country-house aesthetic. An experienced hand has been at work (the hotel is part of the stylish Calcot Manor group) to create a light, modern but relaxed country look: milky-coloured walls, bold tartan rugs, whimsical-print headboards, thick wool curtains, neat armchairs plus a sprinkling of antiques mixed with modern-rustic furniture. It situated on the Northumberland-County Durham border, in the centre of the pretty estate village of Blanchland.


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£
176

per night

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Matfen Hall

Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This is a stately pile of a hotel, close to Hadrian’s Wall, that has managed to add a spa, leisure centre and golf courses without losing its grandeur. An impressive, 19th-century Gothic mansion – vast mullioned windows, balustraded roof, towering chimneys – it’s the ancestral home of the Blackett family. With a two-AA Rosette restaurant expect polished cooking with a robust Northumbrian feel along the lines of slow-cooked rabbit pie, roast venison – and generous portions. Virtually everything – except croissants – is made in-house. Bedrooms are mainly in the new wing. There are walking and jogging trails, drying facilities and dogs are allowed in certain rooms.


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£
127

per night

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Slaley Hall

Hexham, Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This sprawling country resort hotel and spa, wrapped in woodland and golf courses, is mainly modern in feel, with a few rooms retaining features of the original hall. You will not be bored with a range of facilities spanning two Championship courses, quad bikes, a gym and indoor pool, plus a spa. The large bar, with an airy conservatory, leads on to a stone-flagged terrace (as does the drawing room), plus there’s a swish Whisky Snug (offering more than 100 malts). The main restaurant – a bright, functional affair – offers standard brasserie-style food. All 141 rooms are large; even entry-level Classic rooms have space for two double beds.


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£
69

per night

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The Joiners Arms

Alnwick, Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This is a ‘weekend treat’ getaway sort of place; a destination eating pub with five flirty bedrooms. The style is fun, eclectic and bohemian. Its immediate surrounds in High Newton-by-the-Sea are less romantic than they sound, but a 10-minute walk takes you to one of Northumberland’s loveliest beaches at Low Newton. People mainly come for the walking, the peace, the romantic rooms and the hearty food. The all-day menu offers above-average pub staples, often with an interesting twist, such as haggis sausage roll with whisky dipping sauce or steak and ale pie with Northumbrian cheddar cobbler.


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£
155

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Walwick Hall

Humshaugh, Northumberland, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A small, Georgian mansion in an enviable position close to Hadrian’s Wall with light, country-house-style interiors – comfortable rather than cluttered – and smart cooking. The owners have resisted a fashionable makeover and retained a country-house feel, but done with a light touch: plaid carpets and armchairs, deep sofas, coffee-and-cream colours, and bright, Arcadian-print wallpapers. Stags’ heads, hunting scenes and stuffed fish keep the atmosphere firmly in the country. There’s a tennis court, spa, gym, pool, boot-room and cycle storage, plus fishing and shooting packages. The 10 rooms and suites are comfortably traditional.


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£
200

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William de Percy Inn

Otterburn, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This country inn in the tiny village of Otterburn offers fun and sexy bedrooms that combine rustic-chic and Parisian boudoir styles. The 25 unashamedly flirty rooms have been designed for fun and indulgence. Carpets are thick and soft, walls are dark and rich, ceilings often open-timbers while pops of jewel-bright colours are found in velvet curtains and throws. Furniture is a mix of vintage, rustic and the exotic; perhaps a Baroque mirror, 1950s cocktail trolley, carved French bed or purple and gilt wardrobe. Top-level rooms might include a gold-coloured slipper-bath, fake carved-stone wall or a bathroom behind a wardrobe door.


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£
130

per night

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