What it is: A five-star golf and spa hotel on the County Durham and North Yorkshire border.
Highlight: The 18-hole championship golf course, one of the most challenging in Europe.
The 61 bedrooms at Rockliffe Hall don’t stint on space or luxuriousness, with Villeroy & Boch bathtubs as standard. But if you can drag yourself from the bathroom, the award-winning spa has a range of innovative treatments, including sound wave therapy beds to soothe your soul. Once you have been fully reinvigorated, enjoy the vast array of cocktails offered by Rockliffe Hall’s bar: the chilli and plantation rum Old Fashioned is a particular favourite, though it might have an adverse effect on your swing.
Darlington, County Durham DL2 2DU
01325 729999 www.rockliffehall.com
What it is: A grand country house hotel and spa in 300 acres of parkland.
Highlight: The joy of dining in the two-AA Rosette Library Restaurant.
Once the ancestral home of Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett, Matfen Hall is today a luxury hotel with a championship golf course and spa. For those looking to work on their short game, the estate boasts an enjoyable par 3 course as well as its 27-hole championship course. The Aqua Vitae spa has a state-of-the-art gym, a juice bar where you can grab a light bite to eat, and offers a range of beauty treatments.
Matfen Village, Newcastle NE20 0RH
01661 886500 www.matfenhall.com
What it is: A luxury hotel, spa and golf resort in 350 acres of land.
Highlight: The hot rock massage, using aromatherapy oils and warm volcanic stones to relieve muscle tension.
The Prince Bishops’ course at Ramside is of the highest quality, having been assiduously designed by Jonathan Gaunt, and will grasp the full attention of any player who takes to its first tee. With water hazards on 10 of its holes and nine doglegs, this is not a course for the faint of heart. Along with its two golf courses, Ramside Hall is well-known for its luxurious spa and innovative treatments, including the Mud Rasul Ritual, where you apply nourishing muds to your face, body and hair in a steamy twinkling Rasul chamber.
Carrville, Durham DH1 1TD
0191 386 5282 www.ramsidehallhotel.co.uk
Courtyard Rooms at Close House
What it is: One of the region’s premier clubs, home to the only PGA Academy in the North.
Highlight: The Lee Westwood Colt Course – set to host the 2017 British Masters.
This fabulous golf resort is the home of two Lee Westwood courses, and is situated in the picturesque Tyne Valley. The driving range and PGA-standard coaches also mean it’s an ideal place to work on your swing before attacking the course’s undulating greens. The standard of Close House’s dining is as high as its golf, with No. 19 offering the best local produce prepared expertly (its Sunday lunch roast sirloin is a particular hit). After a long day on the course, the Courtyard Rooms are great to rest and recuperate, giving you a good chance of shooting a lower round the next day.
The Lodge, Close House Estate NE15 0HT
01661 852255 www.closehouse.com
Rudding Park Hotel, Golf and Spa
What it is: A luxury hotel near Harrogate.
Highlight: The constantly-changing contemporary restaurant, which uses ingredients from the hotel’s kitchen garden.
This plush Georgian manor has a fully-equipped spa and gym, including a Turkish-style hamam, ideal for the weary golfer. The 18-hole Hawtree parkland course in the wonderful West Riding ensures a scenic round even when hacking in the rough. For those visitors who really know their golf, Rudding Park also has a replica of TPC Sawgrass’s famous 17th hole within its six-hole Repton Short Course. Visitors can get some nourishment at the two-AA Rosette Clocktower restaurant within the hotel.
Rudding Park, Follifoot, Harrogate HG3 1JH
01423 871350 www.ruddingpark.co.uk
What it is: A four-star golf resort, complete with a spa and pool.
Highlight: A post-round afternoon tea in the hall’s Edwardian drawing room.
Both Slaley Hall’s Hunting and Priestman courses are expertly designed, with the aim of testing all those who play them. The former is a 7,000-yard behemoth with a par of 72. Off the fairways, Slaley Hall is set in 1,000 acres of idyllic Northumbrian countryside. The extravagant Edwardian mansion has 141 spacious bedrooms. After exerting yourself fully on the excellent 18 holes, there’s the option to have a refreshing and rehabilitating swim in Slaley Hall’s pool, before receiving a relaxing massage in its spa.
Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX
0845 034 5777 www.qhotelsgroup.co.uk