In brief: A chic, boutique hotel housed in a former convent.
Insider guide: Just on the doorstep to Alnwick Castle, on the cobbled streets of Bailiffgate, the 11 bedrooms at The Cookie Jar are set within a historic building and brimming with character, yet not lacking in modern luxuries. Ranging from intimate and cosy rooms to Mother Superior Suites, if the drench shower and king-size beds don't have you longing to stay, then the homemade cookies in your cookie jar will.
Our highlight: The complimentary fluffy robes you'll change into after a heavenly soak.
12 Bailiffgate, Alnwick NE66 1LU
01665 510465 www.cookiejaralnwick.com
In brief: Luxury five-star, self-catering accommodation within a 30-acre country estate.
Insider guide: Within the private grounds of Middleton Hall you’ll find five beautiful settings for a luxury self-catered holiday, each as unique as the next. Accommodating from two to 20 guests, choose from The Hall (a grand escape boasting high ceilings and its own chef), the recently added Coach House, tranquil Lake Cottage, the lakeside Boathouse or secluded Folly – the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.
Our highlight: Escaping for a wander around the Victorian walled gardens.
Belford, Northumberland NE70 7LF
01668 219677 www.exploremiddletonhall.co.uk
In brief: A selection of luxury lodges nestled in 47acres of woodland.
Insider guide: Furnished to a high standard and set within a woodland paradise, Darwin Forest offers luxury lodges that sleep from two to eight guests. Choose a spacious Elite Lodge for open-plan living and wonderful views for the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding hills, picturesque villages and local attractions of the Peak District including Chatsworth House and Gardens.
Our highlight: Their Spa Lodge, complete with outdoor hot tub – the perfect spot to unwind beneath the twinkling stars.
Matlock DE4 5PL
01629 732428 www.darwinforest.co.uk
In brief: A seafront apartment, sleeping four, on the edge of Seahouses.
Insider guide: Upper Deck is located in the prestigious Seafield Development along Seahouses’ sea front, with stunning views over the waves and across to the Farne Islands. Curl up in the super-king bed in one of Upper Deck’s two ensuite bedrooms after a day of exploring the local area.
Our highlight: There are two balconies from which to take in the spectacular views of the Northumberland coast.
Seahouses NE68 7SS
01665 721380 www.staynorthumbria.co.uk
In brief: A luxury North Yorkshire escape within a 200-acre private estate.
Insider guide: The nine rustic rooms at Middleton Lodge’s Coach House are the perfect spot to wind down. All tastefully decorated and finished with modern furnishings, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. Choose from a Garden Room where you’ll find your own private terrace, or the super-spacious Tack Room. Just be sure to make time for a visit to newly-opened restaurant The Forge, where you’ll be served modern British fare that mixes local ingredients with innovative flavours.
Our highlight: Sinking into the gorgeous roll-top bath in the Farmhouse.
Middleton Tyas, Richmond DL10 6NJ
01325 377977 www.middletonlodge.co.uk
In brief: A self-catering property, sleeping 10, just a stone’s throw from Longsands beach.
Insider guide: Just 200 metres from the beach and within walking distance of the restaurants and pubs of Tynemouth, this lodge is an ideal base for exploring the North East coast. Refurbished in 2014, you’ll find five bedrooms (two of which are ensuite), a sitting room and a dining-kitchen – it’s the perfect home-from-home base for a seaside getaway.
Our highlight: Curling up in the homely sitting room after a brisk walk along the beach.
Percy Park Road, Tynemouth NE30 4LX
0191 300 0100 www.longsandslodge.co.uk
In brief: A North Yorkshire hotel-cum-restaurant with seven individually-designed bedrooms.
Insider guide: Built in 1804, The Cleveland Tontine has been brought into the 21st century with its eclectic array of stylish rooms and deliciously-decadent dining. Stay in the stunning split-level Gertrude Bell room (featuring bright, bold colours, a four-poster bed and a bath big enough for two) or the more understated Mount Grace (a restful room with views over the surrounding hills).
Our highlight: Featuring a beautiful Grade I-listed ceiling and huge open fire, the Bistro is a wonderful place to while away an hour over a glass of wine.
Staddlebridge, Northallerton DL6 3JB
01609 882671 www.theclevelandtontine.com
In brief: An elegant hotel on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.
Insider guide: This gothic country house, built for the Ellis family in 1881, is now an elegant country hotel set within vast, landscaped grounds, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside. Their 24 rooms offer a varied taste of luxury – from Gothic oak tester beds and mullion windows, to double-ended slipper baths and Italian marble showers – and are the perfect spot for a peaceful break.
Our highlight: The unbeatable views of the National Park from The Tower Room.
Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 0PB
01723 371190 www.wreaheadhall.co.uk
In brief: Three newly-refurbished coastal apartments on Whitby’s West Cliff.
Insider guide: Just a short stroll from the beach you’ll find these three apartments, finished to an exceptionally high standard and offering the perfect base for a break by the sea. Think sumptuous king-size beds, open plan kitchen-dining and a wealth of things to see and do right on your doorstep.
Our highlight: The chilled bottle of fizz waiting for your arrival.
Whitby YO21 3EY
07771 850636 www.sandyshoreholidays.co.uk