Eight of the Best North East Hotels for a Breakaway
From chic, contemporary townhouses to grand country house hotels, and everything in between, find the best hotels for your breakaway
Black Horse Beamish
In brief: A country house hotel with plenty of different room options, including Red Row Retreat and the beautiful Old Red Row rooms with bespoke oak furniture and copper roll-top tubs.
Our highlight: Red Row Retreat, self-catering accommodation which can be booked exclusively for up to 10 guests and has the most breathtaking views over the rolling countryside from its outdoor terrace.
Insider guide: This hugely popular B&B-cum-boutique hotel close to many attractions and with its own pub and restaurant onsite is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy a little luxury in beautiful surroundings. When the weather’s fine eat in the pub’s pretty beer garden which has a children’s play area, or when it’s not so good, head inside to the light and airy restaurant, or cosy bar. The menu makes the most of the finest locally-sourced ingredients (the Sunday lunch here is legendary) so whether it’s a pub classic, something from the grill, a sharing board, or a delicious traditional afternoon tea, it’s always going to be good.
Red Row, Beamish DH9 0RW
In brief: A luxury boutique hotel with seven self-catering stable suites.
Our highlight: The compact luxury spa – where you can unwind in the bubbling jacuzzi and glass-walled pool while absorbing panoramic views of the surrounding Tyne Valley.
Insider guide: In the heart of rural Northumberland, on its own 100-acre estate, this country house hotel is an elegant retreat and a world away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. Each of the hotel’s 10 elegant bedrooms is individually designed to complement the original character of the Georgian building, but with all the modern luxuries you would expect to find; flat screen TVs, Illy coffee machines, and stunning ensuites with freestanding baths and walk-in showers. In the Dining Room, the talented team of chefs pride themselves on creating modern British dishes that blend quality ingredients from local producers and the hotel’s own kitchen garden, and afternoon tea at Walwick Hall is something of an institution, taken in the Drawing Room with its sink-in sofas, open fire and bay window to take advantage of the expansive views across the Tyne Valley. Humshaugh, Hexham NE46 4BJ
Jesmond Dene House
In brief: A boutique hotel tucked away in the leafy suburb of Jesmond.
Our highlight: Fern, the hotel’s neighbourhood bistro under the skilful, steady hand of chef Danny Parker, which serves fresh, delicious dishes using the best local produce.
Insider guide: This Grade II-listed Arts and Crafts building has an enviable position overlooking the wooded valley of Jesmond Dene, with the peace and quiet to match, yet it is just 10 minutes from Newcastle city centre, and a five-minute walk from Jesmond’s Osborne Road with its popular bars and nearby independent shops. The elegantly-furnished bedrooms (there are 40) come with plenty of little luxuries, including White Company toiletries. For that extra special stay, check out the luxury top floor apartment, which boasts its own private dining terrace, incredible rooftop views and bathroom with a walk-in double shower. Chill in one of the two lounge areas with their large inglenook fireplaces where there are plenty of comfy sofas to sink in to, or if the sun shines head out to the south-facing terrace for afternoon tea.
Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle NE2 2EY
0191 212 3000
In brief: A five-star luxury retreat in the quiet village of Hurworth.
Our highlight: The huge spa and great treatment menu.
Insider guide: With an award-winning spa, an 18-hole Championship golf course and a wide range of dining options, what more can you ask for? Enjoy the understated elegance of the bedrooms, each one unique, and there are new self-catering apartment suites here too, just a short walk from the main hotel. Whether you choose fine dining in the three-AA Rosette Orangery, take afternoon tea in the Old Hall, pick a healthy option in the Spa’s Nu Sana restaurant, or tuck into tradition British classics in the Clubhouse Kitchen & Bar overlooking the golf course, expect delicious dishes made with ingredients often foraged from Rockliffe’s 375-acre estate.
Hurworth on Tees, Darlington DL2 2DU
High Force Hotel
In brief: A welcoming rural retreat adjacent to England’s largest and most powerful waterfall, High Force.
Our highlight: The private out-of-hours access to High Force. Get up early and the hotel staff will open the gate so you can enjoy the drama of the waterfall in splendid isolation.
Insider guide: There are 10 individually-designed bedrooms to choose from at this white-washed, 18th century hotel, all with luxury linen, ensuite shower or bath and plenty of doggie treats for any four-legged-friend you bring along for the stay. The food at High Force is particularly special, serving up British classics and international favourites in the wood-panelled dining room – and the knowledgeable, friendly staff are on-hand to pull the perfect local pint, give you a taste of the finest wine from their global wine cellar, or shake up a classic cocktail. Don’t miss the homemade breakfast here – take an early morning walk in the surrounding woodland and head back for what can only be described as a rare culinary treat.
Forest-in-Teesdale, County Durham DL12 0XH
In brief: A luxurious hotel with a stunning clifftop location, dating back to 1791.
Our highlight: The self-catering Bungalow Suites with their own hot tub, barbecue and fire pit and spectacular sea views (but a hotel breakfast is still included).
Insider guide: Relax and recharge at Seaham Hall, where the Serenity Spa boasts a 20-metre pool, outdoor balcony, hot tubs and a Zen Garden. Each bedroom is individually styled and boasts plenty of little luxuries, including fluffy bathrobes and king-sized beds. For that extra special occasion, the Ada Lovelace Suite offers not one but two slipper baths, mezzanine split-level living spaces and impressive views across the estate. Dine in the formal Dining Room, relax in the Spa’s Ozone restaurant or enjoy a light lunch in the hotel bar.
Lord Byron’s Walk, Seaham SR7 7AG
0191 516 1400
In brief: A chic, dog-friendly boutique hotel near the beach.
Our highlight: The food here is pretty impressive and worth making a detour for.
Insider guide: Right in the heart of Beadnell village, choose from 18 individually-styled bedrooms with a laidback nautical feel and guaranteed cosiness, many with in-room slipper baths (two in the case of Muckle Hoose). The open-plan Beadnell Kitchen restaurant, bar and terrace boasts a modern British menu to enjoy before exploring the sweeping beach on the hotel’s doorstep. There are four dog-friendly bedrooms offering food and water bowls, and even some welcome treats.
The Wynding, Beadnell, Northumberland NE67 5AY
In brief: A 17th century country house hotel in lower Teesdale, surrounded by its own rolling farmland and four acres of walled gardens.
Our highlight: The new romantic self-catering apartment, the Hideaway, just for two, with its own hot tub but with all the hotel’s facilities on the doorstep if you are feeling a little lazy.
Insider guide: This four-star hotel is the perfect place to escape to. Stroll through the impressive walled gardens, enjoy a round of golf, or simply unwind in the spa with its indoor pool and outdoor hydrotherapy pool and luxurious treatment menu. The 38 bedrooms and suites are spread across the main house, the spa, the Mews and the Coach House and each one is individually designed with lots of luxurious features including four-poster beds, south-facing balconies and traditional slipper baths. However you choose to spend your time, be sure to work up an appetite – the hotel’s restaurant produces delicious dishes, using the best local produce and ingredients from the Hall’s own kitchen garden.
Headlam, near Gainford, Darlington DL2 3HA