Nine North East Hotels for a Perfect Spring Breakaway
Spring is the perfect time for a restorative breakaway
JESMOND DENE HOUSE
In brief: An independently-owned boutique hotel in leafy Jesmond Dene.
Our highlight: The team here will always go the extra mile to ensure you have the best stay possible, and you’ll want to go back again and again.
Insider guide: Modern and comfortable, the 40 bedrooms here are designed to help you relax, with plenty of special touches (be it a window seat or a private terrace). The hotel’s unique position on the edge of Jesmond Dene means it feels almost like a country retreat, but it’s right in the heart of the city if you want to explore. You won’t feel the need to go out for dinner though – Fern, the hotel’s upmarket neighbourhood dining room and bar, is a real cut above the rest, and serves everything from classics done well (think braised featherblade of beef with triple cooked chips) to dishes inspired by modern flavours (steamed Shetland mussels with Thai green curry). Make time for a cocktail in the bar before dinner, and don’t forget to explore Fern’s extensive wine list.
Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle NE2 2EY
0191 212 3000
In brief: A luxurious boutique hotel set in 100 acres of glorious Northumbrian countryside.
Our highlight: Taking time out in Walwick’s glass-walled spa – take a dip in the pool, relax in the Jacuzzi (with panoramic views over the Tyne Valley in front of you), or book an indulgent spa treatment.
Insider guide: The 10 rooms here each has its own distinct personality, with themes which complement the original Georgian character of the country hall. With elegant decor (including Cole & Son designer wallpaper and sumptuous Aubusson carpets) and all the mod cons you’d expect, no detail has been overlooked. In the dining room, expect seasonal menus which make use of quality ingredients from Northumbrian suppliers and the hotel’s own kitchen garden – book the tasting menu for the full experience. You can also enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the relaxing drawing room, book the exclusive sunroom for a special occasion, or take advantage of the fabulous Tyne Valley views from the terrace.
Humshaugh, Hexham NE46 4BJ
In brief: An authentic 17th century country house hotel in the scenic Durham dales, with a spa and golf course.
Our highlight: The Lord Gainford suite, in the main hall, has six windows with stunning views over the gardens, a four-poster bed and an elegant sitting room with feature fireplace.
Insider guide: Surrounded by rolling farmland and four acres of walled gardens, you can stroll through the grounds, enjoy a round of golf, or unwind in the spa with its indoor pool and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, and luxurious treatment menu. The 38 bedrooms and suites here are spread across the main hall, the spa, the mews and the coach house and each one is individually designed with lots of luxurious features. The Hideaway, a self-catering apartment, is a romantic retreat for two with its own private hot tub but with all the hotel’s facilities on the doorstep. 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
In brief: This one-of-a-kind, five-star stately home hotel has recently reopened after undergoing an exciting refurbishment.
Our highlight: Set in 300 acres of parkland dating back to the 17th century, Matfen Hall is rich in heritage, atmosphere and space.
Insider guide: With 53 bedrooms, five dining areas, a relaxing spa and championship golf course, we can’t wait to get back to Matfen Hall now it has reopened. Their elegant bedrooms range from cosy home-from-home rooms to stately suites, but all ooze five-star luxury and you can choose to take advantage of special extras like a personal concierge service and private chauffeur transport. Discover a fusion of contemporary and classic dining across the various restaurants and bars here, all of which make good use of carefully-sourced seasonal produce. Don’t forget to take a moment for yourself at The Retreat, where you’ll find trained therapists, a pool, thermal suite and fitness area.
Matfen NE20 0RH
GREAT NORTH HOTEL
In brief: A stylish hotel with modern, well-equipped rooms in a great location.
Our highlight: The award-winning on-site bar and restaurant.
Insider guide: Just three miles from Newcastle city centre on the Great North Road, the Great North Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the area, offering easy access to the city centre, racecourse and stadiums. As well as 64 ensuite bedrooms, you’ll find an award-winning on-site bar and restaurant (Three Mile, Gosforth), a New York-style pizza place, coffee shop and ample parking all on the same site. Expect flourishes of colour and bold accents delicately blended with modern tones and amenities for a truly unforgettable stay.
Great North Road, Gosforth NE3 2DS
0191 226 8855
PARK HEAD HOTEL
In brief: A newly-refurbished hotel and restaurant on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, in the heart of County Durham.
Our highlight: Their designated dog-friendly rooms in the courtyard, and The Auckland Walk just opposite the hotel offering miles of beautiful walks.
Insider guide: Enjoy an overnight stay with a difference at the newly-refurbished Park Head Hotel and Restaurant where you’ll find 38 stylish ensuite rooms. Complete your stay with an evening meal and breakfast in the Oak Room Restaurant, which serves timeless classics with a twist, making the most of locally-sourced produce from the walled garden at nearby Auckland Castle.
New Coundon, Bishop Auckland DL14 8QB.
In brief: A new 15-bedroom hotel, bar and restaurant in the grounds of Charlton Hall Estate near Alnwick.
Our highlight: The seriously good décor – the award-winning team at Jeffreys Interiors have brought the Alice in Wonderland ‘entirely bonkers’ theme to life, with experimental colour palettes and the use of natural light.
Insider guide: The Latin translation of the word time, The Tempus continues the theme of its sister venue, Charlton Hall, taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. Opening in spring 2023, its rooms include a majestic boutique suite and two junior suites on the second floor, with idyllic views over the 150-acre estate. A clocktower complete with bespoke, owl-shaped weathervane sits on top of the hotel, and there’s also a ground-floor bar, restaurant and orangery offering bistro-style dining and late night-cocktails.
Chathill NE67 5DZ
HIGH FORCE HOTEL
In brief: A characterful 18th century hotel offering a rural retreat in the surroundings of Upper Teesdale.
Our highlight: You’re surrounded by plants and wildlife, and beside one of the most spectacular waterfalls in England – don’t forget your camera, and your walking boots.
Insider guide: The 10 individually-designed ensuite bedrooms here have all the modern touches you want without losing their country charm – and four-legged family members are always welcome. Complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities and biscuits, toiletries and fluffy towels mean you can easily make yourself at home, or use this as your base for exploring the miles of footpaths surrounding you. Whether you’re rambling across the Pennine way, visiting nearby Raby Castle, or heading a little further out to The Bowes Museum or Beamish, there’s plenty to keep you busy, and delicious home-cooked dishes celebrating the best of local produce await when you get back to the hotel.
Alston Road, Forest-in-Teesdale DL12 0XH
In brief: A chic but welcoming (and dog-friendly) boutique hotel near the beach.
Our highlight: To celebrate the historic building turning 300 years old, Beadnell Towers have teamed up with Seafield Ocean Club to give guests free access to their leisure facilities.
Insider guide: Right in the heart of Beadnell village, choose from 18 individually-styled bedrooms with a laid-back, nautical feel and guaranteed cosiness (choose Muckle Hoose with its two in-room slipper baths, or Craa’s Nest at the top of the hotel, which has windows on three sides offering stunning views). There are four dog-friendly bedrooms complete with food and water bowls, and even some welcome treats, as well as a special dog-washing area which will come in handy after long walks on the sweeping beach. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here, and the food is worth making a detour for – think roasted Northumbrian duck breast, local crab linguini or wild North Sea halibut loin.
The Wynding, Beadnell, Northumberland NE67 5AY