Our love of the North East of England and in particular our discovery of Northumberland continues. This time we stayed at the majestic Doxford Hall.
Doxford Hall is one of those stately homes that is a Georgian masterpiece. Built in 1818, it’s been lovingly restored over the years, including a wealth of beautiful wood panelling and a grand handmade staircase.
Old stone fireplaces, classic leather armchairs, elegant sitting rooms, grandfather clocks; the sense of a grand but homely residence pervades.
The Doxford Hall estate has a sedate, secluded air, but is conveniently accessible from the A1, and as Northumberland’s only four AA red star awarded hotel, in recent years it’s become very much a destination in its own right. They have 35 handsomely appointed bedrooms, elegant lounges and a fabulous spa, swimming pool and gym, making Doxford the ideal place to unwind after exploring the delights of Northumbria. Add to this the award-winning dining in our George Runciman restaurant, the yew maze and acres of landscaped gardens to explore and everything’s in place for a relaxing and memorable stay.
We found Doxford Hall to be all of the above and also the perfect base to explore the great outdoors, to embrace wonderful walking country. A place blessed with fine beaches, rugged wilderness and jolly seaside towns. A sanctuary for seabirds and seals. A place to bring history to life and to view the stars under England’s finest dark skies. There’s plenty to do and you can grab a map from reception and explore the beautiful gardens or lose yourself in the award-winning yew maze. While away a few hours in the spa or gym. Or venture further afield.
We did all of this. There was so much to cram in to this visit, luckily we were in the area for 2 nights, the second night staying at the sister hotel to Doxford Hall; Eshott Hall. More on that next.
The Northumberland welcome is so friendly, they make you feel like a long lost friend who they are so happy to see again and it’s absolutely genuine. Nothing is too much trouble, they so want you to enjoy your stay and go out of their way to make sure you do.
First thing first, we settled in to our beautiful room and started to explore the vast gardens. We walked and talked and breathed in the clear, fresh Northumberland air before relaxing with a coffee in one of the many lounge areas. Dogs were all made welcome too and certain areas were kept for all dog lovers to have their pooches with them, even when dining. As dog lovers we thought this was fantastic as it can be very difficult finding places to stay where they welcome your canine members of the family too.
That afternoon we decided to get out and about and visit Bamburgh Castle. Standing 150 feet above the sea, the magnificent
Bamburgh Castle is an icon of the Northumerland shoreline and has been the film set for many blockbusters. From afar it takes your breath away and once inside its walls you are immediately transported back to medieval times, a place of myth, legend and over 1,400 years of history to explore. We absolutely loved Bamburgh Castle, it’s a must for your own tick list when visiting the area.
We drove along the coastal road a while and then made our way back to Doxford Hall. Still with time on our hands, we thought it a great idea to go into the large yew maze, one of the fantastic features in the gardens. What a mistake! We couldn’t get out. We laughed out loud at the fact that I might have to call reception to come and rescue us, but with a little more perseverance we made it out just in time to get ready for dinner and we were hungry after such a day of discovery.
Dinner that evening and breakfast the next day were both served in The George Runciman Restaurant. Like the master joiner from whom it takes its name, the George Runciman Restaurant is far from ordinary. With 2 AA rosettes awarded for the highest standards in cuisine and service, this is more than just another hotel restaurant. It’s a venue to savour dishes that are highly imaginative, beautifully presented and crafted using only the best seasonal produce from the local area. Mouth-watering menus matched in quality by an eclectic wine list for an experience that is more than just a meal. This was dining at its highest standard, with service to match.
The following morning, after what can only be described as a stunning cooked to order Northumberland breakfast, we swam in the pool and each had a spa treatment. The treatments were as good as expected, there’s a standard of excellence running through this hotel like life blood. Could this stay get any better?
All too soon it was time to leave, so we reluctantly said our goodbyes and checked out. The plan was to visit Lindisfarne Island and I found very unnerving as the road you take is lapped at each side by the sea and get your timings wrong and the sea completely covers the road.
This was a unique experience as Lindisfarne Island is cut off from the mainland twice a day by the fast moving tides. Once there
you can visit Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle and spend time in the pretty village or the museum. There’s wildlife in abundance too with seals and lots of bird species on the sand.
We had such a fantastic stay at Doxford Hall and we really wanted to stay but we had a visit to their sister hotel Eshott Hall to look forward to. Our expectations were high and we drove eagerly on to the next part of our Northumberland adventure.
Doxford Hall is the perfect place for foodies and people who appreciate great service and a historical, beautiful setting.
Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa
Doxford, Chathill NE67 5DN
Phone: 01665 589700