Matfen Hall, Hexham, Northumberland
A grand Gothic mansion in 300 acres of parkland, close to Hadrian's Wall, with impressive original features, a modern understated luxury and choice of dining plus swimming pool, golf and The Retreat: a sanctuary of tranquillity, offering treatment rooms and a thermal suite.
Rooms available from £239 per night
Your expert reviewer
The hotel sits in private parkland adjacent to the small estate village of Matfen and is a couple of miles north of Hadrian's Wall. Within a 30-minute drive, you'll find plenty of Roman forts - Chesters, Housesteads and Vindolanda.
Off what is colloquially called the Military Road between Newcastle and Carlisle, the nearest town to the hotel is Corbridge, which is ideal for a wander and bite to eat.
By car: around 2 hours 30 minutes from York, 3 hours from Manchester and 6 hours from London. Free on-site parking available.
By train: trains from Manchester to Hexham take 3 hours 30 minutes and from London King's Cross take 4 hours - after which, it's a 15-minute taxi to the hotel. Book trains to Hexham.
CHARACTER & STYLE
This 19th-century mansion has all the features that you'd expect from a Gothic property - stone fireplaces, a double-height Great Hall, polished parquet flooring and a balustraded roof. The furnishings have an air of modern luxury, with bold wallpapers, velvet seating and modern art.
Staff are friendly and discreet. For the active, facilities include a golf course, indoor pool and hi-tech gym. Those that wish to relax can enjoy one of the many lounges, an outdoor terrace and of course, the gardens. There's also a spa, and with woodland walks and running trails are on the doorstep.
- Swimming pool
- Golf course
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
If you're after the wow factor, book a room in the main hall with high ceilings, vast windows and emperor-size beds. The bedrooms in the new wing have a more contemporary style with clean-lined furniture and warm red and green hues.
Room types: Old Hall Classic, Old Hall Balcony, Old Hall Deluxe, Great Hall Premium, Great Hall Suite
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
FOOD & DRINK
Dining options include Modern British cuisine in the Emerald Restaurant, steak and seafood in the Cloisters Restaurant and Bar, and intimate bar Needham. The wine list isn't overwhelming, and the notes are succinct.
Cloisters: mezzanine and courtyard, open daily, 7:30am-8:30pm.
Emerald: fine dining, seasonal menus. Open daily for breakfast and dinner.
Needham: bistro-style food. Open daily, 10am-10pm (food served 11:30am-9pm).
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