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OVERVIEW

Overlooking the River Wear near Durham, this 14th-century castle impresses with towers, thick walls and stone-flagged floors while the decorative style of tapestries, red velvet fabrics and candelabras ooze with medieval atmosphere. Bedrooms, both in the castle and courtyard, follow the same theme, and the food is richly traditional.


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Rooms available from £89.10 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

In a prominent position above the River Wear, and neatly between the A1(M) and A167, the hotel is easily accessible although traffic can be heard when outside. Mid-way between Newcastle and Durham - both around 20 minutes - it's a good base for visiting either city. Chester-le-Street railway station, on the main east coast line, is a five-minute taxi ride. Durham County's international cricket ground is a five-minute walk, as are riverside walks, while Beamish Open-Air Museum is a 15-minute drive.

By car: Lumley Castle is a 5-hour (270 mile) drive from London or 2.5 hours (137 miles) from Manchester.

By train: Chester-le-Street station is the closest station and Durham, with direct links to London, is seven miles away. Book trains to Chester-le-Street.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

A medieval castle with medieval style: heraldic-patterned carpets, red velvet drapes, throne-like armchairs, tapestries and candelabras are set against a majestic backdrop of stone-flagged floors, vaulted ceilings, deep-set windows and heavy doors. Medieval motifs are continued in the outside bedrooms, too.

THE FACILITIES

Time your stay right, and you might catch an Elizabethan banquet or murder mystery evening. And if that's not enough excitement, there's a ghostly Escape Room experience. For relaxation, there's a fire-warmed lounge plus a library bar, or if you fancy a round of golf, discounts to the neighbouring course can be arranged.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Gardens
  • Dog-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

It's a surprisingly big hotel with 73 rooms spread between the castle, former stabling and mews buildings. All, apart from the eaves rooms, are a good size and have an attractive medieval theme in heraldic-patterned wallpapers and curtains, wall sconces and pretty carved furniture. Top castle rooms are vast with four posters and quirky features.

Room types: Courtyard Classic, Courtyard Superior, Courtyard State, Castle Classic, Castle Superior, Castle State, King James Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

As befits a medieval castle, the food tends to the traditional, yet is skilfully cooked with dishes such as prawn and crayfish cocktail, pheasant leg and leek pie and spiced poached pears, plus there's a traditional British cheese course, too. Afternoon tea in the library bar is a popular, and filling, experience.

Knights Restaurant: British fine dining. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £14.50.

Library Bar: lighter meals, seasonal dishes. Open for lunch.

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