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OVERVIEW

This country-house retreat, set in an impressive Gothic mansion surrounded by parkland and a golf course, and only a couple of miles north of Hadrian's Wall, blends modern luxury with original features. Bedrooms vary from contemporary classic to sleek and lavish, plus there's a choice of dining, pool and spa.


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Rooms available from £239 per night

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Your expert reviewer

Helen Pickles
Travel and feature writer
Growing up in Yorkshire and with family holidays in the Lake District, Helen, who writes for several UK national newspapers, developed a love of walking and the big outdoors. When it comes to cities, and food, Italy has the edge – and her heart.

OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

A couple of miles north of Hadrian's Wall, off what is colloquially called the Military Road (B6318) between Newcastle and Carlisle, the hotel sits in private parkland adjacent to the small estate village of Matfen. Six miles away is Corbridge, the nearest town (which has a railway station), while Newcastle is around 35 minutes away. Roman forts - Chesters, Housesteads and Vindolanda - are within a 30-minute drive, while Corbridge and Hexham provide interesting shopping and eating.

By car: around 2 hours from York and 2 hours 15 minutes from Edinburgh. Free parking available.

By train: trains from Manchester (3 hours 30 minutes) and London King's Cross (4 hours) to Hexham. It's a 15-minute drive to the hotel. Book trains to Hexham.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The 19th-century Gothic mansion has all the hallmarks you'd expect: vast windows, a balustraded roof, immense stone fireplaces, a double-height Great Hall, and acres of polished parquet flooring. It's been furnished with flair to bring a modern sense of luxury - bold wallpapers, jewel-coloured velvet seats and sofas, modern art and photographs, and a lack of fussy ornamentation.

THE FACILITIES

All the country-house hotel offerings are here, from a golf course, indoor pool and spa to a hi-tech gym, woodland walks and running trails. There are several sitting rooms, including the Great Hall, plus a south-facing terrace and a rose garden set with tables. Friendly staff are discreet but pop up when needed.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Fitness centre
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Golf course
  • Pet-friendly
  • Family-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

New-wing bedrooms have a smart, contemporary classic style of clean-lined furniture with warm red and green tones; although a little bland, they're roomy and well-designed. The grand rooms in the main hall have the wow factor with their high ceilings, vast windows and emperor-size beds.

Room types: Old Hall Classic, Old Hall Balcony, Old Hall Deluxe, Great Hall Premium, Great Hall Suites

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, access to The Retreat, TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Eating options range from fine dining in the Emerald restaurant to bistro-style dishes in the Orangery and intimate Needham bar, plus pub staples in the golf clubhouse. Emerald's menus offer confident Modern British dishes with northern robustness, such as seared hake with mussels and duck breast with curried vegetable samosa. Breakfast is more modest with a small selection of cooked-to-order dishes.

Emerald Restaurant: intricate décor. Fine dining, seasonal menus. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Sunday lunch served 12-2:30pm.

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