Last year my family and I spent a wonderful Christmas at Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa in Chathill, Northumberland. It only seemed fitting, when we were looking for somewhere to spend a few days this summer, that we would return to Doxford to make many more happy memories together! Doxford Hall is a paradoxical house hotel full of grandeur yet home comforts as well, built in part by the famous Newcastle architect, John Dobson (those of you who read my post on Bradley Gardens may remember this name!) in the early nineteenth century. If you’re looking for somewhere for a relaxing spa day, or the ideal place for a quiet mini-break, Doxford Hall gets the thumbs up from me! Here are five reasons why:
- The Head Gardener’s Cottage
Both times I have stayed at Doxford Hall with my family, we have stayed in one of the two cottages in the grounds of the hotel: The Head Gardener’s Cottage. It seems hardly appropriate to call it a ‘cottage’ – it is a fantastic 3 bedroom property set over two floors! The cottage is set apart from the rest of the hotel’s accommodation and is a short walk from the hotel itself. It is surrounded by expanses of green grass, leafy trees, overlooking a greenhouse and orchard where you will find delicious apples and tomatoes amongst other things! From the first night we stayed here, it felt like home. At Christmas time it looked so beautiful – a gorgeous Christmas tree was set up and the staff even left a stocking for our cockapoo, Lottie! In summer it still had that same homely feel to it; the cottage has everything you need from kitchen utensils, to a huge dining table, from open fires, to bookshelves of books and magazines. Those littles touches of lovely Molton Brown miniature toiletries and Ringtons tea, coffee and biscuits, made our stay at the cottage that bit more luxurious. We have vowed to keep returning as a family as often as we can!
2. The Grounds
The grounds at Doxford Hall really are beautiful and I will never get bored of exploring the surroundings of the hotel and admiring the beauty of the countryside – some great photo opportunities! The Hall is also the proud owner of a Guinness World Record for its Yew Tree Maze in the grounds, but should also be commended for its outdoor artwork including statues and wire sculptures, and range of different gardens. On a sunny day there are few better places nearby to sit and enjoy an Alnwick Gin and Tonic than in the grounds of Doxford Hall, overlooking the majestic Hall and green gardens.
One of the greatest things about Doxford Hall and Chathill for anyone interested in exploring more of Northumberland is its location! To me, the hotel seemed to be less than a 20 minute drive from some of my favourite places in the county including Bamburgh, Craster, Seahouses, Alnwick and Newton-by-the-Sea. If you have already dined in the George Runciman Restaurant at the hotel and are looking for something different, Doxford Hall’s proximity to these coastal towns opens up many culinary doors for you! This was one of the main attractions for a family of foodies like us.
Photo source: smoothhound.co.uk
4. Aqueous Spa
Spending Christmas morning in a Jacuzzi was a slightly unconventional way of celebrating Christmas Day, but it was great! Doxford Hall has a lovely Aqueous Spa with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and range of spa and beauty treatments available. If you’re not too tired from walking around beautiful Northumberland, the pool has never been too busy for a decent swim in my experience. Otherwise, just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet!
5. Morning Room
My favourite area of the hotel itself (closely followed by the bar) has to be the Morning Room. As you approach the hotel by car you will see a dome-shaped room at the rear of the Hall, adorned with windows and a glass dome roof that allow in floods of natural light. The Morning Room is the perfect place to enjoy Afternoon Tea or a quiet cuppa. Many brides and grooms getting married at Doxford Hall choose to utilise this room for reception drinks and I can see why – it’s beautiful artwork, chandeliers and eclectic furniture say it all. If you’re a book-worm like me, you’re also sure to be astounded by the impressive, old Library just along the corridor from the Morning Room. It is another tranquil room where you can sit back and enjoy a drink and a good book.
Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa is not just a base from which you can explore Northumberland, but it is a stunning place to stay and you will come away feeling rested and looking forward to your next visit!
Overall Rating: *****
Pro(s): There are plenty more great things about Doxford Hall I could talk about, but my recommendation would be to head over to Chathill and experience the beauty and tranquillity of the Hall yourself!
Con(s): For me, not having strong internet or phone signal in the Head Gardener’s Cottage was a pro rather than a con. However I know for some people this could be a potential problem if you are wanting to research where to explore – just make sure you print out all of your research in advance or head up to the Hall where you will get both signal and 3G.