Let the fairy-tale begin
beyond books into Lumley Castle and discovers an enchanting hotel bursting with magic at every turn.
I f you’re looking to escape to a fairy-tale castle that dates back to the 14th century and is bursting with all the medieval magic you could possibly imagine, then may we take this opportunity to share a very special secret with you.
Welcome to Lumley Castle, a place that will draw you in, seduce you and take you back in time to a bygone era when kings, queens and blood-curdling shenanigans were all the rage.
Battlemented towers, thick walls, hill-top position – four-star Lumley Castle is a place dripping with atmosphere and that’s before you even wander through its enchanting corridors, discover its hidden rooms or hear of resident ghosts looking to scare the living daylights out of you.
Located between the historic city of Durham and the vibrant city of Newcastle, Lumley Castle is a majestic sight, surrounded by beautiful parklands overlooking the River Wear and Durham County Cricket Ground and yet just a short drive from the A1.
And on a cold winter’s night with the wind gusting outside, there can be no better bolt-hole to escape to than this rich, warm and seductive setting.
Described as ‘no ordinary hotel’ Lumley Castle immediately lives up to its reputation as one of the finest retreats in the region and within minutes of pulling up the sweeping drive it’s not hard to see why it is such a favourite destinations for weddings, business and leisure breaks alike.
Roaring open fires, heraldic-patterned wallpapers, heavy curtains, throne-like armchairs, gilt-framed paintings, tapestries and candelabras, all set against flag-stone floors, exposed stone walls and vaulted ceilings make this the epitome of dungeons and dragons with a lot of luxury thrown in.
Staff are irrepressibly jolly and are genuinely concerned for your welfare if you turn down a cooked breakfast. Largely local, they are eager to help with suggestions of where to go and what to do and can also arrange golf, at reduced rates, at the neighbouring golf course. The hotel has a full programme of events, such as Elizabethan banquets and murder mystery dinners as well as an ‘Escape Room’ game. For relaxation, there’s a cosy fire-warmed lounge and bar, while in warmer weather the inner courtyard is an unexpected sun-trap. Dogs are allowed at £15 per night.
The hotel’s 73 rooms are spread between the castle, converted stabling and rustic – mews cottages. All have a medieval theme, with richly patterned wallpapers, thick curtains and bedcovers but our castle room with its four-poster bed, thumping big walls and deep-set windows was the epitome of medieval elegance. Without doubt the highlight came when you opened the wardrobe door to reveal a secret entrance to the bathroom, that housed everything but a lion and a witch.
In keeping with the building, the food has a traditional, English style such as 21-day dry-aged steaks and breast of guinea fowl, though there are also lighter options such as Indian spiced cod. The cooking is skilful yet unpretentious. The dining-room is a treat, all stone pillars, vaulted ceiling and soft candles; perfectly pitched for both romance and fun and the friendly staff couldn’t do enough to make our dining experience a resounding success.
Retiring to the Library Bar, we settled down in front of the fire and chatted late into the night with fellow guests about the charm of this fascinating hotel.
After sleeping soundly in our cosy room, a hearty breakfast rounded off a magical stay that will long live in the memory for its unique hospitality and grandeur.
Whether you’re looking to escape in one of the country’s oldest castles, indulge in a romantic retreat, or enjoy a great weekend break for the family, there truly is something for everyone at Lumley Castle.