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Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa
THIS LOCATION HAS FEATURED IN DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE ISSUE 54 – This is the full review
When a big birthday looms, where
you go and how you spend it
seems to attract a lot of interest
from friends. Having skirted past my last big
birthday ending in ‘0’, I was in no
hurry to draw attention to the
next decade’s milestone. I
opted instead for a quiet
break with my husband
at a dog friendly,
luxury hotel, about
an hour and a half’s
drive from home.
During our stay
at Eshott Hall last
autumn, fellow guests
recommended Doxford Hall
to us as the perfect place for a
special celebration. Friends of ours also
recommended it and, as it sounded so good,
we thought we would book a two-night break
there for my birthday.
With unseasonably sunny weather for
December, we made the most of the first day
of our mini-break by stopping off at Bamburgh
beach, where we breathed in the sea air while
Tilly and Henry ran about like puppies.
The beaches in Northumberland are such
a treat: unspoilt, quiet, and largely litter-free.
They are also a beacon for dog walkers, so
there are always interesting new friends for
Tilly and Henry to meet.
Unfortunately for us,
Bamburgh Castle wasn’t
open in December, but
while we were in the
area, we did learn that as
of 1 April, the grounds
were becoming dog
friendly. (We’ve been
back since and we can
highly recommend it as an
interesting day out. Although
the castle is inhabited, there
are 14 rooms open to the public, so
there’s plenty to see – from antique porcelain
and furniture to a dedicated Aviation Museum.
And, the view from the ramparts is stunning.)
For lunch, we headed to The Saltwater
Cafe – a dog friendly cafe in Beadnell whose
mouth-watering food photos on Twitter
tempted us to visit. We were not disappointed.
The atmosphere was warm and welcoming,
and the food was scrummy. If like me,
you have a sweet tooth, I can recommend
the buttermilk pancakes with berries and
maple syrup. Or, if you’re looking for local
delicacies, try the locally
THE NORTHUMBRIAN COASTLINE WAS VOTED HOLIDAY DESTINATION OF THE YEAR IN THE 2017 BBC COUNTRYFILE AWARDS,
with its acres of unspoilt beaches and pretty coves to explore, dramatic clifftop castles and thriving seaside towns to amble around. There’s the Northumberland National Park, the Cheviot Hills and the North Pennines for those who love big skies and wide-open space. The area’s rich with wildlife, and mile after mile of coastal paths make for invigorating walking and cycling adventures. Head inland and you’ll discover beautiful gardens, family-friendly attractions and a wealth of stately homes to explore.
Indeed, Doxford is one of those stately homes – a Georgian masterpiece built in 1818, it’s been lovingly restored over the years, including a wealth of beautiful wood panelling and a grand handmade staircase. Old stone fireplaces, classic leather armchairs, elegant sitting rooms, grandfather clocks – the sense of a grand but homely residence pervades. The Doxford estate has a sedate, secluded air, but is conveniently accessible from the A1, and as Northumberland’s only four AA red star awarded hotel, in recent years it’s become very much a destination in its own right. We have 36 handsomely appointed bedrooms, elegant lounges and a fabulous spa, swimming pool and gym, making Doxford the ideal place to unwind after exploring the delights of Northumbria. Add to this the award-winning dining in our George Runciman restaurant, the yew maze and acres of landscaped gardens to explore and everything’s in place for a relaxing and memorable stay.
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