By Courtney Greatrex
Top holiday destinations for Brits are usually London, or the coast – but why not try Northumberland?
I booked in for a weekend’s stay at Matfen Hall Hotel, a beautiful estate just 25 minutes drive from Newcastle Upon Tyne.
If you’re coming from the south, I will admit it may seem like a fair hike – but I can guarantee that upon arrival, you will not want – or need – to leave the grounds.
There’s plenty to do at Matfen Hall, with a spa, golf and Go Ape course within the estate, it’s a place pretty much for everyone.
My partner James and I were whisked straight into a full body massage before so much as laying eyes on our room – we were not complaining.
The two of us were put in a double treatment room and I’ve never experienced a massage in the presence of someone else, it’s always felt like quite a private activity.
So when we were invited to undress and jump onto two beds side by side, neither of us could quite stifle the desire to have a giggle.
But the 60-minute treatment by the pros in Matfen Hall’s spa was – dare I say it – incredible.
The staff were professional, soft-voiced and left us practically falling asleep.
Following that, we headed straight into the swimming area where there is a beautifully heated pool, spa, and not one but three steam rooms with varying heat and humidity levels.
The estate itself has a rich history dating back to the 17th century. Matfen Hall remained a home up until 1961 when its owner Sir Hugh Blackett passed away when it was turned into a facility to care for 30 severely disabled people.
The hotel as it is now opened up in 2004 and has had a wave of successes including a number of awards such as best large hotel.
And it’s safe to say they deserve the acclaim. The hotel is classic. Its history is evident in the décor of each and every room.
Our hotel room overlooked the immense golf course and looked picture perfect covered in January snow.
The room was immense – its bathroom was larger than my bedroom, which made going home that much more difficult.
A dinner of traditional British cuisine was served in the Library Restaurant, which along with everything else was divine.
Overall, Matfell Hall proved to be the perfect escape from city life.
Returning home, after only two days I felt I’d had a proper holiday and it was lovely to get out into the countryside and breath some fresh air for once. We will be back.
Weekend breaks start from £99. For more information visit http://www.matfenhall.com/