Boasting period features from four-poster beds to claw-foot bathtubs, these mediaeval getaways have all the makings of an unforgettable stay
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Many of us will be planning to get away from it all this summer - and you need look no further than the North East when it comes to one-of-a-kind luxury breaks.
The region is home to more castles than any other in the UK, and several of the ancient fortresses have since been transformed into majestic hotels. Offering visitors the chance to stay in the rooms that once housed royalty, sleeping in a castle is sure to be an experience to remember.
Rooms are available to book in castles from Northumberland across to Cumbria , each one hundreds of years old with the oldest dating back to the 9th century, and have all been designed to keep their mediaeval charm. Here’s just a handful of castles in the region that now offer hotel stays.
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This Chester-le-Street castle has dominated the County Durham landscape for more than 600 years, and has 73 bedrooms within its grand walls. With each room uniquely decorated, features include exposed beams, 20ft high four-poster beds and Jacuzzi baths - and the venue is also home to the UK’s only castle escape room experience.
The ancient 9th century castle and country house in the historic Northumberland village of Otterburn is now a restaurant, bar and hotel with 17 rooms. Each unique room has been individually designed, with the priciest options boasting four-poster beds and original fireplaces.
Described as a “truly unique and wonderful place to stay”, Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen has thirteen rooms in its 19th century venue. Highlights of castle rooms include claw-footed baths and stained glass original windows, while those seeking a more modern getaway can stay in one of the Garden suites or Estate houses which have a contemporary feel.
This 14th-century castle set in a 12-acre estate with stunning views over the Northumbrian countryside boasts lavish rooms with features including four-poster beds and window seats set into the seven-feet-thick walls. 18 rooms are located in the Castle View accommodation a stone’s throw from the castle itself, promising “luxurious touches and modern comfort”.
Dating back to the 13th century, Chillingham offers self-catering apartments in the mediaeval castle and its historic Coaching Rooms. Apartments include the former castle dairy and an old lookout point for sentries with amazing views of the castle gardens, as well as the rooms where watchmen used to sleep while they awaited their turn on guard.
This 12th century Darlington castle is now a Best Western Hotel, combining the new with the ancient to create what Booking.com describes as “the perfect getaway for guests looking for rural relaxation”. With rooms both in the castle itself and in the adjoining annex, Walworth has a range of options from modern rooms to four-poster suites inspired by the castle’s history.
Built in the 12th century, guests will be following in the footsteps of monarchs if they bed down at this castle - King James I stayed here in 1617. Appleby has 12 bedrooms within the castle building itself as well as three self-catering cottages on site which date back to the 17th century after being built for Lady Anne Clifford, and have many of their original features still in place.
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