Northumberland is such a beautiful part of the country yet we have to admit to not exploring much of it, we tend to stick to the Durham area but have recently found a love of all things North East! We were invited to Matfen Hall Hotel & Spa to spend the night and take part in some of the activities that are part of an amazing break away.
We arrived just after 4pm on Friday night and pulled into the sprawling driveway that leads up to Matfen Hall. There were lots of cars in the carpark but the whole area was relatively silent, the golf course was as far as the eye could see and we walked up to the entrance which boasted an impressive hallway leading to the conservatory, spa and bedrooms. We were greeted with a smile and explanation of what was involved, where we would be eating for dinner and breakfast and given 2 key cards to the room.
Our room was on the first floor and I expected what we normally got with a family room, a bed, pull down sofa and bathroom….this was so much more! I think the room was larger than the size of my whole downstairs at home, that wasn’t including the stunning bathroom that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous!
The childrens bed was already pulled out and made for them and even had goody bags and onesies placed on the bottom ready for them arriving! Inside the goody bags were colouring books, crayons, bubbles, a yo-yo and Haribo sweets. Such a great little touch!
With almost 2 hours to kill until dinner we decided to get changed and head to the pool, as neither of the girls can swim this could end up interesting but after discussing with the guard on duty he went off to search for arm bands. As they had none in either size for the girls and no shallow end to the pool either – it was one depth for the full length – we kept hold of one girl each and let them have a splash around. Obviously this meant that we didn’t get the full effect of having a ‘swim’ but it was fun none the less and the girls thoroughly enjoyed the freedom, although I think I still have claw marks on my neck from Evie! lol
For dinner we headed down to the conservatory where they had a fabulous selection of G&T’s, opting for one of my favourites – Rhubarb & Ginger we took our seat and were provided with a menu each and explanation of what was the specialities for the day.
The food was delicious and homemade so took a little time to arrive but we were pleasantly occupied by the arrival of a helicopter onto the lawn in front of where we were eating! The girls of course had to go out to see what was going on and hubby got talking to the pilot (SHE!) who had previously flown model helicopters.
After dinner we took a stroll around the gardens and were amazed at just how much was within the grounds, we stumbled upon a little church and the girls loved seeing all of the old headstones. I managed to grab a couple of ‘what she wore’ shots and gorgeous pictures of the girls, watched the sun set while making plans of what to do the following day.
We had planned on heading to Go Ape which was literally at the bottom of the driveway to Matfen but on arrival we found that the girls had to be 10+ to participate so that put the cybosh on that one! Instead we headed out towards Brockbushes Farm & Tea Shop to go strawberry picking, it is something we have always intended on doing but never actually gotten round to it! We stopped at Aydon Castle on the way too – I blogged about both earlier in the link above.
After a fun filled afternoon we headed back to Matfen for games and afternoon tea which if we weren’t plagued by flies would have been amazing! The cakes were beautiful and the girls each got their own little kids tea too, Stuart got the Gentleman’s afternoon tea which was set out on a flat platter and consisted of the likes of pork pie, pickle, Scotch egg etc. My tea was a delicious mix of salmon sandwiches, warm scones and mini chocolate brownie, there were lots of elements to the lunch and I think each of us only managed around half of the amount! Very good value for money!
Overall we were delighted with Matfen Hall Hotel & Spa and would highly recommend it as a venue for either celebration or a simple weekend get away. I know for sure we will be back and look forward to seeing everyone again. It was a pleasure and we felt that there wasn’t a single thing we would change, which is very rare on a weekend away with family!
We were invited to stay for the night however this has not influenced my views or opinions.
For those who prefer a more traditional home-like experience when on vacation, a timeshare can make sense. If you’ve gotten many years of good use out of your timeshare and now want to get rid of it, a timeshare cancellation company like Timeshare Freedom Group or Lonestar transfer may be able to help.