Doxford Hall, Northumberland is a stately, first night country retreat

Y&YW's Gemma Hughes relaxes in a luxury retreat nestled in the gorgeous Northumberland countryside

First impressions

Just five minutes (but a fair few fields) from the A1, the imposing gates of Doxford Hall appear. This stunning country manor house has been painstakingly and sympathetically refurbished, and now offers a fab mix of original architecture and luxe mod cons, making it a perfect place to marry, to mini-moon, or just to take a well-earned break from all things wedmin.

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Doxford Hall, Alnick, Northumberland
doxfordhall.com, 01665 589 700

Room for Romance

Doxford is home to 25 rooms, each named after a Northumbrian Castle. Every room is individually styled, but they all offer the same luxe touches – Molton Brown goodies in the bathroom for you, shiny new flatscreen TV for your groom. Honeymoon couples will love the romantic Chipchase suite, which comes complete with an imposing mahogany four-poster, crystal chandeliers and a Jacuzzi bath.

Time to dine

The hotel’s George Runciman Restaurant (named after the architect who oversaw its transformation) is a destination in its own right. Here, a mix of guests and non-residents alike dine on contemporary English dishes, all lovingly prepared by award-winning Head Chef Paul Blakey and his team in front of one very impressive fireplace.

And if you’re there for the weekend, do not miss the Sunday Lunch – it’s hearty, tasty, and the perfect fuel for a walk in the surrounding countryside.

Best of the rest

Explore the beautiful formal gardens and grounds, including the large yew tree maze planted in 2000 by local schoolchildren. Ask for a map at reception, or go it alone if you fancy a challenge!

And if the Northumbrian weather doesn’t hold out, retire to the drawing room and sample the afternoon tea (a bargain at £10.50 per person), or take sanctuary in the spa and treat yourself to a DECLÉOR therapy, Jessica mani or pedi or just bliss-out in the relaxation room.

Don’t leave without…

Having a couple’s massage. The spa’s dual treatment room was once the old wine cellar, and this cocoon of a room with its original curved ceiling only adds to the feeling of being completely immersed in your own little world.

Try the LI’TYA KODO Rocks massage (£65pp for a full hour), an ancient treatment inspired by traditional Aboriginal techniques where warmed stones are combined with spiraling movements to leave you truly relaxed. An hour under the expert hands of spa manager Cathy absolutely flies by, but there’s still the jacquizzis, steam room, sauna and swimming pool (or the gym!) for you and your groom to enjoy.

Go there…

Superior Suites are available from £127pp for dinner, bed and breakfast. Guests currently receive a 10% discount on all spa treatments, but check the website for other special offers.

Doxford Hall could also be your perfect wedding venue. Packages are available from £52 per head.

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See website or contact leanne.clark@doxfordhall.com for details