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Langley Castle Hotel, Hexham, Northumberland
A real medieval castle with all the required essentials - towers, battlements, metre-thick walls, lashings of red velvet - this hotel oozes atmosphere. Add in stone staircases, heavy oak doors and narrow passages, and you'll begin to wish you'd brought your suit of armour. It's even relatively remote, in the countryside south of Hadrian's Wall and with the nearest town, Hexham, a 20-minute drive. Castle bedrooms are the real deal, with four-poster beds and heavy drapes, while those in the separate cottages are more contemporary but have the best views of the towers and battlements. Dining in the Josephine Restaurant, with its beams and exposed-stone walls, is a fine-dining affair with drinks beforehand in the enormous first-floor drawing room and a formal service.
A 20- to 30-minute drive takes you up onto Alston Moor in the Pennines, and some breezy walks.
The hotel is 20 minutes from the nearest town, Hexham, and is perfect for exploring Hadrian's Wall five miles away.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours 45 mins from Manchester and 5 hours 45 mins from London. There is free parking on-site.
By train: trains from London Kings Cross to Hexham take around 4 hours and trains from Manchester around 3 hours 30 mins. The hotel is a 15-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Ideal for anyone who fancies staying in a castle, and doesn't mind the odd dark corner or steep staircase - or the 100-metre walk if staying in one of the outside rooms. We love exploring the castle's corridors and staircases, and wondering what we'll find.
Service & Facilities
The staff made us feel very welcome in a nicely informal way, and like to share their local knowledge.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Pets are allowed on request.
The Cadwallader Room has a grand bathroom and four-poster bed, while the Tower Room is tucked away - up a lot of steps - in a turret. It's a treat to discover most rooms have a bath as well as shower.
Feature and Deluxe Castle Rooms, Castle View Rooms, Castle View Lodge Rooms
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The Josephine Restaurant is full-blown traditional with white napery and silver candlesticks set among rich red and gold fabrics, beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. If I'd had room, I'd love to have tried afternoon tea - choice of three options - sitting at one of the window-seats in the splendid drawing room.
Josephine and Pavilion Restaurants: 2 AA Rosettes, traditional British fine dining. Open daily for dinner. Three courses from £49.95.
The Drawing Room: coffees and snacks. Afternoon tea served daily, from 12-4pm. From £14.50pp.