Britain’s best kept secret.
A place to explore the great outdoors, to embrace wonderful walking country. A place blessed with fine beaches, rugged wilderness and jolly seaside towns. A sanctuary for seabirds and seals. A place to bring history to life and to view the stars under England’s finest dark skies. There’s plenty to do while you’re staying with us. Grab a map from reception and explore our beautiful gardens or lose yourself in our award-winning yew maze. While away a few hours in our spa or our gym. But if you’re looking to venture further afield, here are some of our favourite sights within easy reach of Doxford Hall.
Owned and inhabited by the Percy family, Alnwick Castle is probably Britain’s most iconic castle and the film set for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. It’s a deservedly popular destination that offers something for everyone: from taking on the Dragon’s Quest and broomstick training to discovering the State Rooms and collections of fine art housed within this imposing fortress. The castle is open between the end of March and October and closed to the general public during the winter months.
The Alnwick Garden
The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a one of the most visited gardens in the country. Designed for every season, it’s a joy for all the senses and a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. The gardens boast a collection of over 4,000 plants, thousands of seasonal blooms and many opportunities to get wet and play in The Garden’s water sculptures.
Standing 150 feet above the sea, the magnificent Bamburgh Castle is an icon of the Northumberland shoreline and has been the film set for many blockbusters. Visit and you’ll find a place full of myth, legend and over 1,400 years of history to explore in the fine state rooms, art gallery and 12th century keep. We highly recommend the 3-mile linear walk from Seahouses harbour to Bamburgh Castle, following the coastal path that runs along the beach. It’s an easy, flat route that takes in attractive sand dunes, wildflowers and views to the nearby Farne Islands.
No visit to Alnwick is complete without a stop at Barter Books. Housed within the town’s old Victorian railway station, it contains one of the biggest collections of antiquarian books in the UK and you could quite literally spend half a day wandering the premises. With real fires in the winter, a model railway, station buffet and a children’s room Barter Books is must-see attraction – not just for bookworms.
Originally the family home of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and industrialist, Cragside was the first building in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Now in the care of the National Trust the Cragside Estate is a truly unique visitor attraction for all ages. From the ingenious gadgetry in the main house including fire alarm buttons, telephones and a passenger lift to the estate itself with more than 30 miles of paths, lakeside walks, play areas and a Trim Trail, it’s a much-loved day out.
Continuously owned by just one family line since the 1200’s, this fine stronghold is open to the public to see the alarming dungeons and torture chambers as well as the beautiful parkland and manicured gardens. You can also book a ghost tour if you dare.
A birder’s paradise, The Farne Islands are home to colonies of puffins, terns, razorbills, kittiwakes, shags and guillemots. The islands also have the largest breeding colony of grey seals in England and you’ll often see them hauled up on the rocks or bobbing in the sea. Take a boat from Seahouses between Spring and Autumn for the best sightings.
With more than ten golf courses located within twenty miles of Doxford Hall you’ll be spoilt for choice for scenic spots to play a round or two. Coastal courses just metres from the beach, championship courses and challenging nine hole courses offer a range options whatever your ability. Most are available on a pay and play basis. Do ask us for more details.
Just a few miles off the Northumberland coast, you’ll find Lindisfarne Island. Despite being cut off twice a day from the rest of world by fast-moving tides, you can drive, walk or cycle over the causeway to Holy Island (after checking the safe crossing times). Visit the Lindisfarne Priory (the epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times), Lindisfarne Castle, spend time in the Lindisfarne museum and potter around the pretty village. The island status protects tidal mudflats, saltmarshes and dunes which make up the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, home to rare plants and an exciting array of wildlife. You’ll often see seals hauled up on the sand as well as the abundance of bird species.
An astronomical centre of excellence, second to none and site of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, Kielder Observatory is officially the best place in England to enjoy the stars. Head to Kielder for one of their hugely popular (advanced booking essential) star gazing evenings to see the skies as you’ve never seen them before.
Made for walking, the 64 miles of way-marked trails have it all: breath-taking views, golden beaches, an abundance of wildlife, history and iconic castles. From challenging long-range walks to circular jaunts punctuated with pub stops, there’s something for everyone.
When it comes to country pursuits, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Northumberland. The area offers a variety of mixed game and shooting set ups from rough walked up days to fully catered for high bird pheasant and grouse days. Shooting parties are well catered for at Doxford Hall with dog friendly rooms, gun storage and drying space.