, Westgate, County Durham.
Westgate Manor is a Victorian country house set in the heart of Weardale and the Durham Dales. It’s an ideal retreat as either a base for exploring the area or just a stopping-off point on a journey. It becomes a luxurious overnight halt for walkers or cyclists.
Rooms are large and beautifully furnished with antique pieces, including four-poster or half-tester beds and roll-top baths, as well as more modern items such as walk-in showers and underfloor heating. It hardly needs saying that the views are magnificent, and facilities include a flatscreen television, wi-fi, mood lighting and tea and coffee-making facilities.
The resident’s lounge is a fine drawing room with comfy sofas, high ceilings, the original Victorian fireplace and huge windows enabling views of the surrounding countryside. The dining room is similarly original with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and a large conservatory facing out into the garden. This is the setting for breakfast, morning coffee, a lunchtime bite, afternoon tea, or a full dinner (by prior reservation). Fine wines, spirits and local beers are available from the well-stocked bar.
There’s interest and scenery all around Westgate. Visitors can feast their eyes on the natural beauties of the dales, Slit Wood or the watery delights of High and Low Force. There’s ancient history at Hadrian’s Wall or more recent history at the Beamish Museum and Killhope Mine. For grand houses, Raby Castle was one of our favourites during a recent visit.