First find your hotels
Redworth Hall was the second of the hotels I booked for our trip to the north east of England and I picked up a great deal on Lastminute.com for a double room including breakfast for two for just £69. I found it by searching for hotels near to Durham and ended up buying this for the Sunday night (which almost certainly helped keep the price down) and Lumley Castle, just the other side of Durham, for the Monday night. Sundays and Mondays tend to be the cheapest nights for big hotels and I'm sure that if we'd wanted the Saturday night the price would have rocketed. I was reassured by the hotel being part of the Barcelo hotel chain since I've never come across a Barcelo that wasn't at least a little bit special although when we arrived – complete with paperwork saying Barcelo – it seems that the hotel is actually owned by a chain called Puma Hotels so I'm still quite confused about how the two are linked. I can only assume that Puma own Barcelo or vice versa.
We'd just spent two nights in a tiny little B&B in Robin Hood's Bay on the north Yorkshire coast and had stopped off at a few places along the coast before arriving in Redworth. The hotel is located in the countryside just a few minutes drive from Junction 58 of the A1M. It's south of Durham by less than half an hour and is well signposted from the roads in the area. That's a nice way of saying we didn't find it difficult to track the place down. If you don't have a car, the nearest train station is Darlington and the nearest airport is Durham Tees Valley.
You really can't fail to be at least a bit impressed when you pull off the road and onto a tree-lined driveway that swoops round to reveal a grand old grey-stone place that looks like a stately home. The historic part of the hotel dates back to Jacobean times and is built of honey coloured stone with gorgeous big bay windows and high ceilings. Of course with character hotels like this it's almost inevitable that the heart of the old building gets extended with much more modern wings to house the conference delegates and wedding guests who haven't paid extra for the rooms in the old building. We knew that as £69-a-nighters we'd be stuffed somewhere out the back as far as possible from where the historic 'action' was taking place. Checking the website, I got the impression that there are less than a dozen rooms in the old building and these are probably the ones used for honeymooners and very special occasions.
Reception is in the old building and it's a lovely old building indeed. To one side of the reception area is a lovely old 'library' type room and to the other another pleasant sofa-stuffed place perfect for overpriced afternoon teas. We had pre-paid in full and we weren't asked for a credit card to pay for any 'extras' which quite surprised me but only in a positive way. We were given two key cards which I always find handy when there are two of us in the room as so often if one takes the key to go out of the room a lot of hotels leave the remaining person sitting in the dark.