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Mr Tumnus Woz Here!
Lumley Castle Hotel (Durham)
Member Name: mrshez
Lumley Castle Hotel (Durham)
Date: 23/12/09, updated on 23/12/09 (586 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful Setting, Beautiful Rooms And Fantastic Staff
I have been to three weddings there and many Lunches and dinners and having just been for a big family christmas lunch I thought that it was a good time to write a review of it.
=====History of Lumley Castle======
Lumley Castle has been around for over 600 years and stands majestically on a hill in the County Durham village of Chester le Street.
In 1976 it was taken over by the group No ordinary Hotels and they created the luxury hotel that it is today.
Lumley Castle has a lot of history going back to 1388 when Sir Ralph Lumley a well know solider took over the old manor house of his ancestors and turned it into a castle, the remains of which can still be seen today.
The is a lot more history to Lumley and if you would like to know more please visit the Lumley Castle website www.lumleycastle.com.
Lumley Castle has very impressive drive up to the castle, as the castle is high up you can see it long before you actually arrive and it has a slow and winding road that leads up to the castle and it is from this vantage point that I think you get the best view.
There is not a huge car parking space at the front however if you are staying overnight there are other parking places closer to your accommodation.
As you can see from the picture above this is what you see as your drive up and park but once you get out and look for reception here is where is gets magical!.
===== Reception ====
After you are parked you walk around the corner and this is where you really see Lumley Castle in all her glory, you walk through a courtyard and there is a row of courtyard bedrooms each with their own front doors and then the castle itself which is where the reception is.
The reception is through a tiny little door right in the corner and when you walk in it is quite small and dark which fits right in with the castle feel and the decor is a mixture of solid concrete floor and heavy materials like all the drapes and curtains and the all the staff are in uniforms from the 1700 and you are really transported into a bygone era.
Check in is swift and easy and the staff are very discreet and your hardly notice them milling around the castle.
The walkways inside the castle are mostly quite small and dimly lit and you can walk up a small candle lit spiral staircase only to find yourself in a huge landing or room with light flooding in so everytime you go up stairs or round a corner you never know what to expect.
Lumley Castle has 73 bedrooms including 14 courtyard bedrooms which are separate from the castle.
Each of the rooms are individually decorated although all are in keeping with the style of the castle and have fabulous heavy curtains and luxurious bedspreads and most feature a four poster.
You will be delighted with any of the rooms and as I have attended weddings there I have stayed in two different types and visited friends in other types.
The stand out one is the Kings James Suite, It has a twenty foot four poster with a separate lounge and a jacuzzi bath and the view from the bath is spectacular and the room was once the castle chapel and it truly is a thing of beauty.
One of the special things about some of the rooms is the fact that in some of them you will opned your wardrobe and find that it is actually the door to the bathroom! and in another room the bed is actually hidden behind a bookcase.
I was lucky enough to stay in the room where the bed was actually hidden up a spiral staircase and it all adds to the magic of Lumley. On another occasion I stayed in the room where the bathroom was behind the wardrobe and I am ashamed to say that I found it extremely funny to keep going in and shouting for "Mr Tumnus" as it was a little like Narnia for me!.
Although all the rooms are in keeping with the castle feel they do have the modern requirements of satellite TV , Telephones, internet access and Tea and Coffee!.
===== Dining =====
The Black Knight restaurant where you dine at Lumley Castle and it is a magnificent room with tall windows and is beautifully decorated, It is quite a light room as the covering on the huge celling is bright white so its truly a feast for the eyes after climbing the dark stair cases.
You have the choice of the Table d'Hote or the A la carte menu and Lumley do try to source all their ingredients locally and you will find something to suite everyone from the traditional to the truly exquisite.
You also have the Library bar where you can have afternoon tea for £10.00 which is a lovely treat if you live nearby as you do not need to be staying at the hotel to enjoy the afternoon tea.
===== Private Dining =====
There are two private dining rooms at the castle, The Gilt room and the Sceptre room which accommodate 14 and 10 people respectively and all wonderful for a small party or special occasion.
===== Lumley Weddings =====
Lumley Castle is a favorite wedding venue in the North East and they cater for civil weddings as well as wedding receptions.
I have attended weddings here and they are truly spectacular, it is the most romantic backdrop for your wedding and the state rooms can cater for upto 130 people.
They do also cater for smaller weddings from 10 to 30 people and I have attended both a large and more intimate wedding and both were wonderful.
Lumley has its own wedding coordinator who can be contacted on 0191 3891111.
Lumley often holds wedding fairs which are free and give you a fantastic opportunity to see what Lumley has to offer.
===== Special Packages ====
Lumley offers some fabulous packages such as Valentines day with a 4 course meal accommodation and a special gift.
Banquet - These are great fun and I have been many times. the evening is set in the 1500s and is a great night out with a party.
Everyone is seated on long tables with high backed chairs and the decor and some of the table decor is all in keeping with the 1500s theme and the staff really make the 1500s come alive. the cost is approx £34 per person
Murder Mystery - I must confess that I have not attended one of these yet but I am booking one for the new year and can not wait the cost of the evening is £34 per person.
===== Staff =====
I Did want to mention the staff at Lumley Castle. They are wonderful and I have received fantastic service everytime that I have been.
They are all dressed in the traditional dress of the era of the castle and the are discreet and you barely know that they are they but they run everything to perfection.
====== My Conclusion =====
Lumley castle is a fantastic place to visit even if its just for afternoon tea after a mornings shopping at the metro centre.
If you are looking for a romantic weekend away or a truly magical wedding venue or a murder mystery weekend with friends Lumley Castle would be top of my list.
And you never know you may be looking for Mr Tumnus!
Check on their website www.lumleycastle.com for up to date availability and prices as they do have special offers on at times and also deals for late availability.
As a guide we payed approx £190.00 for one of the top rooms but this was valentines day so it is worth looking at the website for update information and prices.
====== Address and Contact Details =====
Lumley Castle Hotel
Chester le Street
Lumley Castle is just of the A1 at Chester Le street so it is easy to find and is placed well for Newcastle and the metro centre which was once the largest shopping centre in Europe.
Summary: A Magical Castle In A Magical Setting
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