Langley Castle, in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall, is a proper sandcastle-shaped fortress. This 14th-century castle has all the battlements to fight off an army, seven-foot-thick walls and, on the roof of the castle, amazing views over the village of Haydon Bridge. The castle tower has nine rooms and there are additional castle view rooms in the grounds. All the castle rooms go the full Medieval mile, with four-poster beds, heraldic-patterned carpets, lavish swags and window seats in thick stone walls.
The opulently furnished Great Hall with its blazing log fire and stained-glass windows makes the ideal place to unwind with a night-cap. Every day after breakfast, a historic tour of the castle and battlements is conducted by a knowledgeable member of staff, linking you to the history of this impressive castle.
A pugnacious Medieval knight called Ralph Lumley built this commanding castle that bears over the River Wear. He was a bit of a troublemaker and was executed for conspiring to overthrow King Henry IV. This castle does not do things by halves, with its bombastic silk flower arrangements, heraldic wall coverings and staff scurrying about dressed in Medieval clothing.
Bedrooms boast heavily-draped four-poster beds and original features, like swags and pelmets. Some have bathrooms behind hidden doors. No two rooms are the same in this imposing four-towered castle. If you want to be a King or Queen for the night, then book the King James Suite, formerly the castle chapel, with its 20ft four-poster Queen Anne bed; this could be the tallest bed in England! The castle is great for murder mystery dinners or Elizabethan banquets for a bit of extra fun.
I love a bit of sibling rivalry. John Bagot Pearson, 'a gentleman of leisure and considerable means', built Augill Castle in 1841 to outdo his brother. Why? Because he could! Augill is more of an English folly with exaggerated steep turrets, sweeping mahogany staircases, wood panelling and lattice windows. Think country house in its truest sense, with creaking floorboards and ticking clocks!
The fires will be roaring and the ground floor of the property welcomes you in with a mini cinema and gin bar! You get a real feeling of warmth, relaxation and a place where anything goes. The castle offers rooms outside the main castle building; The Little Castle boasts its own castellations. Augill offers good access to the outdoors, English country villages, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, if you feel the need to get out and explore.