Photo courtesy The Cookie Jar
Contributor TMA Howe pays a visit to the beautiful county of Northumberland, and stops off at some of the best luxury hotels in Alnwick on the way
The beautiful rural community of Alnwick is situated in the very heart of Northumberland, which in turn is one of the most picturesque counties in all of England. (As is typical of so many places in England, Alnwick is not pronounced as it is spelt, with the ‘l’ and ‘w’ being silent, as in ‘Ann-ick’.)
Dominating the town is the famous Alnwick Castle, while not too far away, the spectacular Northumberland Coast provides some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the UK. The medieval castle – built following the Norman Conquest and lived in today by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland – gained international recognition when starring as Hogwarts in the first Harry Potter films.
Alongside the castle, other top things to do include visiting Alnwick Gardens, along with the many other wonderful points of interest and attractions you’ll discover as you explore the twisting cobbled streets of the old town.
In fact, there’s so much to do in and around this lovely town that you should use our guide top luxury hotels in Alnwick and book an extended stay.
The Top Luxury Hotels in Alnwick
The Cookie Jar
Situated just yards from Alnwick Castle, The Cookie Jar was formerly the Convent of Mercy but has been transformed into a fine boutique luxury hotel. The hotel has some wonderful pedigree behind it, owned and created by Debbie Cook, wife of the former Chief Executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin.
All the bedrooms have names reflecting the local area and are sumptuously decorated with features found in the best hotels around the world, including en-suites with drench showers, and exquisitely scented toiletries from Penhaligons. Super-fast Wi-Fi is available throughout, and bespoke Hypnos beds will ensure a wonderful night’s sleep is had by all staying here.
Of course, before sampling the wonderful bedrooms at The Cookie Jar, one must sample the locally sourced food in the bistro, as created and prepared by renowned local chef Mick Holland. The Baliffgate Bistro is situated overlooking the garden and terrace and will have your taste buds tingling with menus featuring such foods as cured loin of moorland venison, Northumbrian lamb with a hot Greek salad, and buttermilk panna cotta… rounded off with a selection of local artisan cheeses.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: The Cookie Jar
The Dirty Bottles
This famous old pub in Alnwick was given an amazing makeover a few years ago when it was renamed The Dirty Bottles – or, as the locals say, ‘Thi Dorty Bottles’. Whilst the building may date back to the 1600s, the bar/restaurant is definitely from the 21st century, with self-service beer pumps, tasting walls, and ordering booths with iPads.
The Dirty Bottles is located in the centre of Alnwick, just a stone’s throw from Alnwick Castle, and has four individually styled boutique bedrooms. The luxury king size bedrooms have en-suite facilities including either walk in rainfall showers or roll top baths. All rooms offer a Dolce Gusto coffee machine with complimentary pods, 43″ smart TV, free WIFI, a hairdryer, luxury toiletries, bathrobes, Hypnos mattresses, and hypoallergenic bedding.
Guests are able to eat in the smokehouse where everything is prepared on site using fresh ingredients by the team of experienced chef’s and mixologists. Alternatively, there is a secluded roof terrace where guests can look out onto the ancient walls of Alnwick castle.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: The Dirty Bottles
Chatton Park House
Set a few miles north of Alnwick in the magnificent Northumberland countryside, Chatton Park House is an award winning 5-star adults-only luxury country house hotel where guests can enjoy the tranquility of a private four-acre estate. Each bedroom is in keeping with this magnificent property, with features including in room tea/coffee facilities, luxury toiletries, digital flat-screen TVs, and en-suite bathrooms with large showers and/or roll top baths.
In addition to the luxurious bedrooms within the main house, there is also The Lodge. Set in its own private garden, it’s the ideal location for a self-contained getaway with all the features of the rooms in the main house. The Lodge also comes with a fully functioning kitchen and a comfortable lounge with an open fire for those chilly nights.
Chatton Park House is within easy reach of some excellent local eateries where guests can sample local Northumbrian hospitality and cuisine. After a good nights’ sleep, a hearty breakfast is served in the sumptuous dining room where guests can taste the Northumberland platter of grilled back un-smoked bacon, Northumberland sausage, locally made black pudding, mushrooms, tomato, fried bread, and local free range eggs.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Learn more about one of the top luxury hotels in Alnwick at Chatton Park House
This beautiful property has been restored to create a modern take on the traditional coaching inn and hunting lodge décor. The Plough’s seven luxurious bedrooms have been designed to make you feel welcome from the moment you arrive with a selection of homemade cookies and the Nespresso coffee machine.
Our favourite is the superior room, which allows you to relax in style in the comfortable leather seating before sinking into the luxury bath. A king size bed lets you sleep in the utmost comfort.
You will be well fed at The Plough. Between 3-5pm, afternoon tea is served where guests can savour assorted finger sandwiches, homemade fruit, and cheese scones with a choice of preserves and Devon clotted cream, as well as fresh cakes and a choice of specialty teas.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, add a glass of champagne. Dinner is from locally sourced produce such as freshly caught fish from the North Sea or succulent game from various estates across Northumberland. A wide range of breakfast options with local produce is also available.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: The Plough
West Acre House
A former Edwardian vicarage set within an acre of private gardens, the delightful West Acre House is located in close proximity to Alnwick’s best cafés, bars, and restaurants. This luxury B&B is a rare find, with guests frequently posting reviews of their stay as a ‘10 out of 10’. And for good reason.
Since opening in 2004, West Acre House has been consistently granted a ‘5 Star’ and ‘Gold Award’ by the English Tourist Board, and has even recently been featured in the Michelin Guide. And if all that is recommendation enough, West Acre House has been judged one of the top 100 guest houses in England and is the recipient of the ‘Visit England – Rose Award’.
Bruce and Jeannette, your hosts and owners of West Acre House, have decorated four very comfortable bedrooms each with their own uniquely themed en-suite. Guests can also enjoy a lavish full English cooked breakfast in the well-appointed breakfast room.
Rates and Reservations: West Acre House
Not far from Alnwick you will find Newton Hall, a luxury country house hotel at the heart of Northumberland’s spectacular coastline and undoubtedly one of the top luxury hotels in Alnwick and its surrounds. It’s just 90 minutes from Edinburgh in Scotland and an hour from Newcastle.
While the appearance of Newton Hall from the outside is a fine traditional country house, inside is a delightful mix of gorgeous boutique bedrooms, seriously sophisticated suites, charming retreats, and cozy cottages. Newton Hall is a boutique luxury hotel with irresistible charms like four-poster beds, private roof terraces, and gardens… plus plenty of space for romance.
Specializing in unique weddings, private parties, and corporate events, Newton Hall’s coastal location allows guests to enjoy such activities as sedate walks and picnics, or taking part in extreme sports in the hotel’s own outdoor adventure academy.
Rates and Reservations: Newton Hall
If a sleep-over in a Scottish baronial-style castle is your thing – but all whilst staying in Northumberland – then Ravenslaw House is just the place for you. This tastefully refurbished hotel is just a five-minute walk from Alnwick town centre and Alnwick Castle, and is set in its own private gardens.
Ravenslaw House has eight large, finely furnished suites, each individually designed to have a luxurious feel. Bedrooms are finished to a very high standard, ensuring guests enjoy the feeling of nobility that reverberates throughout the hotel. Beds are of dark carved wood, while each room is decorated with traditional Victorian furnishings and bright colours. En-suite bathrooms are individually designed with wonderful rainfall showers and filled with luxurious toiletries. Bathrooms are designed to allow guests to relax in luxury with fluffy white gowns and slippers to wear whilst sampling the goodies on the oft-replenished tea-tray.
After a good night’s sleep, guests can enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast with local delicacies such as Craster kippers.
Rates and Reservations: Ravenslaw House
TMA Howe is LuxuryEngland’s Automotive Editor and an avid traveller.