Rustic Relaxation

Surrounded by the beauty of Northumberland, Beacon Hill cottages offer rustic and fire-lit charm as well as a top notch spa

Review by Catherine Ferguson

As we drove up the path to Beacon Hill, I’m pretty sure I let out an audible sigh as every bone in my body relaxed. Little more than a stone’s throw from Newcastle, they’re worlds apart. Effortlessly cosy and delightfully unpretentious, Beacon Hill Farm is home to a tiny hamlet of holiday cottages and a spa complex, nestling in acres of Northumberland woodland, close to the imposing coastline.

Our home for the weekend was the Bluegrass hideaway, one of the newly opened, handcrafted shepherd’s huts. Heralding the hideaways as über glamping, the Beacon Hill team have got the luxury hipster getaway down to a tee.  They’re shepherd’s huts for those who don’t much fancy roughing it.

The huts have three rooms, including a separate bathroom and double bedroom with a view to rival all others. The kitchen and living space is equipped with every gadget and utensil you could ever need and a bespoke little dining table next to the easy-to-light log burner. Better still, every guest is provided with an endless supply of logs and a very gluggable bottle of red wine.

We kicked off our stay with a trip to the spa, where Claire and her team offer a wide range of treatments at very reasonable prices. My feet were beautifully buffed and polished, leaving me a tad grumpy about covering them up in boots for the rest of the weekend. My guest opted for a deep tissue massage, which he assures me ironed out every possible knot, lump and bump. The spa also offer packages with simple but lovely three course lunches in their garden room with floor to ceiling windows boasting yet another beautiful view.

There’s a swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room on site, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I was pretty chuffed to find the games room empty so we could while away a wet, cold evening getting embarrassingly competitive over table football and ping pong.  I’m quite sure we weren’t the target market for the games room, but I’d certainly recommend it.

One of our highlights in the hideaway was our Friday night dinner, which was quite simply the best ready meal I’ve ever eaten.  Local gourmet food delivery company, More More More left a package in our porch, so all we had to do was pop it in the oven and put our feet up by the log burner, whilst indulging in a G&T and immersing ourselves in the wonderful collection of novels and cookery and travel books, carefully selected for the Bluegrass bookshelf. We started with a delicious smoked mackerel pâté, followed by local chicken breasts stuffed with fresh spinach, pancetta, red onion and mascarpone, with dauphinoise potatoes and chargrilled chilli garlic broccoli on the side.  Top it off with salted caramel panna cotta and I was oh so ready to walk just a few steps to the compact, but marvelously comfortable bed.

With plenty to offer onsite and so many options on the doorstep, Beacon Hill is perfect for a long weekend getaway.  It came as little surprise that we fell foul of the Northumbrian weather for some of our stay, but there was still something special about a walk up Druridge Bay getting battered by the wind and rain and stopping off for fish and chips in the seaside village of Amble.  Further inland, Felton was an equally lovely village on the banks of the River Coquet.  No visit to Felton would be complete without a stop at the Running Fox, who boast the pie of the day and local pickles as part of their much lauded afternoon tea.

The beauty of a weekend at Beacon Hill is that it delivers exactly what it promises; a beautiful farm with marvellous views, peace, tranquillity, seclusion and luxury.  For many, it’s not just round the corner, so it’s worth spending a few days and getting to know Northumberland with its breath taking coastline, great gourmet offers and maybe even the odd ray of sunshine. riddle_stop 2


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