Explore the Durham Coast! England’s forgotten coastline is home to luxurious hotels and stunning landscapes
Indulge in a spa, fine dining and relax in sumptuous accommodation after taking in the Durham coast’s stirring seascapes.
One of the most luxurious places to settle on the Durham coast is the Seaham Hall Hotel and Spa, which stands in its own grounds and where, from a king-sized bed or sink-in sofa, you can gaze through Georgian windows at the North Sea. You’ll find the hotel considerably calmer than was the case 200 years ago, when the Romantic poet Lord Byron – a notorious hedonist and bon viveur – married the baroness Annabella Millbanke here (the marriage, predictably, lasted barely a year).
Today, you can while away the hours in the hotel’s indoor pool and serenity spa, perhaps indulging in Eastern healing rituals or settling into the outdoor wood-fired hot tubs. Twilight spa sessions take advantage of the lack of light pollution in this empty part of the coast. Dinner is unforgettable: enjoy fine fare, such as North Shields mackerel, line-caught Whitby sea bass and single-origin chocolate with Piedmonte hazelnuts, underneath 14-carat gold-plated chandeliers.
A few miles to the south along the coast you’ll find the Grade II listed, ivy-clad Hardwicke Hall Manor. With its woodland hinterland and manicured lawns, this is another good choice for indulgence. Some rooms offer four-poster beds; among the most charming rooms are those that were created out of a former chapel and which include original features such as coving, stucco and pillars.