A handful of hotels, guesthouses and stone barns across the North East have been revealed among the best places to stay in the UK for 2024, according to a newly published guide by The Times and The Sunday Times.

From those that used to include a “Game of Thrones-style Great Hall” to “countryside chic”, the region is home to some of the best getaways around.

Many of the publisher’s experts have visited hundreds of properties around the UK looking out for “interesting openings and news of established hotels reinventing themselves.”

The Times said: “Every guesthouse, restaurant with rooms and hotel in this guide has been personally road-tested by at least one of our journalists. Some criteria are easy to evaluate: interiors — be they minimalist or traditional — have to be up to scratch, facilities must live up to the marketing promises and, while the food doesn’t have to win Michelin stars, it does have to be delicious.

The newspaper also “celebrates places that make an effort to be sustainable and support their local communities” as well as those “that demonstrate a thoughtful approach to inclusivity.”

It added: “Other judging considerations are more intangible but equally crucial, such as does the hotel have personality and, whatever the room rate, does it represent value for money?

“Assessing such nuanced points is where our years of experience comes into play and, after plenty of lively debate among the editorial team, we will eventually whittle down the contenders.”

In the latest best 100 places to stay in the UK for 2024 guide, Northumberland and County Durham topped the list – let’s take a closer look.

4 North East properties named UK's best places to stay by The Times

Matfen Hall, Northumberland

Tripadvisor rating: 4/5

Ranked in 13th place, Matfen Hall is “the extravagant former seat of Sir Edward Blackett.”

The Northern Echo: Have you ever stayed at Maften Hall?Have you ever stayed at Maften Hall? (Image: Tripadvisor)

The Times wrote: “Conceived with no sense of restraint by Sir Edward himself — a keen amateur architect — this Victorian grand design included a Game of Thrones-style Great Hall with a staircase built for sword fights and a cathedral-scale stained glass window that floods the space with cinematic light.

“Under Sir Edward, log fires warmed the hall and Caravaggio, Rubens and Van Dyck decorated the walls — but then came the nursing home years. Now, though, after a £15 million refurb by its owner Sir David Harrison, the chairman of Newcastle-based financial services group True Potential and a keen amateur hotelier, Matfen’s log fires and former grandeur have returned.”

Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5

Lord Crewe Arms which featured in 47th place is a “12th-century monks’ guesthouse in the honey-stone village of Blanchland.”

The Times explained it has been turned into “a cosy pub that puts you within stomping distance of the heather-strewn Pennines and Derwent Reservoir.”

It added: “The 26 bedrooms, set across the medieval priory and abbot’s lodge, go big on countryside chic with oak beams, original stone fireplaces and cosy tweed wallpaper.

“Nice touches abound: just-baked cookies in the bedrooms, pints of local ale pulled in the medieval vaulted bar and big, bold seasonal dishes served in front of crackling fires in the former bishop’s dining room.”

Seaham Hall, County Durham

Tripadvisor rating: 5/5

Seaham Hall (98th place) on Durham’s Heritage Coast has bedrooms that “blaze with colour and invention”, while “the spa always seems to be buzzing and the staff won’t just give you directions if you are lost, they will take you where you need to go.”

@high_life_north A spa day at @Seaham Hall in Durham is the perfect way to relax with your bestie 🥹🤍 — AD | GIFTED — #durham #spaday #spa #northeastuk #newcastle #seaham #geordie #toontok #thetoon #newcastlecheck ♬ Lucky Girl - Carlina

The Times praised the food at Seaham Hall, commenting: “Perhaps the biggest surprise is the quality of chef Damian Broom’s cooking. Overshadowed by the popularity of the spa, it flies in under the radar at the end of each day and quickly becomes its highlight.”

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Tempus (Charlton Hall Estate), Northumberland

Tripadvisor rating for Charlton Hall Estate: 4.5/5

Listed in 99th place, The Times wrote: “Staying at the Tempus, which opened last May, puts guests in striking distance of those [Northumberland] magnificent sandy stretches as well as a ten-minute drive from the market town of Alnwick.

“The former farm’s set of 18th-century honey-coloured stone barns and outbuildings have been turned into 32 surprising bedrooms where you might find leopard-print tub chairs, fantastical House of Hackney wallpaper and bathrooms with gold-plated pelicans on the walls.

“The bar, festooned with disco balls, is inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and will leave you with a grin as wide as the Cheshire Cat’s.”

You can see all 100 best places to stay in the UK for 2024 on The Times and The Sunday Times website.