ABOUT 20 miles west of Newcastle, just to the north of Hadrian’s Wall, lies a stunning Grade II listed building constructed by Sir Edward Blackett approaching 200 years ago.

Built on the site of an earlier 17th century house, the Blackett family have restored and decorated Matfen Hall to establish it as one of the leading golf and leisure destinations in the North-East.

This is much more than just a golf course, which had the extra bonus of having an extra nine holes built on to ease the traffic over the main track not too long ago. The option is there to mix things up, particularly on a one-night stay inclusive of two rounds of golf.

The original 18 holes, of parkland play over a par 72 track of 6,700 yards, can now be regarded as two separate nine-hole courses, the Douglas (3,339) and Standing Stone (3,361). The slightly longer Dewlaw course (3,357) - designed in-house by director of coaching John Harrison and director of golf Craig Parkinson just over a decade ago - offers a variation of play over the 18 holes.

No matter what first tee box you head to, over the duration of the experience there are some picturesque shots to be taken, with many driver and iron swings carried out with the building providing the backdrop to the greens.

River Pont and the dry stone ‘ha-ha’ wall comes into play on several holes and the fourth, ninth, 12th and 14th are strong par fours. After a brilliant dog-leg par five played up towards the Hall at the 16th, there is a an extremely tough 193-yard Par 3 over the river to cause problems.

While Matfen Hall has regularly hosted professional and amateur events and tournaments, it also prides itself on providing something for all ages and abilities.

Adjoining the range and academy there is also a Par 3 course, which is regarded as a ‘hidden gem’. It is maintained in exactly the same standards as the main championship course, with bunkers and water hazards making it a challenging test. There is no dress code and there is also the opportunbity to hire clubs.

The attraction of Matfen Hall extends to what is on offer away from the course too.

The Keepers Lodge provides perfect pub grub for before and after the golf, and it is also available to non-golfers just visiting the area and wanting to be fed.

But if you are taking advantage of the overnight stay breaks, ideal for couples, then there is also the option of eating award-winning food in the main building’s Library and Print Room too, where the Aqua Vitae Spa helps residents relax in fantastic surroundings.

The four-star golf break destination has an extensive collection of treatments, from massages, body wraps and manicures to dipping in the 16-metre swimming pool or whirlpool, while there is also the soothing salt grotto, herb-induced sauna and tropical shower too. There’s a gin on hand too, to help you relax even more.

Matfen’s 53 guest rooms boast contemporary touches while retaining the charm of a country home, another place for the golfers on site to put their feet up and chill after plenty of walking the fairways and testing the mind after concentrating on what club to use and hazards to avoid.

Northumberland is one of the most beautiful counties in the country, and Matfen Hall allows you to experience all its history, chill and enjoy playing golf all in one place – provided you don’t get too wound up by losing your balls.


Gold Package – Coffee & bacon roll, 18 holes of golf followed by a two course meal £29 per person;

Silver Package – Coffee & bacon roll, 18 holes of golf followed by a one course meal £25 per person;

Bronze Package – Coffee & bacon roll, 18 holes of golf £20 per person;

  • One night stay in a Classic Room, two rounds of golf, dinner in the Keepers Lodge, full Northumbrian breakfast, full use of the Spa & Leisure facilities (Jan, Feb, March, April, Nov & Dec) Sunday to Thursday – £89.00 p/p; Friday – £120.00 p/p; Saturday – £134.00 p/p.
  • (May, June, July, Aug, Sept & Oct) Sunday to Thursday – £99.00 p/p; Friday – £130.00 p/p; Saturday – £145.00 p/p.