When asked to review a summer activity day at Matfen Hall I jumped at the chance. This is a place we haven’t visited before and with the North Eastern weather being crazy this past week and non-stop rain hitting all areas it was great to find a wet weather trip! Matfen is in the stunning Northumberland and took just under an hour to get to from Darlington. The beautiful hotel has launched ‘Family Summers at Matfen’ which combine family activities to keep all ages occupied throughout the holidays. With patience low on supply at this point in the holidays, a welcome break where the children can be kept busy away from technical devices is brilliant!
Our day started with a relaxing cup of tea, juice and biscuits relaxing in the drawing room (same as every morning then 😉 I wish!) and we took a stroll (under an umbrella!) to the Golf lodge to meet Jonny our golfing instructor for our family golf session! A 2 minute drive down the road was the driving range and we all thoroughly enjoyed having a go at golf. Jonny was very patient with us (some more than others: I was just thankful to ‘hit the ball’!) and made it really fun for the children. I could see from the hour their progression and confidence growing so goodness know what happens if you have a weekly lesson! This was perfect as we didn’t even need to get wet and the views across the course were magnificent.
After building up something of an appetite with all that golf practice we were ready for a feed and the Keepers offered us a wonderful three course Sunday dinner for all the family. The starter choices of mushroom soup, goats cheese salad or crispy potato skins all went down really well and it was great that the children felt treated the same as the grown ups! A children’s roast dinner was just £5.95 and puddings £4.95 we chose chocolate brownies and sticky toffee pudding both served with ice cream and presented beautifully.
The Keeper’s was a lovely cosy place and Nick was doubly pleased that the football was being shown on the TV so everyone was happy! The staff really ensured we had everything we needed and that lovely North East warmth and hospitality was easily recognisable here. After all that been digested we were full to the brim but we couldn’t not try out the wonderful spa facilities at Matfen! The children were permitted use 4-7pm so plenty of time to turn into prunes! It was great that there were lots of floats etc out for the children to use and they could make a little bit of noise without disrupting anyone.
“In the Summer holidays it is so tricky to find something for all ages of children to take part in that is both in budget and ticks everyone’s boxes.”
(Say stressed mothers everywhere!)
I should also point out that the grounds of Matfen are beautiful and before our swim Nick braved the elements and vouched for this. On a sunny day it must be a wonderful place to explore so apologies that the lure of a warm dry cuppa with a newspaper was more my scene! We are so lucky in our region to have some of the finest examples of stately homes and hotels and Matfen is a real gem of a place. Strolling around I discovered why people choose to put on their special occasions here, the main hall with its lights and royal staircase was breathtaking. The staff around the hotel took the time to speak with us and made us feel at home.
Relaxing in style and a view across the golf course! All Sundays should be as chilled as this (no children asked 95 times when swimming was at any point that we sat in here!!!!!) for the little part of relaxation and contemplation we had whilst sat watching the world go by it was most enjoyable, you can’t have everything in the school holidays I guess!
Matfen is one of those places where time stands still and it was great to have a day that featured something to keep everyone happy. The pool kept the children happy for 90 whole glorious minutes (would have been more if we hadn’t dragged them away!) and myself and husband took a turn in the hot tub and thermal suite (steam room, aromatherapy room, sauna anyone?!) which was just sublime. Whatever the season and whatever the weather, Matfen is a truly special place and we can’t wait to come back and do it all again soon.
We were invited by Matfen Hall to come and review our day but our opinions are our own.
Find out prices about staying as a family at Matfen here:
Honestly, this was not a set up photo…this is all her own work!
(She just appreciates the finer things in life!)