10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids

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We fancied something a little different as a treat to end half term this year so packed ourselves and the kids up to spend a night at Matfen Hall in Northumberland in celebration of our 12th wedding anniversary. We had the absolute best time and I can't wait to share it with you. Matfen Hall is a grand 4* resort and it does feel pretty fancy but on the other hand, it is super warm and welcoming and not the kind of place you feel like you have to keep your children seen but not heard. If you're looking for a luxury family staycation in Northumberland, Matfen Hall really delivers. Here are 10 reasons to stay here with kids: 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Par 3 Golf Course with kids


1 - Enjoy a fabulous & affordable children's afternoon tea

I am regularly asked about the best places to take afternoon tea with kids and now I can add Matfen Hall to my list of recommendations. Afternoon tea is served in the grand setting of the library or drawing room and there are a couple of different menus available. Our favourite was definitely children's afternoon tea which will set you back just £9.95. Children are treated to sandwiches, cakes and a homemade milkshake which they loved. If you visit at certain times of the year the tea will be themed too (ours was Halloween-themed). Afternoon tea here isn't the most formal I've ever experienced and the service was pretty relaxed - perfect for groups or families and it's somewhere I'd book again for a special family occasion. The scones, in particular, were delicious. 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - children's afternoon tea

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - afternoon tea stand

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - children's afternoon tea

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - afternoon tea cakes


2 - Explore the great outdoors with Go Ape! 

Matfen Hall is lucky enough to have it's very own Go Ape! course on-site. We toyed with trying this out but this one is only suitable for over 10s and I know our little-climber (and 9 year old) Heidi would have been gutted to miss out on this if we'd let her older brother try it. So we gave it a miss this time but we'll be back in a couple of years when all three kids are over 10. If you're visiting Matfen Hall with teens, the fact that they have Go Ape! on-site is a huge selling point. Find out more here. 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Go Ape! entrance

Image credit - Go Ape! 

3 - Try something new with a family game of golf 

I was really nervous about trying golf at Matfen Hall - I've never played before and I was worried there would be lots of pro-golfers tutting at us for getting in the way. The kids were keen though (Heidi and Harry have taken lessons and played in mini school tournaments in the past) so I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try. The reality of playing golf with the kids here was far different to my expectations and we actually had so much fun (even me!). 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Par 3 golf course with kids

There are two golf courses at Matfen hall - there's the championship course which I'll leave to the pros and then a driving range and Par 3 course which is open to everyone (even complete beginners like me). The prices are so reasonable and a lot cheaper than expected. As of November 2018, the prices for the Par 3 course are as follows:
  • Adult 9 holes -  £7.50
  • Juniors U16 -  £4 
  • Driving Range - from £3.50 for 50 balls 

You can also pay extra to hire clubs and if you're really keen you can book a family golf lesson. You don't need to pre-book to play golf here and can just turn up during opening hours (see here for info).

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - beginner's golf on the par 3 course

The Par 3 course wasn't daunting at all. The lovely staff at the golf shop gave us some tips and helped the kids to choose the best size clubs. We had a few laughs as we started with balls going all over the place but we soon discovered that golf is one of those sports where you can improve pretty quickly. It wasn't long before Harry and Heidi were doing really well and I loved seeing their sense of achievement when they potted a ball. The course was full of other families who were really helpful and friendly (special thanks to the guys who told us we were facing the wrong way) and honestly, my experience of playing golf at Matfen Hall with the kids was so positive and if it's something you'd never have considered before, I'd urge you to give it a go.
10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - family round of golf

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - junior golf

4 - Take a family spa day 


We've taken a couple of spa days with the kids and its something we all look forward to. The pool at Matfen Hall allows children to visit during set hours and we decided to visit in the morning family-slot of 10am-12noon. It's such a treat all getting wrapped up in a robe and you can see how excited everyone is in the photo below. Lots of families stay at Matfen Hall and if you visit the pool during their family swim times, you won't be the only family with kids there (there are lots of set times to visit when kids won't be there too if you're looking to escape - check website for details). As a parent, this makes me feel better as I know we're not disrupting somebody's spa day and love that time has been dedicated to families.

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - family in robes ready for spa day

The pool at Matfen Hall is 1.2 metres deep which was absolutely perfect for us and my three can all stand up and swim perfectly at this depth. There are loungers and magazines for the grown-ups pool-side and a steam room, ice fountain, bubble pool and sauna for the grown-ups. The spa isn't the grandest in the North East but it suited us perfectly and there was more than enough to fill in our two hours. Steve and I would take it in turns with one of us escaping to the spa area and the other one of us staying with the kids in the pool before swapping. I will admit, visiting a spa with kids is not as relaxing as visiting without, but it's still fun and is something we all love doing.


5 - Enjoy informal family dining which doesn't compromise on quality 

We have taken our children to some pretty fancy restaurants in our time and Steve and I obviously love dining out but often when staying in hotels, the two don't go together. We usually find there's a very small/poor children's menu, that children aren't welcome or that we feel out of place. This absolutely isn't the case at Matfen Hall and we were really impressed with the quality and choice of dining options available to families here. 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - calamari from the conservatory

In the evening we opted to dine in the conservatory, there's no dress code here and it's very relaxed and informal (other guests headed here straight from the spa for example). The food quality has not been compromised though and we enjoyed a gorgeous evening meal here with a perfectly cooked steak and delicious salad. The kids were very well catered for with the usual sandwiches, fish and chips, chicken nuggets etc... or smaller portions of the main menu available. The quality was fantastic as was the service and there's a strong focus on local produce - Matfen Hall even has their own exclusive range of Northumberland sausages on the menu. Sitting eating delicious food as a family in a beautiful setting with a nice bottle of wine for Steve and I was such a nice way to spend our  anniversary night and although informal, it still felt really special.

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - haggis starter in the conservatory

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - steak in the conservatory restaurant

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - goat's cheese and beetroot salad in the conservatory


If you're looking for somewhere even more casual, I'd recommend The Keepers Lodge which is Matfen Hall's Golf Clubhouse. You'll find pub-style food served here with lots of classics. I highly recommend the mac and cheese (although it's a large portion so you may wish to split it with someone). The food isn't as good in here as the main hotel but it's still really good value and a nice place to pop into for a bite to eat after a family walk around the grounds or a round of golf.

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - kids chicken nuggets and chips

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - kids sandwiches

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - sticky toffee pudding


10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - kids fish and chips in  Keepers Lodge

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Pannacotta dessert


6 - Book an Elemis facial and R-E-L-A-X (pre-booked childcare available) 

As we were going all-out for our anniversary weekend, I decided to book an Elemis facial in the hotel Aqua-Vitae spa. I'd recommend booking treatments well in advance as they are super popular. My hour-long treatment was just what I needed and one of the best facials I've ever experienced. My therapist was so professional and knowledgeable and I felt like I benefitted from both the relaxation element and the actual benefit to my skin too. I left Steve and the kids in the room whilst I escaped (they made use of the giant bathtub) but I was impressed to read that Matfen Hall can put you in touch with a recommended nanny service if you'd like some time with your partner or are visiting as a single parent and need a break. Again, this is a service which should be pre-booked well in advance. 


7 - Relax with room service and movie nights

We're not ones for sitting in a hotel bar with kids, even when we go on holiday abroad and much prefer the comfort of our own space. Sipping Prosecco in your PJs is the way forward when you have kids in tow. Matfen Hall has a range of rooms and suites available for all sizes and can add extra beds for kids without any problems - just give them a ring to ask and they'll help as much as they can. As a family of 5, this is refreshing to see. Our Principal suite was so comfortable and the perfect place to snuggle up and watch a movie together before bedtime. You can hire DVDs from reception and there's room service too which if we hadn't have dined out, we would have taken advantage of. There are complimentary Rington's biscuits in your room too which make an ideal midnight-feast snack. 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Matfen Hall suite


10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Matfen Hall toiletries

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Matfen Hall suite bathroom




8 - Make the most of Matfen Hall's fantastic location 

Matfen Hall is extremely well located for exploring the Northumberland countryside. The charming village of Corbridge is just a few miles away, Hadrian's Wall is within a 15 minute drive, the bustling market town of Hexham is close by, if you visit in the summer months, strawberry-picking at Brocksbushes is a must and Northumberland National Park and the stunning Belsay Hall are all within easy reach too. Check out these posts for more ideas for places to visit near Matfen Hall: 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Corbridge Roman Town


9 - Matfen Hall a family business with staff who go above and beyond

Something which really stood out for me at Matfen Hall was how this is a family-owned business who really value their staff. This really shows in everything they do and the staff could not have been nicer. Reading various literature around the hotel and following the Matfen Hall Facebook page, you can see how much their staff are valued and everyone clearly takes pride in their work. From the reception staff who chatted with the kids about their day to the restaurant staff who were able to make personalised recommendations to the spa therapists who made me feel instantly at ease and the golf-shop staff who gave us some pointers for playing, the staff really are a massive credit to Matfen Hall and definitely enhanced our stay here. When travelling with kids, being made to feel welcome is super important to me and this was definitely the case here. 



10 - Kids will love Matfen's homemade waffles for breakfast 

Who doesn't love a hotel breakfast? As a family, it's a treat we love indulging in. We were advised that there are two places to enjoy breakfast (both offering the same menu) and that perhaps the conservatory would be best for us as it's light, airy and offers glorious views. We were really pleased with this recommendation and were very impressed with breakfast at Matfen Hall. Heidi especially loved that homemade waffles were on the menu. Our breakfast really set us up for the day. 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Kids breakfast

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - waffles at Matfen Hall




10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - poached eggs at Matfen hall

Matfen Hall was the perfect place for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary as a family. It had a winning mix of activities such as golf, swimming and family walks, fantastic food for the whole family (which is always the number one thing we look for), comfortable and welcoming surroundings and plenty of opportunities for us to relax together. I always like to try and balance my reviews and share the negatives as well the positives but in this case, I could not find a single fault with our stay. If you're looking for somewhere to celebrate or as a family-base to explore Northumberland, I can highly recommend.




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10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids

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13 comments

  1. A civilised weekend that embraces kids - I love it! And I need to investigate this family spa day - this is a totally new phenomena to be!

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    1. It was such a great weekend. Wish I could do it all again this weekend!

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  2. This looks amazing, I have never been to Matfen hall before. I have been searching all over for somewhere for a mini moon for after our wedding to relax (as not going on honeymoon until later) and this looks perfect x

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    1. I'd never been before either but it was definitely worth the drive. The staff here are so lovely and would really make sure you had the best time if you did decide to book x

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  3. I remember seeing your Instagram stories and Facebook while you stayed and it looked amazing- the room is huge and that afternoon tea sounded wonderful. So rare to get a hotel that is both child friendly and luxury.

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  4. Absolutely fantastic! So lovely to see somewhere like Matfen welcoming children and ensuring that families can enjoy all of their facilities. I bet so many parents feel like they wouldn't be welcome somewhere like this so it's great that Matfen are so accommodating and inclusive!

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  5. I do like the sound of the nanny service, especially if it meant being able to pop off for an hour or so for some pampering. It sounds as though they've really thought of everything here. Happy anniversary! xx

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  6. This hotel/resort looks absolutely amazing. I love that the golf is accessible and dining with kids is easy AND tasty. Nice touch too that the kids' tea milkshake comes with a lid -- they've obviously thought about the experience for kids and their parents! x

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  7. This hotel has so much to offer doesn't it. I love that the spa has dedicated family time and it's great to hear that you all enjoyed the golf

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  8. Oh wow Samantha! What a place. Love the idea of child friendly spa sessions and themed afternoon teas. I completely agree re: Prosecco in your PJ's too:) A perfect treat

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  9. Oh I love all the reasons! It really looks like a fantastic place to really unwind with the family - those waffles and the facial plus prosseco in pjs sounds just like my kind of break!

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  10. You have totally sold me on staying at Matfen Hall with kids! Sounds idyllic.
    (The only thing that would upset my kids is that they couldn't go into the sauna... they're little sauna addicts :-D )

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  11. What an incredible hotel. Service and quality make the world of difference when it comes to a family friendly stay at a hotel and Maften Hall really ticks both boxes

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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