A Night at Langley Castle in Northern England

written by Julie Cohn

A Night At Langley Castle

It is not every day one gets to stay at an authentic castle, yet during our visit to Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England, I surprised my son with A Night at Langley Castle.  This 14th century castle not only allows guests to stay overnight, it offers luxury accommodations, outstanding service, and an exquisite dining experience, including an afternoon tea fit for a Queen.

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{Disclosure:  We were hosted by Langley Castle but my opinions are 100% my own.  Our dining experience is featured here.}

Langley Castle is not a “imitation” castle- this was the real thing– a fortified medieval castle built in the 14th century during the reign of Edward III.  The castle comes complete with turrets, garderobes, rooftop battlements, and even a rooftop chapel.  The moment we crossed through the heaven wooden door, we stepped back in time a few hundred years.

The history of the castle enveloped us, beckoning us to a royal experience.  Tapestries in jewel-tone colors of burgundy, evergreen, and lavender hung on the seven-inch thick stone castle walls, and a glimmering medieval suit of armor stood guard in the corner of the entryway.  My son, thrilled (and a little frightened) at the possibility of sleeping where knights and barons once slumbered, stood mesmerized at the grandeur, as I checked us in.

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 At the reception desk, we were greeted by name, and a chivalrous knight (bell hop) took the luggage to our room.  We passed through a large drawing room with a stone fireplace, where afternoon tea and other refreshments are served.   Antique chairs and sofas dotted the room, beckoning us to sit for a moment, but we were lead onward through a long hallway to the Derwentwater Room (Room 2).  According to the description, the history of the Derwentwater name states:

 

In 1705, the Langley Estates became the property of the Earls of Derwentwater, Viscounts Langley. James, the 3rd Earl and his brother Charles were strong Jacobites and took leading parts in the “Glorious Rebellions” of 1715 and 1745 which ended the Stuart Dynasty. Both brothers were captured at Preston in 1715. Charles escaped to France and James was executed. Charles returned to England to aid the 1745 Rebellion, but was caught and beheaded as well.

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Our room was spacious, with a king-size canopy bed in the center of the room. Two steps to the side of the bed led to tall glass oriel-style window, with stained glass at the top.  A grand stone fireplace stood majestic in the corner.  The stone walls held tapestries and classical art, and a glass chandelier sparkled against the ruby and gold accents of the room.  A comfortable sofa concealed a fold-out bed, perfect for traveling families.  The unspoken question between my son and I was who would get the canopy bed and who would get the sofa….would we need to sword fight for the bed?

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Although the room was over 650 years old, there were delightful modern amenities such as a flat screen television that streamed baroque music, a fully adorned bathroom with heated towel rack, a basket of elegant toiletries, and more electrical outlets than most modern hotels.

 

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 The Castle Grounds

 

 

After freshening up, we enjoyed classic afternoon tea in the drawing room, then explored the grounds. The blue skies had turned grey, and a light breeze whispered through the trees, but the afternoon was pleasant.  The grounds were breathtaking, with sculpted shrubbery, rose bushes, and lush green woodland surrounding the castle.  Small rabbits and peacocks meandered the grounds, adding a whimsical air to the estate.

 

 

 

After a short rest, we waited for dinner in the drawing room.  When our table was ready, we were led to a small nook within an opulent dining room, with white table linens, silver candlesticks, and regal china adorning the tables. The service was impeccable, and although there were certainly other guests at Langley Castle, we felt as if the staff were there just for us, waiting on our every need.

 

 

 

After dinner, we retired to our room, satiated by the exquisite feast.  After such a busy week traveling, the quiet of our room was idyllic. It seemed unfitting to watch television in such a tranquil setting, so we read, a soft rain whispering outside the window. As we readied for bed, I imagined long-ago royalty standing in the very spot I stood, getting ready to retire for the night.

 

 

The next morning, as we waited to go into the breakfast room, I inquired about ghosts at the castle, too fearful to ask the night before. I was certain there were ghostly tales to be told, and was rewarded with several tales of ghost sightings, including in the very room in which we stayed.  Perhaps the ghosts allowed us to slumber with ease, as we did not encounter other-world apparitions during our stay. Our breakfast (included with the room) was made-to-order, with a juice, fruit, and pastry breakfast bar.  Both my son and I had an excellent Eggs Benedict.

 

 

 Some Things to Know

  • Room rates are approximately £100.00 – £209.00 per night, including full England breakfast and VAT.
  • Langley Castle has nine guest rooms within the castle, so make reservations well in advance if you want to stay in the castle.  (There are 18 additional rooms on the estate grounds.)
  • Langley Castle offers Battlement tower, chapel, and garderobe tours.
  • Langley Castle is known for romantic once-in-a-lifetime weddings, so be sure to visit their Castle Wedding page.

Things to Do Near Langley Castle

The Northumberland area of Northern England has several interesting historical sites to visit, including Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham’s Abbey, the Roman Army Museum, and Haydon Bridge.

For more information about Langley Castle, please visit their website.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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4 comments

Liz 08/22/2014 at 3:07 pm

Love reading about the castle and seeing the photos. Enough so that I started googling airfare afterward. I have to say though, what was going on with that bathroom tile? Would have loved to see some kind of stone as opposed to the reflective fish scale look. I hope you travel much more so I can see it all through you!

Julie Cohn 08/22/2014 at 4:43 pm

Thank you so much Liz! My photos do not do it justice, the tile in the bathroom was really beautiful. I was a little surprised at first too, but I am glad the stone was not in there because the bathroom was kind of “creepy” as it was, because it was so enclosed, so I was glad it was modernized a little. By creepy, I mean that I kept expecting a ghost to pop out!

Kerry Dexter 08/23/2014 at 12:50 pm

Northumberland is lovely (I say this as one who stays mainly north of Hadrian’s Wall, in Scotland); I am glad you and your son had the chance to experience it this way.

Victoria 08/25/2014 at 6:18 am

These pictures are amazing! I didn’t especially love England when I went but your post makes me feel like I should give it another try.