Quartermasters at Brancepeth Castle

Brancepeth, Durham
+44 (0)7940 591902

Immerse yourselves in the fascinating history of this ancient castle from the comfortable flat between two of its immense towers


2 beds


2 bedrooms


Sleeps 3

Children welcome
Babies welcome

The Experience

Dating back to the 14th century, this medieval castle had been owned by several different families before being rescued by the Dobson family. Join a tour (reopening in 2021) to find out the full story – Tennyson wrote ‘Come into the garden Maud’ in the rose garden here. You park your car on the grass – unless it’s very muddy, in which case you can enter from the courtyard – then up some steps from the garden and through French doors straight into the sitting room.

It’s a comfortable, simple apartment with lots of books, an engraved map of Durham, information on local walks, watercolours and landscapes by local artists, and loads of posters from outdoor plays in summer, held in the courtyard and going back to the ’80s. Bedrooms are plain and unfussy, and light and sunny. The kitchen is open plan and you are left a bottle of wine and fresh flowers.

Walks from the door are endless and there’s a golf course in sight.

Quartermasters at Brancepeth Castle - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Finding out the stories behind the castle's chequered history
  • Wandering over to the club house at the golf course if you don't want to cook
  • Discovering all the great walks and cycles in this quiet county
Quartermasters at Brancepeth Castle - Gallery

You should know

  • No dogs
  • No smoking
  • You have to join a tour to view the public rooms


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
From 3pm
Check out
By 10am
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 4 nights. Children over 4 welcome.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.


Nightly price
from £67
Weekly price
from £415
1 Apartment for 3
From £672 beds2 bedrooms


A rare treat to stay in such a very old building, steeped in the fascinating history of its many owners.

Nicola, Sawday's inspector

Read more reviews


The neighbourhood

Legend has it that Brancepeth is derived from the brawn's, or boar's, path. You'll hear the bells of St Brandon's church and you can play golf with a 25% discount if staying at the castle. The nearest pub is The Brawn's Den, two miles. There are walks to historical sites from the door and an old railway line from Durham to Bishop Auckland. Meadowfield is two miles for shops, Durham is five.

Local points of interest from James Dobson

  • If one castle is not enough for you, there are many more within easy reach, such as Richmond, Alnwick, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Lindisfarne, Durham, Barnard Castle, Raby, Warkworth and Chillingham
  • There are walks for every taste - explore Brancepeth with our local history guides; stroll along the River Wear below the cathedral in Durham; head into Weardale and Teesdale to find spectacular waterfalls; or take a day trip across to the Lake District
  • Spend a whole day exploring the fascinating open-air museum at Beamish. It tells the story of how people lived, worked, learned and played 100 years ago. Travel on trams, go down a coal mine, visit the farm, the school, the chapel, the shops.....
  • Potter in historic market towns, all within easy reach - Richmond, Barnard Castle, Hexham, Northallerton, Stanhope, Alnwick, Whitby....even up to the Scottish borders with Jedburgh, Coldstream and Melrose. Explore the shops and sample the local producers.
  • Durham Cathedral is arguably the most impressive in the whole of England. From its dramatic location above the city to its breathtaking architecture, this world heritage site truly deserves the over-used term 'awe-inspiring'.
  • The amazing Kynren show in Bishop Auckland has to be seen to be believed - a spectacular outdoor pageant with a cast of hundreds from the local community reflecting the history of England. From August to September in 2021 - truly not to be missed


James Dobson

James's mum, a publisher, bought the castle in 1978 as a place to store books after they lost their warehouse in London. It was in such a bad state that it was on English Heritage's 'at risk' list. Undaunted, the Dobson matriarch brought up 7 children here until her death in 2014. Half of the castle is residential, the rest open to the public by appointment. James will pop in or call to check all is well.