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.