Lumley Castle reception

I had a weekend free took a spontaneous opportunity to escape to a world of opulence and regal grandeur at Lumley Castle, where history and luxury seamlessly blend.

Nestled in the heart of County Durham, at Chester-le-Street, this magnificent 14th-century fortress offers an unrivaled experience for those seeking a truly indulgent getaway. With its stunning architecture, lavish interiors, and picturesque surroundings, Lumley Castle transports you back in time while providing all the modern comforts you could desire.

lumley castle front

Step inside and be greeted by the warmth of crackling fireplaces, elegant period furnishings, and charmingly decorated rooms. Whether you’re drawn to the castle’s rich history, exquisite dining options, or simply the allure of a tranquil retreat, Lumley Castle has something to delight every guest.

From elegant weddings and corporate events to romantic getaways and family adventures, Lumley Castle caters to every occasion. Relax in one of the beautifully appointed bedrooms, each uniquely designed to evoke a sense of timeless luxury. Indulge in a sumptuous meal at the renowned Knight’s Restaurant, where mouthwatering dishes crafted from the finest local ingredients await.

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And with its idyllic location near the picturesque Durham countryside and charming villages, Lumley Castle offers endless opportunities for outdoor exploration and relaxation.

Unwind in luxury and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Lumley Castle, an enchanting haven where history and indulgence combine to create an unforgettable experience.

flag on lumley castle

History and architecture of Lumley Castle

Lumley Castle stands proudly as a testament to centuries of history and architectural brilliance. On this spot was originally a manor house. Then this quadrangular castle was built in the 14th century, 1389, by Sir Ralph Lumley who had just come back from the Scottish wars and wanted a change.

Alas Sir Ralph and his son and heir were executed in 1400 for being involved in the plot to overthrow Henry IV. The castle passed to the Earl of Somerset but upon his death with no heir, Elizabethan Law meant the castle passed back to the Lumleys. Thus Sir Ralph’s grandson Thomas.

Thomas, through his own bravery as a soldier was given the title Lord Scarborough and kept the castle to go down through the family.

During the 19th century the Bishop of Durham gae up his residence at Durham Castle to enable the University and took up residence here at Lumley Castle. It came that students of Durham University spent their first year at Lumley Castle as halls of resdence then their remaining time at Durham Castle. A good reason they are called the Castlemen.

In 1976 it was turned into the hotel we see today but it is still owned by Lord Scarborough.

busts in the corridor of Lumley Castle

As you explore the castle’s interior, you’ll be captivated by its well-preserved features, including the Great Hall with its intricately carved ceiling and stained glass windows. The rich tapestries adorning the walls and the collection of antique furniture transport you back in time, allowing you to immerse yourself in the opulence of a bygone era.

Accommodation options at Lumley Castle

Lumley Castle offers a range of luxurious accommodation options to suit every taste and preference. Each of the beautifully appointed bedrooms is thoughtfully designed to provide a comfortable and relaxing retreat for guests. From cozy single rooms to spacious suites, every detail has been carefully considered to ensure a memorable stay.

lumley castle room

The castle’s rooms boast a blend of traditional charm and modern amenities, with sumptuous beds, plush furnishings, and elegant decor. Whether you choose to stay in one of the castle’s historic chambers or opt for a more contemporary room in the adjacent Courtyard Wing, you can expect nothing less than the utmost comfort and luxury.

Staying here I did get a real sense of that castle feeling. You feel the ages as you walk the corridors. Just As soon as you enter the reception in fact you get the sense of age. Most definitely not your average hotel with very standard room and size. Each room has something completely different hundreds of years ago so the rooms have been kept traditional and very traditionally kept.

the bed in the room

The views out are immense and very tempting for the walker in me. The keep overlooks Durham Cricket ground.

Dining experiences at Lumley Castle

Indulge your senses with a culinary journey at Lumley Castle’s renowned Knight’s Restaurant. The menu showcases a fusion of traditional and contemporary dishes, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and expertly crafted flavors.

Savour the delights of a delectable afternoon tea, complete with freshly baked scones, delicate finger sandwiches, and an assortment of exquisite pastries.

Or, treat yourself to an unforgettable fine dining experience, where each dish is a work of art, thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented. With its elegant ambiance and I found the service was wonderful.

looking down the stairs at Lumley Castle

Activities and amenities at Lumley Castle

While Lumley Castle’s luxurious accommodations and dining experiences alone are reason enough to visit, the castle also offers a range of activities and amenities to enhance your stay. Unwind with a leisurely stroll through the castle’s stunning grounds, where manicured gardens, serene water features, and ancient trees create a serene atmosphere.

The Castle hold events throughout the year from Banquets to murder mystery dinners as well as Escape Rooms to navigate through.

lumley castle from the grounds

Weddings and events at Lumley Castle

Lumley Castle’s captivating beauty and enchanting atmosphere make it an idyllic venue for weddings and special events. Exchange vows in the castle’s picturesque chapel, with its stained glass windows and ornate decorations creating a truly magical setting. The castle’s stunning reception rooms provide a grand backdrop for celebrations, with their elegant decor and timeless charm.

From intimate gatherings to lavish affairs, Lumley Castle’s dedicated events team works closely with each couple or event organizer to ensure a truly unforgettable experience. With their attention to detail and commitment to excellence, they will help bring your vision to life and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

clock on the castle lumley

Exploring the surrounding area of Lumley Castle

While Lumley Castle offers a haven of tranquility, the surrounding area is ripe for exploration and discovery. Take a leisurely drive through the picturesque Durham countryside, where rolling hills, quaint villages, and charming market towns await. Explore the historic city of Durham itself, with its magnificent cathedral, cobbled streets, and vibrant cultural scene.

For nature enthusiasts, the nearby North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers breathtaking landscapes, perfect for hiking, cycling, or simply enjoying a scenic picnic. And for history buffs, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral is a must-visit, showcasing both architectural splendor and centuries of religious heritage.

Here are some more things to see and do near Lumley Castle:

Beamish Museum: Experience life in the North East of England in the 1820s, 1900s, and 1940s at this open-air museum. It features historic buildings, interactive exhibits, and costumed staff.

Durham Cathedral: Marvel at the stunning architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the cathedral’s history, visit the medieval cloisters, and climb the tower for panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Durham Castle: Discover the Norman origins of this castle, now part of Durham University. Take a guided tour to learn about its rich history and see the stunning Great Hall, which is still used for ceremonies today.

Durham Riverside Walk: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the River Wear, taking in the scenic views and picturesque bridges. Old Durham Gardens are a big top. This peaceful walk is a great way to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

Durham University Botanic Garden: Spend a peaceful afternoon exploring the beautiful gardens, featuring a wide variety of plants from around the world. Take a guided tour or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility.

Crook Hall and Gardens: Step back in time as you explore the historic rooms of Crook Hall, a 13th-century manor house. Wander through the charming gardens, featuring a maze, rose garden, and peaceful courtyard.

corridor lighting in lumley castle

Haunting of Lumley Castle

The ghost of Lumley Castle is a popular legend. According to local folklore, the ghost is believed to be that of Lady Lily Lumley, one of the wives of Sir Ralph Lumley. Her spirit is said to haunt the castle, with sightings and paranormal experiences reported by visitors and staff over the years.

She was apparently drowned in the well by priests for denouncing Catholicism, with the priests then telling Sir Ralph she had ran away to be a nun. The sightings often involve her figure rising from the well and causing mischief.

Any cricket followers amongst you may remember the Ashes series of 2005. Shane Watson from the Australian Cricket team was apparently so spooked by the ghost of Lumley Castle when they stayed here that he had to go sleep on team mate Brett Lee’s room floor. Perfect sledging fodder for Darren Gough and co of course.

upstairs of lumley castle

Booking and reservation information

To experience the grandeur and luxury of Lumley Castle for yourself, visit the site of Lumley Castle to check availability and make a reservation.


Lumley Castle offers a unique and unforgettable luxury getaway experience. With its rich history, breathtaking architecture, and impeccable service, it is the perfect destination for those seeking a truly indulgent escape. Or like me a spontaneous escape.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, planning a romantic retreat, or simply craving a taste of royal treatment, Lumley Castle exceeds all expectations.

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