'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Monday, February 26, 2007

The West Auckland Triangle

V & I have just returned from a dirty weekend - well, a distinctly wet and muddy one - at a rather swish hotel in one of the weird, undiscovered parts of England. The rural hinterland on the borders of County Durham and North Yorkshire seems to have been ignored by the rest of the country, and appears to be doing very nicely indeed thank-you. Tiny villages and farmsteads alternate with shabby-elegant 18th century gentleman's houses. Perspectives in low sunlight flash tantalising hints of medieval field systems; whitewashed barns and farm-buildings cosy up along narrow lanes. One reason for the region's bywater feeling is that the trunk roads thereabouts seem designed to make it practically impenetrable - we'd been there before but it still took a full 60 minutes of circulatory silly-buggers on the A68 and adjoining roads before we managed to find the right turnoff. The hotel is a sumptuous Jacobean manor house, with the recent addition of a modern spa. I can vouch for the incomparable luxury of an outdoor hot tub on a winter evening while the winds blow in from the Cleveland Hills. And the restaurant served possibly the best beef fillet that I've ever tasted. If the thought of an inaccessible country house in which magical things happen and to which you cannot find your way back sounds altogether too much like something out of Alain-Fournier change your plans for next weekend, abandon the kids, switch off the mobile phone and make your way into the heart of the zone of enchantment that is the West Auckland Triangle.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Eleanor said...

Sounds fabulous -- maybe it needs to go on the May schedule!

27/2/07 2:04 am  
Blogger Nick said...

I'll send you the URL of the hotel by email . . .

27/2/07 9:52 am  
Blogger Viking Longship said...

A-Ha, so THAT's what you've been up to.

Sounds wonderful.

28/2/07 6:10 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Actually, VL, I've mostly been renovating the flat in Battersea (see other posts, passim), but last weekend was an absolutely heavenly break . . .

1/3/07 9:01 am  
Blogger Arthur Clewley said...

that's my backyard nick. Didn't know it had a name though - sounds like a poppy growing area or something. Vey pleased you had a good weekend but don't tell anyone..hush hush..

2/3/07 5:10 pm  
Blogger the other cold one said...

One of my favourite bermuda triangles is the area encircled by Hereford, Hay-on-Wye, Llandridnod Wells and Leominster - a friends mother owned a B+B there, in a very old Manor house, complete with dovecote, right on the Welsh border. I can fully recommend, you check out Eardisland Village, if you want a timeless experience!!!

2/3/07 6:09 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Arthur, you're lucky to have such a wonderful place close by. Only regret is we didn't get to visit the Boews Museum in Barnard Castle. And as you will have noticed, I'm not revealing the location of the hotel in question. The area itself is safe from an unwanted iniflux of tourists though: they'll never be able to find their way . . .

4/3/07 7:06 pm  

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