Although Durham is open to romantics all year round, Valentine's Day is fast approaching and provides the perfect excuse to book your next romantic getaway and spend some quality time away from it all with your loved one.
Here, we take a closer look at five of the county's most romantic hotels from cosy rural retreats to coastal escapes and city breaks.
"It's all in the detail" at five star Seaham Hall - a boutique hotel on the Durham Coast that is home to one of the best spas in the UK.
This white-fronted Georgian country house set in 37 acres of land and with 23 breathtaking and individual suites, each with their own unique character and some with outdoor terraces and even hot tubs. The Serenity Spa provides the perfected retreat with a 20-metre pool, outdoor hot tubs, a hydrotherapy pool as well as skilled therapists trained to deliver a variety of therapies and treatments that encourage relaxation.
“If Seaham Hall had a house perfume, it would be called ‘Relax!’ The spa is simply sensational.” (Exclusively British Magazine, 2015)
The hotel is home to an Asian-inspired restaurant (Ozone) and a fine dining option (Byron's restaurant) where head chef Ross Stovold uses local produce to offer a range of delicious British dishes.
18th Century romantic poet Lord Byron was married here more than 200 years ago, and the very room in which the ceremony took place has now been transformed into a luxury suite; a hub of romance it is perfect for special ocasions. Get a sneak peek of the room here >
Prices: Seaham Hall have a number of packages starting at £179. See them all here >
Rockliffe Hall in the south of the county is Durham's other five star hotel.
The perfect luxury setting for an idyllic escape, the hotel has a world-class golf course and an award-winning spa. Ideal for a romantic break, this country retreat prides itself on its fantastic food and superb range of facilities.
Overnight Valentine’s Day packages include ‘My First, My Last, My Everything’ for those wanting to share their love of food with the love of their life.
Prices: Prices start from £155 per room and there are several romantic packages available on Rockliffe Hall's website >
"Home isn't a place, it's a feeling" is the mantra at Headlam Hall,
Charming Headlam Hall is a 17th Century country house retreat in beautiful countryside of the Durham Dales. Standing in beautiful walled gardens and surrounded by its own rolling farmland, this historic family-owned property is an idyllic rural retreat with a luxury spa and golf course.
The hotel is well situated for a trip to the historic market town of Barnard Castle where you'll find The Bowes Museum - regarded one of the most significant museums outside of London, the impressive French-style chateau is home to important collections of European fine and decorative art. The town is a haven for discerning shoppers and treasure seekers too, with the many antique shops providing a charming shopping experience.
Prices: Dinner bed and breakfast offer in January and February from £178 per couple (not available on Valentine's weekend), or a Valentine's weekend offer which includes half bottle of Champagne and a four-course candle-lit dinner from £210 per couple. See all offers here >
This 18th Century coaching inn sits in the picturesque village of Romaldkirk near Barnard Castle and is ideally situated for exploring Durham's great outdoors, (just as Ben Fogle did when he stayed here last year)
Make the most of staying in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and spend the day walking and taking in some of the county's top beauty spots including High Force and Low Force waterfalls, call into Bowlees Visitor Centre along the way and return to the Rose and Crown to warm up by the fire before tucking into fabulous food using the best local produce around (grab lunch in the cosy bar or dine in style at the oak panelled 2 AA restaurant)
The hotel has stylish rooms in the main house, out the back of the building and a couple in a cottage next door – they all have warm colours, comfy beds, and super bathrooms. The hotel was awarded the Sawday's National Treasure Award in 2016, when it was described as
"everything you’d want of a lovely country inn - pretty rooms, tasty food, local ales in a cute bar and fabulous walking"
Prices: The overnight indulgent escape is perfect for that special occasion with a luxury suite, four-course meal and Champagne, from £150 per person. There are more packages on the Rose and Crown's website >
If you're looking for a city break, then why not discover the charm of historic Durham City. It's easy to get to by train, and there's plenty to see and do too.
The Radisson Blu is the city's newest hotel - it overlooks the River Wear and is close to the main attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Castle, and Crook Hall and Gardens
Enjoy a romantic stroll along the city's river banks or admire the views from a river cruise.
Dine in style at the hotel's Collage Restaurant, or enjoy a cocktail or two in the hotel bar before catching a show or enjoying the city's vibrant night life.
Prices: Book before 31 January and get 30% off weekend stays. More details here >
And get more information on Durham City short breaks here >
Plus, if you're looking for more accommodation across the county, take a look at a full list of Durham's: