Amid 35 acres of Northumbrian grandeur, Hallington Hall is a solid constant against the changing seasons and the passing years. In this converted water mill sleeping 13, the wheel and cogs sit with you at dinner, a rich reminder of an industrial past, and the rustic dining table comes hewn from reclaimed wood.
So far, so authentic. But it only gets better at Fairspring Mill. There’s the French-farmhouse kitchen just begging for a winter casserole or summer salad. There’s the open-plan living area, divided by the inglenook fireplace with timber mantle. There’s the beamed rooms and terracotta floors. And the exposed lime and chalk walls.
Fire up Netflix films on the fibre broadband. Drink and dine al fresco on the terrace next to the swings and treehouse, and watch the kids race through their meals. Splash in the stream with wellies. Picnic by the pond. Fish, golf, walk. And discover friendly rustic pubs. These are the cogs and wheels of family life.
Eat, drink and be merry on the terrace in sight of the kids’ treehouse playcentre. Fire up the charcoal barbecue. Sear some steaks, toast the big skies, and watch the kids roll down the grassy bank.
Walk the private valley, explore the woodland, the meadows and pasture, splash in the stream, picnic by the pond, follow the treasure hunt with your dogs. The sense of peace and history hangs heavy over the site, with no evidence of neighbours bar the song of the skylark.
Get the scenery off your boots in the covered rear porch with drying hooks, hose pipe, bench and selection of old towels.
Walk the woods, follow the treasure trail, make friends with the mud, then clean off and come home to modern conveniences. Relax in front of the inglenook, burn some logs, get a Netflix film up on the flatscreen TV, curl up on the sofas and chill. There’s hot coffee on the table and warmth in the air.
Make a night of it in the cinema room with the spotlights, the wall TV and the selection of squishy sofas. Choose from Netflix or Blu-ray player and pick from a large choice of DVDs. Or call the room a snug and escape with your book and the music from the Bose dock.
Monopoly and Scrabble spill from every cupboard. Find toys and games in the snug, with a treasure chest that yawns open to reveal cars, trains and dinosaurs. Or escape the madding crowd in the library, to play cards in a four, sit and create at the craft table, or just raid the shelves and button up in a quiet corner.
After a yomp across the hills, the utility and boot room offers mud management in the shape of a Belfast sink and space for boots, wellies and wet-weather gear. Pop out to the covered porch for a hose down. Fairspring Mill is all very grown-up and practical, yet it never loses its sense of quirky fun.
Eat with a side order of quirky historical magnificence. The chunky dining table for 16 is made from reclaimed wood and sits in front of the ancient cogs and water wheel. Duck your head as you pass through the old low doorway into the farmhouse kitchen, home of winter stews and summer salads.
Prepare your meals on the range cooker with two ovens, grill and hotplate, plus separate oven. Chat as you chop, with informal gatherings around the dining area with seating for six. Load up the dishwasher when you’re done, put your feet up and treat yourself to a Tassimo. Get someone to play the piano.
For the ultimate luxury, turn the house into a hotel and call up our chefs for a one-off celebration or fully catered break. Pop out for a pint and a curry or chilli to The Black Bull, to The Barrasford for Instagrammable steaks, to The Robin Hood for potted wild rabbit or haggis croquette, or Jamie Oliver Magazine-recommended The Feathers.
Pop out for lunch or brunch at The Corbridge Larder’s Heron Café or for tea and cake at Massey’s. Dive into The Duckhouse to sample sausage rolls, cakes, scones and snacks made on site, washed down with gins and craft cocktails. Or head into Newcastle for fine dining at Peace and Loaf or House of Tides.
With just the owners within a one-mile radius, night-times at Fairspring Mill come punctuated only by the hoot of a tawny owl or the rustle of leaves in the breeze. Sleep deeply in six bedrooms and refresh for the day in any of five-and-a-bit bathrooms.
The master bedroom is immense, with five-foot king-size bed, large dressing table with drawer space, large wardrobe with drawer space and two double sofas. A window seat overlooks the garden. Chillax in the en-suite rolltop bath.
Bedroom two comes with 4’ 6” double bed, drawers, hanging space, and a dressing table/vanity unit with sink. Roll out of bed into the roll-top bath. Zip-and-link beds in bedroom three can be configured to six-foot super-king or three-foot twins as you wish, while bedroom four offers the same, plus pull-out bed.
Bedroom five provides a 4’6” double bed with drawers and a tall hanging unit. Sumptuous en-suite bathrooms in bedrooms four and five offer a shower with rainforest head, heated towel rail, basin and WC. A family bathroom comes with a large bath with shower over, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
With a garden, woodland and 8 acres of land, Fairspring Mill has plenty of space for children to explore outdoors! Head outside for outdoor games, swing on the playcentre, or hunt for Dragons in Henry’s Wood.
Inside is super child friendly too, the snug come cinema room has a toy chest full to the brim, as well as a selection of DVD’s and Netflix for the kids to pick their favourite film. Or chill out in the library with books and a range of board games to enjoy with the family. After all the fun and games, there’s a cot and toddler bed to settle down in the evenings.
With so many days out to enjoy nearby, from swimming, bowling and soft play at Hexham leisure centre, strawberry picking at Brockbushes Farm, or visiting the animals at WhiteHouse Farm in Morpeth, Fairspring Mill will be a holiday for the little ones to remember!
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