Play Hard

6 reasons to book Durham’s newest celebration destination

Blackton Grange is open for bookings next month – and here’s what to expect at this luxurious lakeside group staycation.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 13.12.2022

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Whether you’re looking for a luxury hot tub holiday to celebrate your hen do or want a peaceful staycation with your family, Blackton Grange really does have something for everyone.

Just an hour’s drive from Newcastle, the North East’s newest celebration destination is the perfect large group accommodation where we guarantee you’ll be able to kick back, relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city to live the life of luxury.

This secluded lakeside eight-bedroom traditional farmhouse is located in the heart of North Pennies and is nestled within an 11-acre private grounds with captivating views of the outstanding natural beauty of Country Durham.

But what makes Blackton Grange unique is that services can be brought to you and you can host up to 18 guests including your four-legged friends. From a cocktail masterclass to your own private chef and even outdoor activities that you can take part in onsite, here’s what to expect…

HLN TOP TIP: If you book a stay during the months of January, February and March 2023 you’ll get 25% off


A holiday home like no other with all the entertainment and luxuries you could need meaning you don’t need to leave the house (unless you want to). There’s no need to worry about booking tables at restaurants or arranging fun activities, owners Stella and Jodi have got you covered by carefully curating a list of top local suppliers so that everything can be brought to you.

From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel like royalty, with access to Blackton Grange’s award-winning, confidential executive nationwide chauffeur service. And it’s safe to say cooking for 18 guests is a stressful job, so why not put your feet up have a night off and hire your own private chef for a luxurious dining experience complete with personalised set menus? Remember you’re on holiday too!


If you’re celebrating a special occasion, get the party started with a cocktail masterclass in the comfort of Blackton Grange as an expert mixologist will come to show you the tricks of the trade and give you a chance to make tasty creations of your own. Not only that, you can also order your own grazing table filled with delicious local produce to make your celebration that extra bit special. Plus, there’s even a DJ available to hire too, Stella and Jodi really have thought about all the details.

Or, if you’re after a relaxing break look no further. From beauticians offering the ultimate spa day and pamper experiences to Pilates instructors who will be on hand to help everyone relax, after a stay at Blackton Grange we can guarantee that you’ll be going home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

And for those guests who are adrenaline junkies, there are plenty of suppliers that offer high-quality tailored outdoor activities from stand-up paddleboarding to rock climbing and canyoning walking, all these activities can be done in the beautiful North Pennines and even on the Blackton Grange site.


After hours of scouring the internet, it can be so hard to find a classy destination for big group gatherings like stag and hen parties, alongside finding a big enough space to entertain the whole family. There’s nothing worse than having to leave some of your nearest and dearest out of your celebrations – not at Blackton Grange.

With the private 11-acre estate and eight bedrooms, it’s safe to say everyone can come along on your staycation here. There’s also no need to worry about being separate at mealtimes as Blackton Grange has a handmade bespoke table made to ensure all groups big or small can come together. There’s also a large living room, several entertainment rooms and plenty of outdoor space meaning everyone can be together but also there are plenty of areas so you can have some ‘me’ time, too.


From a movie night in the cinema room to fun in the games room, a cheeky tipple (or two) in the cocktail lounge to a secluded soak in their spa area hot tubs (and cold tubs) and toasting marshmallows and relaxing by the fire pits, Blackton Grange has something to entertain everyone

When going away we always worry that we’ll forget something. But of course, Blackton Grange has got you covered as they provide a range of amenities just in case you forget, from locally sourced coffee from The Happy Barista, locally sourced toiletries from Thistle & Twine, hot water bottles, dressing gowns and even a chef’s box which includes basics for cooking such as oil, herbs, salt and pepper.


As we’ve said there really is something for all ages and tastes at Blackton Grange Estate but did you know you can even bring along your four-legged friends and little ones, too?

From an outdoor doggy spa with a free-standing bathtub especially for your pooch to child-friendly amenities such as potties, utensils, kids’ bowls, plates, travel cot and steriliser, everyone is welcome at this luxurious holiday home making it the perfect spot to make those precious special family memories.


Our favourite part of Blackton Grange is the location. This sensational staycation spot is perfectly secluded with the 11-acres of private land meaning you can truly enjoy each other’s company without any complaints about the noise once the cocktails have started flowing.

Whether you want to blow some cobwebs away or take in the views of the captivating County Durham countryside, Blackton Grange has direct access to the famous Pennine Way walking and cycling route and is close to some great sites, such as High Force Waterfall, Richmond and Grassholme Observatory. Plus, the estate is directly positioned in a Dark Skies Discovery Site, so, if you’re really lucky, you can see the Northern Lights when conditions allow – one to tick off your bucket list.

Plus, Blackton Grange Estate’s grounds, are only a 15-minute drive to the historical market town of Barnard Castle. Here you’ll find many thriving independent retailers, restaurants, cafés and pubs that serve top-quality homemade food, with local produce at the forefront of their menus.

To book your next sensational staycation, visit Blackton Grange’s website.

And if you want to stay up to date with Stella and Jodi’s renovation project, follow Blackton Grange’s Facebook page and Instagram account.

Blackton Grange, Balderhead, Barnard Castle, DL12 9UX

Photography: Emma Hewitt photography


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