Continuing our theme of Hidden Treasure in Northumberland, we discuss a secret gem, Matfen Village.
Matfen: A Green and a Stream
Matfen Village reminds us at Hang my Hat HQ of a country village in the Cotswolds, with its mature trees, village shop and café, church and country pub. The village sports a lush green, gently parted by a tiny stream, and was built as an estate village about 200 years ago. Nearby Matfen Hall is a magnificent Grade 2 listed building, constructed by Sir Edward Blackett in about 1830, on the site of an older house. It is now a leading country house hotel, with golf course, spa, leisure centre and superb restaurant.
Black Pudding at Black Bull
The stone built Black Bull in the centre of Matfen is more than just picture postcard pretty. The Dining Club meets weekly to enjoy Shetland scallops, roast duck legs and pancetta black pudding, for instance. When its chilly, there are TWO roaring fires to warm you as you dine. The Black Bull has a games room, jukebox, pool table and darts board for a good old fashioned family night out. Games available include cards, dominoes, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble – perfect for unwinding after long country walks or a Sunday lunch! Relax on a seat outside in spring, summer or autumn, hearing the tiny trickle of the river nearby beneath rustling leaves.
Zipping over the Fields: Go Ape
If climbing above the fields is more your style, take a look at Go Ape, just outside of Matfen Hall. Take to the trees on their zip wires, Tarzan swings and rope ladders. Their high ropes course features crossings depicting the bridges over the River Tyne. Clamber across the famous Tyne Bridge, Millennium Bridge and High Level Bridge 30ft up in the tree tops with the kids - and then head to the Black Bull to cool down.
Matfen has more mystery than you’d think!