Here at Langley Castle, we have experienced our highest-ever visitor numbers from London, as residents of the capital have made a bee-line north, to stay in the most authentic castle hotel in England, right here in Northumberland. Pondering this, we’ve come up with several reasons why we may be so appealing to people from Greater London.
1. History brought to life
Craving the chance to drink in many original medieval features of our medieval castle, built in 1350, is one reason for the interest. The fact that our Langley Castle team has made this such an engaging exercise, by creating daily Battlement Tours and its own children’s guide to its history – Hairy History – is another.
2. Medieval authenticity and storybook touches
Our guests can not only see what are regarded as the best example of medieval garderobes (toilets) in Europe for themselves but also hear and read about them, to learn more.
They can also spend time sitting in the medieval window seats, set into the seven-feet-thick walls, gaze over to Hadrian’s Wall from our impressive battlements and climb the original winding staircase, designed to foil right-handed attackers.
Children also love all the little features that make them think of Harry Potter books and characters. As Langley Castle always speculates, perhaps it is no coincidence that J K Rowling has visited Langley. We even have our own cupboard room under the stairs and underground tunnel!
3. Pandemic interest in our Northumberland castle hotel
Londoners’ interest in Langley Castle seems to have been sparked as England emerged from the first lockdown. Here we remained stoic and defiant throughout Covid-19 and boldly announced we had ‘all defences in place’, just as we have done, as a Northumberland castle, for over 600 years. That message was picked up and used in the Government’s official staycation campaign, once lockdown restrictions were lifted, catapulting our Northumberland castle hotel into the spotlight.
Londoners began to arrive at Langley Castle, with those articles in hand, delighted they had learned of our incredible offering, ideal for any tourist used to perhaps visiting castles and historic attractions such as The Tower of London, but not having the privilege of staying in one.
4. Jacobite connections
Langley Castle’s own links to the Tower of London also add another twist. Two of our previous owners – James and Charles Radcliffe – lost their lives at the guillotine there, having led Jacobite uprisings in 1715 and 1745. In fact, Charles Radcliffe was the last Englishman to suffer this fate at the Tower.
5. Hadrian’s Wall on our doorstep
On arrival at Langley Castle, Londoners find a World Heritage Site (Hadrian’s Wall) on the doorstep and sometimes also head to nearby Hexham Racecourse. Should they wish to Roam with the Romans, they can take a tour, right from our door, with historical interpretation specialists, Ancient Britain. This helps them discover how the Romans and native Celts lived. History-loving Londoners have relished this and been keen to absorb as much of the area’s heritage as possible.
6. Dark Sky Stargazing Experiences
Others have been drawn by Northumberland’s Dark Sky status and the fact that, here at Langley Castle, we offer special Starry Knight experiences, enabling guests to visit the world-renowned Kielder Observatory, to observe the galaxy and, at times, phenomenon such as the Northern Lights.
7. Dog-friendly Northumberland castle hotel
Dog-owning Londoners have been attracted by a download at the our website – is a Doggy Guide to Canine Castle Capers – and have loved that doggy guests can have their own Certificate of Stay, to verify they have snoozed in such an authentic castle hotel.
8. Elopement weddings for those wanting weddings for two
And then there are the elopers – Londoners who have headed to Langley Castle because we are one of the most experienced hotels in Britain when it comes to arranging ‘weddings for two’, even having our own elopement guide.
Adding her own views on the surge in interest from the capital, Langley Castle’s executive general manager, Margaret Livingstone-Evans, says: “We are delighted to have seen a 22% increase in the number of guests visiting us from London postcodes. We believe Covid-19 has led to people wanting to get in touch with the past and really appreciating authenticity. We can offer that, plus luxurious stays, elopements, tipi,large-scale and woodland weddings, dog-friendly experiences and even whole castle hire.
“We can really help London-based travellers feel like they are stepping into another country, even if they are actually staycationing. That’s why we believe we are rapidly becoming the number one castle hotel choice for those living in Greater London. That makes us so proud, as a Northumberland castle hotel.”