Rest at The Nest: Luxury Lodges in County Durham
Travelista contributor Emily Hope spent a night at The Nest, a rural getaway of treehouses and luxury wooden lodges nestled in the heart of the County Durham countryside.
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Review of The Nest: Luxury Lodges in County Durham
At The Nest guests can check in to one of 5 nature-inspired, elevated treehouses and luxury lodges in County Durham, including Kingfisher, Sandpiper, Nuthatch, Wren and The Covey. Our night at The Nest was spent in Sandpiper, one of the beautiful lakeside lodges and certainly were not disappointed. Complete with a delightful fire, luxury interior, steaming hot tub, beautiful lakeside views, and a perfectly- timed snowstorm, Sandpiper was everything we could have wished for from a cosy winter getaway. Read on for the lowdown on our full experience.
Some images courtesy of ROAM
Our drive through a rural snowy County Durham towards The Nest was like something straight out of the film, The Holiday… lots of little country roads, quaint villages, and frosted fields for miles.
We soon came across the entrance to The Nest. Narrow farm tracks and acres of land confirmed that our ideal secluded location had finally been found. It was starting to get dark as we reached Red Hurworth Farm estate, and to my eager anticipation, I completely missed the signpost that would direct us to Sandpiper. However, my confusion was short-lived as a helpful phone call from the lovely owners put us back on the straight and narrow. Backtracking, we found the correct signage and continued to follow the path up towards Sandpiper.
And there she was.
Nestled between serene surroundings and overlooking lush fields, Sandpiper immediately felt intimate and beautifully secluded. The rustic charm of the lodge along with the picturesque landscape, promised the perfect romantic getaway for us.
Checking in to Sandpiper
Checking in at Sandpiper was a seamless and convenient process, thanks to the smart app provided by The Nest. Before our stay, we downloaded the app which contained all the necessary instructions, from check-in and our key location to check-out, as well as operating the various amenities of the lodge such as the suspended log burner, sound system, oven and the private hot tub.
There was also information listed here about local walks and activities if guests were to be staying for a longer period, which is perfect if you like planning! This app proved to be a thoughtful touch, ensuring that we had everything we needed at our fingertips without any worry of connectivity issues, especially with us being in the middle of nowhere.
Noticing The Little Details
Upon entering the lodge, we were immediately impressed by its stylish interior design. The open-plan layout of Sandpiper was warm and comforting with its featured exposed wooden beams and modern furnishings. The attention to detail came through in every corner, from the plush sofas, plump cushions and fur throw to the well-appointed kitchenette that created a sense of luxury and homeliness.
The bedroom was a dream with its ambient lighting, long velvet curtains and king-sized bed with crisp, white sheets. The large window overlooking the private balcony and the surrounding countryside provided a stunning view and from there, we could see the private hot tub that we were now desperate to jump into. The bathroom was spotlessly clean and featured modern fixtures including a gorgeous rain shower, luxury toiletries and a heated towel rail, providing total comfort and convenience during our stay.
Thoughtful touches, such as a little Christmas tree in the lounge area and remote-operated LED candles gave us all the festive feels and we were delighted to see a basket of fresh, fluffy towels and flip-flops for us to enjoy the ultimate hot tub experience.
A little welcome hamper filled with tasty goodies was waiting for us in the kitchenette, and the area was also fully stocked with utensils, a Nespresso machine, cookbooks, and condiments which allowed us to feel truly at home.
In addition to these lovely touches, the lodge was equipped with all the modern conveniences, including Wi-Fi and a smart TV, enabling guests to stay connected and unwind with their favourite shows or movies. The attention to detail extended to every aspect of the lodge, and it was clear from the outset that quality guest experience is the force behind The Nest.
The absolute highlight however, was the inbuilt Sonos Sound System and speakers that were in every room, including the bathroom. I was all too overjoyed that I could listen to as much Mariah as loud and proud as I wanted, without the worry of disturbing any neighbours.
Our Cosy Winter’s Evening in Sandpiper
We felt like royalty for a night, so we started the evening as we meant to carry on… with a delicious glass of red and a tasty tapas selection that we chose from our local M&S.
As a self-catered lodge, we had all the utensils we needed to cook and prepare the food as well as some graze board style boards to neatly serve everything on. The Nest app does also suggest local, recommended caterers and eateries though, so if cooking in isn’t your thing, then there are some useful recommendations on there too.
Tip: The Nest is in a rural setting so be sure to pick up your self-catering food items before you arrive so you can simply check in and relax.
After we’d enjoyed a festive amount of cheese, bread and charcuterie, we headed straight for the sofa. Close by, there was also the suspended log burner, which contained a generous supply of firewood to keep the fire lit for a good while, as we snuggled down to watch a bit of Love Actually.
The combination of our full, restful bellies with the peace and warmth of the fire was enough to lull me into a nap, but we were adamant to not let the evening pass without giving the hot tub a whirl. Sleep would have to wait!
Under a beautiful starry night, with just the sound of the odd bird and the warm, bubbling hot tub, we soaked away our cares for a good hour or so, in full switch-off mode. Although we were reluctant, we eventually left the hot tub behind, knowing that an amazing night’s sleep awaited us in the inviting king-sized bed with a mattress that was made for sinking into.
Waking up on the 1st of December at Sandpiper, surrounded by a beautiful winter wonderland. Fresh snowfall had blanketed the surroundings, creating a gorgeous Narnia-like landscape. Still basking in the feeling of royalty, we began the morning by enjoying a hot Nespresso and a pastry in bed, admiring the wintery views. Then, to make the most of our last hour or so at Sandpiper we soaked in the hot tub one final time, taking in the gorgeous snowy fields outside.
It goes without saying that when it came to check out, we were sad to leave the lodge and we only wished we were staying there for longer. Sandpiper had well and truly won us over.
In addition to the amazing getaway itself, it is worth mentioning the exceptional hospitality provided by the hosts at The Nest – Claire and Hugh. From the moment we arrived, they went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect. Their availability and responsiveness to any queries during our stay was fantastic and it was clear that they wanted their guests to have a seamless and stress-free experience. Their kindness also shone through when they offered to help shovel our cars out of the snow and grit the ice, helping us to leave safely in the wintery conditions. Their genuine attentiveness to our comfort and safety was evident, and it truly made us feel taken care of.
After a night of pure comfort and relaxation, it was undeniable that Sandpiper exceeded all of our expectations. The combination of its secluded location, cosy interiors, and state-of-the-art amenities certainly created the best experience for us and we would not hesitate to return.
Lodges vary to suit the needs of different guests and if staying as a family, and we’d recommend The Covey which is even more spacious and tailored to families. As a romantic getaway, however, Sandpiper was 100% fit for purpose.
From the moment we first heard about The Nest, we knew it would be a special experience. Little did we know just how unforgettable it would turn out to be. Now, looking back with a load of wonderful memories, we can confidently say that our stay at The Nest was nothing short of pure magic.
This review of The Nest has been provided in exchange for a complimentary press night at The Nest. All words, views and photos are authentic and that of the authors.