ONE of the North East’s top hotels is giving golfers a ‘slice’ of sporting action by inviting them to stay and play.

Historic Lumley Castle Hotel, County Durham, has joined forces with neighbouring Chester-le-Street Golf Club to create a mini-break combining an overnight stay with  a round of golf on the prestigious 18 hole course.

The 600-year-old castle – now a four star hotel – is the backdrop for 12 of the course’s fairways, six of which also overlook the Riverside Cricket Ground, home of Durham County Cricket Club, with fells and hills beyond.

Founded in 1908 with an initial layout of nine holes, the course, which is mostly parkland and forestry, has been sympathetically extended over the years with most of the fairways running in opposing north to south directions.

‘We are delighted with this initiative,” said Colin Henderson, Honorary Secretary of the Golf Club.

“Lumley Castle is a spectacular venue which graces the eastern aspect of the town and guests can not fail to enjoy the experience of staying there.”

Guests can choose to stay in a double or twin room, either in Lumley Castle itself or in one of its Courtyard Rooms, formerly the castle’s stables.

Some of the hotel’s 73 bedrooms feature four poster beds, individually styled bathrooms and overlook the surrounding parkland, while all are fully en-suite, with flat screen TV and complimentary wireless internet.

“With its roaring log fires and opulent bedrooms, not to mention superb food at our Black Knight Restaurant, there really is nowhere nicer to unwind after a bracing round of golf,” said the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing Nola Collinson.

Golf, Play and Stay packages are available from Sunday to Thursday and start at £74.50 per person excluding breakfast.

For more information, or to make a booking, call 0191 389 1111, email info@lumleycastle.com or visit www.lumleycastle.com.