In a peaceful pocket of Durham, swathed in trees, Farnley Towers is an attractive Victorian manor house with a sweeping staircase, stained glass and panelling. You're just out of the centre, in an elevated location, so there's a country-in-the-town feel, bolstered by the style of the 13 rooms – updated country-house about covers it, with handsome beds and coordinated fabrics. Some rooms have castle and cathedral views too. There’s a bright cream-and-white dining room that makes a bit of a statement, and a very decent breakfast spread that's cooked to order. Dining otherwise is at the rather fine Restaurant DH1 (after the local postcode), which takes up the whole of the lower ground floor – you can spill out on to terrace and lawn from here. For Durham's other restaurants, it's just a ten-minute stroll down the hill to the centre.

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