Matfen Hall Wedding Open Day 2018

Looking for a Northumberland Wedding Venue? The Matfen Hall Wedding Open Day is the perfect opportunity to check out this popular setting!

The Matfen Hall Wedding Open Day – The best place to start your venue search!

Matfen is the perfect spot for a wedding, with the beautiful scenery, picturesque surroundings and luxurious interiors, you can start your married life off feeling like royalty! Recently refurbished, the venue is incredible and beautiful images will be captured in this stunning setting so you can treasure your day forever!  Add your own personal touches and get help along the way with the wedding coordinator who will oversee any queries you have, up-to and on your wedding day.

Fantastic Facilities!

There’s a golf course within the grounds that will surely entice the men or ladies in your life! With packages to suit your budget and views for miles around. However, it’s the Spa that really interests us! The pool, the treatments and the atmosphere are divine! Perfect place for a girly day before the big day to test out the surroundings and get pampered. You’ll thank us I’m sure! The gym is a temptation for the guest who likes exercise, it’s your choice to bring the gym gear if you fancy a workout. There are Spa offers and packages to purchase, find all the deals here


The Shellbraes Farmhouse

The Hotel can of course accommodate you and your guests for the evenings before and after your big day. However many couples are choosing The Shellbraes Farmhouse, just a 5 minute drive away from The Matfen Hall Wedding Venue, to extend and personalise their wedding celebration. Here you can create a more relaxed and informal gathering where the bride can get ready at leisure with make-up artists and hairdressers coming to The Farmhouse. The florist can deliver all the flowers and everyone can get ready together in a celebratory atmosphere!


The Shellbraes Chef!

The day after the wedding is becoming a really popular day for family and friends to get together reminisce about your wedding and bring the celebrations to an end with a big brunch and last glass of fizz. The Shellbraes Chef can step in here and provide a final luxurious touch to start married life with a bang!


Visit This Weekend!

Why not visit The Matfen Hall Wedding Open Day this Sunday and get a feel for the venue, you won’t be disappointed.  With a glass of fizz when you arrive and your chance to sample the delicious canapes. You don’t need to register and entry is free. Meet the team and view your potential venue. Start planning the biggest day before you start the journey into wedded bliss.

The next wedding event is this weekend, so head there and start planning your big day this festive season.

Our Picks For The Festive Season

Here at Wooden Star Cottages, we love the festive season, cosy knits, Christmas markets, cheese boards, mulled wine and mince pies and let’s not forget the roaring fires! So we have put our heads together and come up with a list of our top picks for the 2018 festive season.

Kielder Winter Wonderland, (Weekends only, booking essential) 17thNovember through December

Whether you head there for the weekend or a day trip. Follow the trail and meet Santa’s helpers. Make a toy in the Elves workshop, listen to music in the forest and much more. This is a childhood delight and for adults it’s a step into a fairy tale with the added bonus of a Baileys hot chocolate.

Wrap up warm and wear extra thick socks as it’s certainly a chilly day!

Hexham Christmas Market and Abbey Fair 7-8thDecember

Only a short stroll from Seal Cottage, this is a beautiful event which sees Hexham folk come out in their hundreds. A gorgeous mix of stalls and there is something for everyone. You can get a great start on your Christmas shopping and even pick up a treat for yourself, well, it’s only fair isn’t it?

Father Christmas’ grotto is set up in the Trinity Church and there are little crafts whilst you wait to keep the little folk busy. Father Christmas has even brought some of his reindeer along for the journey and you’re invited to give them a treat or two.


Beamish- The Living Museum of the North

We adore Beamish all year round, however, something magical happens at Christmas. The snow that appears, the sights and the smells take you back to a world of wonder. Buy a ticket and it gets you access all year round. Worth the pennies and travel, that’s for sure. See what they have planned for Christmas 2018 here.







Fenwicks window

A window? We hear you ask! Well, this isn’t just any window. Each year the department store impress us with a full story/ fairy tale in moving/ animated animals and objects.  This is a delight and a surprise each year! It’s always on our Christmas list of fun places to visit. Keep eyes peeled for their big unveiling!

There are so many more, Alnwick Gardens, Gibside, the Lake District too. It might be cold, but with it comes the beauty of the dark skies, fires and the beauty of making memories to cherish for life.

You can find a list of exciting Northumberland events here


Have you got any exciting plans for this festive season?

Hexham’s Christmas Market and Abbey Fair 2018!

Hexham’s annual and very popular Christmas Market and Hexham Abbey Fair 2018 is back for it’s 11th year! Our three bedroom self-catering holiday property, Seal Cottage is still available on these dates! Seal Cottage is a beautifully presented highly reviewed and scored holiday home, just a stones throw away from Hexham’s Christmas Market and Abbey Fair.

Special offer on two nights self catering accommodation and a bottle bubbly too!

Book Seal Cottage for Friday 7th December and Saturday 8th December for a the lower price of £198. That’s a saving of 15% on the normal total booking price. The cottage sleeps up to 5 people. As well as the normal welcome pack of goodies we provide, this offer will also include a bottle of our favourite organic prosecco!

Perfect location!

Seal Cottage is situated beside the open expanse of Sele Park where there are views towards the magnificent Hexham Abbey. From the cottage you can stroll through the park and past the Victorian bandstand. This brings you out straight onto Beaumont Street into the centre of the Christmas Market.

Hexham Christmas Market and Abbey Fair 2018

Wander the 70 stalls and shop for gorgeous gifts, unique arts and crafts. You will find fabulous food sellers and maybe a glass of Northumbrian Mulled Wine. Beaumont Street will be lined with colourful jam packed stalls. The twinkling fairly lights that adorn the parks trees in December will provide a gorgeous festive backdrop for Santa’s reindeer and our magnificent Abbey.

Dates and Times

Friday 7th Dec – 2pm-7pm (Market only)

Saturday 8th Dec – 9am-3pm (Market and Abbey Fair)

What better way is there to celebrate the start of your Christmas Shopping than in beautiful Northumberland!

To take advantage of this offer use promo code CHRISTMASFAIR book direct at…

Schools Out…Our North East Survival Guide!

When we think about summer school holidays we imagine families playing on a sandy beach. We hear the laughter of kids enjoying days out with their parents and the smell of barbeques and suntan lotion. Fast forward to the end of the second week in (or sometimes the first!) and the reality is, things have often deteriorated into endless rounds of “what are we going to do next?” or the inevitable “I’m bored!” It can feel exhausting, but with just a little planning ahead and scheduled “grown-up person time out” I think we could all survive the 6-8 weeks, just, maybe!

I think children should learn the art of being bored, initiating activities themselves and learning to rub along with their siblings with a reasonable amount of amiability, however for everyone’s sanity planned trips and structured activities can help to make the summer holidays that bit more interesting.

There are some great websites out there filled with loads of ideas whether it’s a holiday, day trip or the 2 hour let’s get out of the house scenario, these include;

Looking through these websites for inspiration and experience from holidays gone by, I recommend a few that look perfect for occupying everyone, without breaking the bank.

Wheelbirks Ice-cream Parlour – Stocksfield

Firstly, my most favourite place to have ice cream, Wheelbirks Ice Cream Parlour, the owner Lucinda has created a perfect on the farm experience, the staff are always so friendly. The food is excellent, the ice cream is made with the milk from their herd of Jersey cows and there are extra activities including “Kickgolf” for when they get bored with letting off steam round the apple orchard!


Gibside is an estate in the Derwent Valley. It is between Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear and Burnopfield, County Durham. Gibside was previously owned by the Bowes-Lyon family. It is now a National Trust property. The grounds have lots of areas to explore with various activities for children to get involved with, almost like a natural gym with surprises around every corner. There are lots of opportunities to observe wildlife around the estate and it is also dog friendly. The estate is open from 0600 to 2100 in the summer months.

Beamish Open-Air Museum Co Durham

A little further afield but definitely not to be missed is the amazing Beamish Open-Air Museum. It’s a living, working museum and tells the story of everyday life in the North East of England between 1820 – 1940. You could easily spend a whole day here, there are several places to eat including a traditional Fish & Chip shop and Victorian sweet shop. Prices per adult are £19 and children £11 (a family pass for 2adults 2 children is £49.50 and is unlimited for a year, dogs are allowed.

Treasure Trails

Treasure Trails are a printed trail that allow you to explore towns and villages on a self-guided tour. There are several available for the Northumberland area including Hexham, Corbridge and even one entitled “The Wicked Wizard of Alnwick”.

The easy to follow route will enable you to crack clues whist taking in the gorgeous surroundings of the county, ideal for all the family.

By solving the fiendish clues on the Trail, you’ll be discovering whodunit, finding the location of the buried treasure, or completing the mission like a true secret agent.

Trials can be downloaded or ordered online Priced at 6.99 (plus any P&P), you only need one Trail booklet per family/group of up to 4-5 people.

And Finally, a Rainy-Day Idea…

 Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle

If this glorious weather fails to continue, there are places you can visit “indoors”, check out the websites for ideas, I can recommend Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books is a museum and visitor centre dedicated to children’s literature and based in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, close to the city’s newly regenerated quayside. It has various exhibitions and visits from children’s authors as well as plenty of sensory activities and of course story telling!! There is a café, so you can plan a short or longer trip out.


Happy, stress free holidays everyone!! x