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About Rockliffe Hall

Your five star home away from home, set alongside the River Tees, Rockliffe Hall offers the perfect location for an idyllic escape.

Rockliffe Hall is a five star luxury golf and spa hotel offering state-of-the-art spa treatments, the North East’s longest world-class golf course and a wide range of dining options. Rockliffe Hall is a memorable destination whether for a romantic break, special celebration, wedding day or business meeting.

Set in the quiet County Durham countryside, between the villages of Croft and Hurworth on Tees, Rockliffe’s location is perfect for discovering the treasures of Durham city, the drama of the North East coastline and the rugged beauty of the North Yorkshire moors.
Or, with world-class leisure facilities at your fingertips, you could just forget the outside world, treat Rockliffe as your home, and let us look after you. Windows overlook the golf course and the estate beyond dotted with rare and exotic trees collected by the Hall’s former owners and keen botanists, the Backhouse family.

Whether you want to relax or be active, celebrate or focus on business, we offer you the space, peace and privacy to do it your way. Our guests genuinely are ‘our guests'.

The History of Rockliffe Hall

Dating back to the 18th century, Rockliffe Hall is steeped in North Eastern history, with stories of its past owners and events offering a glittering insight into its past.

Original plans for the hall date back to 1774, but it wasn’t until after the turn of the century that the hall and the estate started taking shape.

Records from the 1820′s list it as being known as Pilmore House. Back then the Pilmore Estate belonged to local historian Robert Surtees of Redworth, and was habited – around 1836 – by his more famous cousin, landscape painter Thomas Surtees Raine.

The current site we now know as Rockliffe Hall came under the ownership of Alfred Backhouse and major developments began. The estate consisted of three separate buildings: the mansion house, Pilmore Farm and Hurworth Grange (to the west of the farm.

Soon after gaining ownership, Backhouse swiftly commissioned fellow Quaker, and relative by marriage, Alfred Waterhouse to rebuild and re-landscape much of the main building and the estate. It was during this period that Pilmore House first became recognised as the Rockliffe Hall Estate.

Lord Southampton bought the estate and lived there on and off until 1948. A keen cricketer and sportsman, he formed the Rockliffe Park Cricket Club and played on a pitch which still exists in the same site today.

The estate was bought by the Brothers of St John of God and converted into a hospital. Some 18 years later, it came under compulsory purchase by Durham County Council and used as a community centre.

Rockliffe Hall had a brush with stardom and parts of the grounds were used as the backdrop for some scenes from the Michael Caine hit ‘Get Carter’.

In 1903 and again in 1974, some of the buildings were badly damaged by fire.

After standing empty for several years Rockliffe Park was bought by Middlesbrough Football Club. Its new owners have since established a new centre for football training facilities that matches its desire to be a top Premiership outfit challenging for major honours.

The first greens were sown for the Rockliffe Hall championship golf course.

The resort opened its doors as a luxury hotel, golf and spa resort on 23rd November 2009.



5 AA red stars, the highest possible accolade


4 AA Rosettes 2017-18 for The Orangery


The Good Spa Guide 5 Bubble award 2019


A Sunday Times Top 100 Ultimate British Hotel & Top 100 Restaurant (The Orangery)


59Club Gold Award for Greenkeeper of the Year


Best Spa for Sheer Luxury, Good Spa Guide November 2014


VisitEngland Large Hotel of the Year Finalist 2014


Small Luxury Hotels of the World


Pride of Britain Member


North East Tourism Awards - Large Hotel of the Year 2015


Visit England Large Hotel of the Year 2016


North East Tourism Gold Award - Hotel of the Year 2016


North East Tourism Gold Award - Business Tourism 2016


Good Spa Guide Awards - Best Spa For Luxury UK 2016


Pride of Britain Hotel of the year!


VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Finalist Business Tourism 2017


Member of the 'Meetings Industry Association' AIM Accreditation


Golf World Top 100 Golf Resorts in Britain & Ireland 2018


59Club’s Gold Flag Award 2018


You & Your Wedding Magazine, Best UK Venues Guide 2019