12 years a slave

Posted 2nd February 2024

How time flies.  It's nearly 18 years since we opened our (then) chaotic doors to a family of five people for five nights.  They were very kind in the face of our shortcomings and even sent us a thank you card, wishing us all the best in the future.

Since then we've:

  • Won lots of awards (top tip for winning awards: ENTER - and read the rules)
  • Met hundreds of really delightful people from all over the world, and shared our home with them 
  • Cooked more sausages and bacon than you could possibly imagine
  • Had lots of fun coming up with wild and wacky breakfast dishes like Kedgeree (delicious) and the Durham Breakfast Tower (not a success)
  • Learnt to bake all sorts of things like breakfast muffins, soda bread and - best of all - our own potato bread
  • Found out so much about all sorts of things, from beekeeping to the Flying Scotsman, playing croquet to star-gazing, running a B&B in Azerbaijan to the glories of New Zealand's South island
  • Embraced greenness - but definitely without the hair shirt...
  • Got fitter, healthier, happier

It's been a ball! Here's to the next 18 years.


Charge your electric car here - FREE

Posted 1st January 2024

We've installed a Zappi EV charge point, for the use of our guests, just by the garages.  It's a 7KwH charging point, with a type 2 connector (we have a cable, but you may want to bring your own), which will charge most cars at up to 7Kw per hour.  A charge at overnight rates will, therefore deliver up to 50 Kw.

The charger measures exactly how much charge you have taken and we'll simply add it to your bill.

Our rates are: 24p/KwH between 12:30am and 7:30am

                     30p/KwH at other times. 


We're listed with Chambres-d'hotes

Posted 7th July 2019

Dowfold House is listed with Chambres D'hotes - a leading French website for finding good places to stay in Britain - and even France!


Chambres D'Hotes .org
Dowfold House Bed & Breakfast Crook. Chambre D'Hotes Great Britain.


BULB switches on Green electricity for Dowfold House

Posted 6th June 2019

Dowfoold House Bed and Breakfast has switched to Bulb Electricity for it's eco-friendly electricity supply.  To quote:

"Bulb is the UK's biggest green energy supplier. We provide all our members with 100% renewable electricity. For every unit you use, we make sure a unit is produced and put on the grid by a renewable source including solar, wind and hydro.  We buy our energy from independent renewable generators from across the UK. Wherever possible, we have direct relationships with these generators to purchase their output. To cover any shortfalls, we purchase renewable energy on the wholesale market."

We can't ask for more than that...


HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence 2017

Posted 5th May 2017


This award is in recognition for consistently achieving the highest standards of Customer Satisfaction worldwide. The team at HotelsCombined undertook the largest analysis of customer opinions online across millions of points of data. They now have a complete and comprehensive understanding of over one million accomodation providersworldwide, which took a team of data experts months to finalize.

Specifically to date, Hotelscombined found and processed 124 opinions that guests have posted about Dowfold Houose Luxury Bed and Breakfast on a variety of different websites, forums and social media, resulting in an incredible score of 9.9 out of a possible 10. Dowfold House thus finds itself among the top 5% of accommodations in the United Kingdom for Customer Satisfaction.

We're SO proud!


FREE Concert Tickets

Posted 5th May 2017

FREE tickets to Hear Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers in Durham Cathedral on 20th May at 7:30pm, performed by Durham Choral Society and Orchestra.

This promises to be a superb performance (it's bound to be; Rupert is singing in it...). The offer is: come and stay at Dowfold House at the usual rates (£85-90/night for two people sharing and receive FREE tickets to the concert. Note that this is subject to availability, and can be booked only by telephone (01388 762473) or contact us.  So, give us a call and we'll look forward to welcoming you on 20th May.


New Website

Posted 4th April 2017

We have a shiny new website (which you're obviously looking at, since you're reading this)!  We're delighted with it - nice pics lovely layout, mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, deathless prose and all those other good things.  Thx to Northgate Systems for their tireless efforts.  If you've any feedback - especially things wrong with it, just let us know


Dowfold House Lotus on video

Posted 4th April 2015

Nothing to do with Bed & Breakfast, but if you're a car enthusiast, you might like to watch this video: just click on the picture to start.  It shows Rupert driving and talking about his Lotus Elise, and was made by the good folk at AutoTrader.  Enjoy - and if you really like it you can come to stay and he'll give you a spin in it.  Any excuse...

Click here to watch the video


Wolsey Lodges

Posted 7th July 2014

Have you heard of Wolsey Lodges? Well, Wolsey Lodges offer luxury bed and breakfast accommodation, for long and short holidays and breaks, in a network of what are probably the most gorgeous country and town houses you can find.

AND, as of today, we at Dowfold House Bed & Breakfast have passed the rigorous selection tests - and ARE one! We're very proud, and looking forward to meeting lots of guests who expect the best - and trying our very hardest to give it to them. Find us HERE and come to see us soon.


Our Breakfasts Are GREAT - Official

Posted 3rd March 2014

We've been awarded the Taste Durham award for Highest Quality Assured and Local Product Champion for 2014.  The award is judged independently by Quality in Tourism (QiT), who work on over 20 such schemes in the country.

AND, with a score of 96%, Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast is rated among the top 3% of ALL eateries enrolled in QiT Initiatives in England & Wales. 

So, if you'd like to sample one of the best breakfasts anywhere in the country, just email or give us a call on 01388 762473.  We'd LOVE to see you!


A Winter Warmer of a Breakfast

Posted 10th October 2012

We've been practicing for months but now the Eggs a la Dowfold House can at last be released on an unsuspecting (though, hopefully, expectant) World.  Marrying poached eggs with smoked salmon and other good things, we think you'll love it.  for full details, click HERE.


Dowfold House powered by the Sun...

Posted 8th August 2011

No, NOT the Newspaper - although we do burn it whenever we can, but 16 magnificent solar panels, producing nearly 4KwH whenever the sun shines.  The Northern Echo was impressed; click HERE to see what they said about it.


Dowfold House's GOLD shines even brighter...

Posted 3rd March 2011

Dowfold House The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) inspected us on 29th March and not only confirmed our GOLD Award from 2 years ago, but gave us a higher score - 86%, up from 80%.  We are of course delighted, and are aiming for GOLD Plus, once we've installed our photovoltaic generation system, and upgraded our boiler system from oil to wood pellets - both schemes are being actively pusued right now.


Dowfold House's Brilliant Breakfasts recognised

Posted 3rd March 2011

FIRST, we won the Best B&B Breakfast in Weardale, Allendale and Derwent Valley - judged by Bill Oldfield, of Oldfield Restaurant fame. 

THEN, we were especially surprised to pick up the Local Food Hero, for using and promoting local produce.  Judge Gilli Cliff described us as: "an inspiration in sourcing and creativity."

Of course, we're much too modest to disagree with such eminent critics.  Find out more about the contest and the judges at Love Food.Dowfold House has picked up, not one, but TWO awards at the Love Food Brilliant Breakfast Competition for the North Pennine Dales.


We have seen the future, and the future is... GREAT Coffee!

Posted 12th December 2010

Guess who got a shiny (and BRIGHT RED) coffee machine for Christmas...?  It's a really good quality de Longhi model, and makes excellent espresso, froths the frothiest milk, and is clever enough to produce steam to froth the milk at a higher temperature than the hot water used for making coffee - too high a water temperature "burns" the coffee and makes it bitter; too low and the froth just, er, isn't.  Clearly, we've had to test all the permutations (we do suffer you know...), and are just working through a dizzy range of different coffees to find the perfect blend for each occasion.  If you have any favourites, do let us know.


AT LAST, we've got around to making our own bread

Posted 11th November 2010

Given that Rupert used to be a Master Baker in his youth, it's odd that it's taken him so long to get around to adding home-baked bread to the menu.  The real reason?  He'd completely forgotten how.  As a baker he never made fewer than 100 loaves at a time - which is EASY.  ONE is almost impossible (says Rupert...).  Enter the Panasonic SD257 Breadmaker!  It is actually excellent, and we are now churning out delicious bread - using local Northumbrian wheat, stone-milled in Stamfordham.  Jill says she'll never eat shop-bought bread again.  So, most afternoons, arriving guests are regaled with the scent of fresh-baked bread (we already home-bake croissants, so it smells good in the morning too).  See our Suppliers page for more details on the flours we use.



Dowfold House WINS at the Regional Tourism Awards FINAL!

Posted 10th October 2010

Dowfold House has won the SILVER Award for the Best B&B in the North-East, run by North-East Tourism.  Fantastic!  Congratulations to our fiendish competitors, St. Cuthberts, in Seahouses, who deservedly took GOLD, and to Springdale House in Redcar, who took the BRONZE.  It was a lovely evening - our table took a whole rash of awards, including Killhope Lead Mine, Cowshill, and Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester (both GOLD), as well as Blackthorn Gate Self-catering cottages at Nunthorpe, and the Barn at Beal (BRONZE), so goodwill (and other stuff) flowed pretty freely.  On the next table, fellow-member of the Weardale Visitor Network, Stanhope Tourist Information Centre at the Durham Dales Centre scooped a splendid SILVER. I've said it before, but our success is really down to our guests and the GREAT things you have said about us, online and in our Visitor Book.  It makes all the difference and we are most grateful.

Ummm... if you WANT to see us on video, click HERE (not for the faint-hearted...)