TRIPS overseas may be cast in doubt this summer, but the county’s top hotels were delighted to welcome back guests on Saturday.

It comes as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, with the reopening of the hospitality sector, non-essential shops and hairdressers.

Matfen Hall managing director Bernard Bloodworth said: “We are delighted that we have been able to open the hotel again and we thank all our regular and new guests for all their support during this challenging time, and we look forward to seeing everybody at the Hall soon. It has been great to see more guests coming from all over the UK to Northumberland and our beautiful village.”

The popular hotel, golf course and spa, which was crowed Large Hotel of the Year 2020 at this year’s virtual North East Tourism Awards, has made a number of changes in line with new government guidance.

The hall has introduced a fogging system, which uses an electrolysed saline water in its vaporised form to kill viruses and bacteria on contact.

Slaley Hall also reopened its doors over the weekend, but warned guests some facilities would remain closed.

On social media, the hall said: “We are open and it feels great to have you all back. Please be aware spas and gyms are not permitted to reopen yet, we are ready and eagerly monitoring the fast evolving guidance from the Government.”