Rothbury House


One of RAFA's Greatest Secrets ____________________________________________________________________

I have recently had the pleasure of a respite break at the Royal Air Force Association home at Rothbury, Northumberland and I am delighted to say that everything about my week spent in their very capable hands was 4 star.

We were so happy to discover Rothbury and the services that RAFA provide, which would have been lost to us, if it hadn’t been for my RAFA branch welfare officer, who told us about the wonders of Rothbury House, Flowerdown House (in W-S-M) and the Richard Peck House (Lytham St Anne’s).

I have been involved with the RAFA for most of my life and yet, it was only when I became seriously ill, that the secret of Rothbury was finally passed to me and you don’t even have to be in need of respite to stay there.

Over the past thirty years as a member of the ACO,I have been lucky enough to stay in many of the grand officers mess in the

Royal Air Force but if you couple those with the care and attention given by some of the most helpful and kindest people imaginable, you come somewhere close to the Victorian hotel in the little village of Rothbury.

On arrival, they took our bags and led us to our room and then kindly took my wife and I on a tour of the facilities and boy, it is worth going there just to stroll through their outstanding garden that leads down to a meandering river.

Whilst there, we were wined and dined three times a day, with a varied, tasty and more importantly for me, plenty of quality food. In the evenings they organise entertainment, with high quality singers, organists and even talks from local historians. They run a twice daily minibus service that will take you wherever you want to go, as you explore this wonderful countryside and all for £3. Some of the views we experienced, would never been found by us, if we were exploring the area by car.

The staff are all highly trained carers and nurses and they can, and do cope with all of their residents physical needs and mental needs, including washing, dressing and basic nursing services twenty-four hours a day. As a ‘walking wounded’ I had my wife’s assistance to help me but I marvelled at the friendly and professional manner the staff displayed at all times.

The old hotel, is a typical building of that grand type, with high ceilings and ornate wood and plaster work, with each room being larger than every hotel room I have ever been in and they are brightly decorated and with a great deal of light streaming in through the large windows. We had three windows in our room, all with outstanding views across the valley.

I highly recommend that you should speak to your RAFA branch about a respite break or you can ask for further details from Patrick Rendall, RAFA Welfare Manager on 01162688774 or You do not have to be ex Royal Air Force to enjoy a break at Rothbury, as it is also open to members of the ACO.

The week we spent was full of snow and cold winds but the warmth of the welcome kept us warm, as did the very good heating system at Rothbury. We are planning to go next year, where we will happily travel from Swansea to Northumberland for a week in the hands of the Royal Air Force family.


Article and Images kindly supplied by: Wg Cdr RJ Wilson RAF VR(T) Retd

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