Time for a confession. Despite having lived in Newcastle for three years until last weekend I'd never been to any of the North East National Trust properties. I'd always presumed that it'd be impossible to get to any of them without a car.
So I was pretty thrilled to discover that, with strong legs and a spot of Spring sunshine, we could easily walk to Seaton Delaval Hall from Whitley Bay Metro. It's a fair few miles but if you love a walk with beautiful coastal scenery I'd recommend giving it a go.
Built in the early 18th century, Seaton Delaval Hall was home to the Delaval family who held large wild parties, gambled and were renowned for the practical jokes that they played on their guests. They were quite the characters!
We couldn't wait to being our adventure.
Needing a bit of a sit down after our hike we began our trip with a visit to the cafe. Taking advantage of the sunshine we joined the crowds of families outside in the courtyard. It's the prettiest place to enjoy a cup of coffee and we loved lounging in the sunshine.
It was hard convincing ourselves to get up and move, but we had some important exploring to do.
As it was a beautiful Spring day we decided to begin with a stroll round the garden. I love how gardens change so much with each season and Spring time at Seaton Delaval Hall sees a gorgeous display of colourful tulips. We've already decided we need to return in a few months time to take a look at the maze which is home to a rose display in the Summer months.
The real focal point of the garden was the beautiful fountain, which looked so cold and inviting in the warm sunshine. We just about managed to resist the urge to dunk our (slightly sunburnt) faces in!
As if the gardens weren't beautiful enough we were thrilled to stumble across a short woodland walk close to the garden which has an impressive display of wild flowers throughout the year with snowdrops in the Winter and daffodils in the Spring.
I was so happy to discover an impressive carpet of bluebells for our visit. The woods were so calm and peaceful and we loved taking a few moments to relax amongst the flowers. It's not too often in modern life that you get to appreciate such simple beauty.
I will admit that when it comes to exploring National Trust properties I tend to get more excited about the grounds and gardens than the house. But we do always make sure we stick our nose in for a little look. Seaton Delaval Hall really surprised me as I managed to get completely engrossed in the history and stories of the Hall and fell in love with the gorgeous building.
The Hall is split into two parts, the Central Hall and the West Wing - each completely different to the other.
Central Hall was sadly savaged by a fire in 1822 and you can still see the telltale signs today. Although partly in ruins the Hall hasn't lost any of its grandure.
Unfortunately during our visit there was limited access to the Hall whilst an important conservation assessment was taking place so we couldn't fully explore most of the rooms. The perfect excuse for another visit I think!
The West Wing houses a stunning collection of furniture and portraits and we loved learning more about the colourful Delaval family. Moving through the rooms admiring the beautiful furniture, it certainly put our collection of Ikea tables and drawers to shame.
It was the portraits that fascinated us the most. The detail on the material of the dresses was so perfect that each painting looked more like a photograph. Being able to study them up close we saw just how perfectly placed each brush stroke was. Completely stunning.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Seaton Delaval Hall and it really was the best first experience of a National Trust in the North East. We're so excited to see where we can explore next!
Let me know your favourite National Trust property, I'm ready to plan our next adventure!
Thank you to National Trust for inviting us to Seaton Delaval Hall. All opinions are our own.