It’s incredible how there are some places you can visit over and over again as a child, but return to several years later and have virtually no recollection of the place. This happened to me recently on a day trip to Wallington Hall. Wallington was somewhere I visited multiple times as a child and whilst there were some things I could remember perfectly (such as the dolls’ houses room), there were other things that felt completely new.
One of the best things about visiting a National Trust property (other than the tea room) is that there is something to do even if it’s raining as you can look round the house. The Hall at Wallington was owned by the Trevelyan family and opens daily at 12pm. For me, the most impressive part of the house is the Central Hall, which has been designed similarly to an Italian courtyard and has some beautiful paintings.
The Kitchen is brought to life by volunteers, who bake goods using the aga for visitors to sample. It also means the downstairs of the house smells delicious! The other highlight of the house is the Dolls’ Houses room, which is home to a range of old dolls’ houses, but the detail which some of the interiors go into is very impressive! The Cabinet of Curiosities is also an interesting room… see if you can spot the Pufferfish!
Following a walk around the house, and a very tasty broth in the tearoom, the weather had cleared up slightly, making a walk around the gardens slightly more appealing! Looking out for the slightly unconventional, two of my favourite sights in the grounds were the interesting addition to the wildflower border, and the fairy doors in the trees.
We walked through the East Wood via the Portico Walk to reach the walled garden and conservatory. Given that no garden look at its best on a damp and dreary day, I can imagine that it would look spectacular on a beautiful summer’s day as it was still very pretty when we saw it.
There is a seasonal garden kiosk so that you can enjoy a cup of tea in picturesque surroundings, and you could also buy seeds within the conservatory for several of the plants growing there. I’m clearly getting older as gardens hold much more appeal for me now than they used to!
Celebrating ‘Capability’ Brown
This year is the 300th anniversary of the famous landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. As he was local to Wallington, there have been events held throughout the year to celebrate. Until Sunday 30 October you can see a display of original Brown drawings, and there is also an exhibition of work by the North East Embroiderers’ Guild. You can follow the ‘Capability’ Brown trail around the gardens, and visitors are encouraged to look over the landscape through a frame, observing the clever techniques used by Brown.
If you are particularly interested in ‘Capability’ Brown, you could tie your visit to Wallington in with a trip to Kirkharle, Brown’s birthplace which is just down the road.
A visit to Wallington was a lovely way to spend the final summer bank holiday, and whilst the weather wasn’t brilliant we still had a great day out.