Cambo, Morpeth, Northumberland, England, NE61 4AR. Tel: +44(0)1670 774283. Opening Dates and Times: 1st April to 30th October
Daily except Tuesday Open 1pm to 5.30pm or dusk
Also open November to March 10am to 4pm. Grounds also open: all year, d „
It being the summer holidays and extremely hot, we tend to try to get out and about to places less busy than the beach. Since I am a member of the National Trust, its easy as we just consult the members handbook, and off we go.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Wallington Hall (as I found out) dates from 1688, although I assume the house which stands there now is not that old the little bit I know about architecture tells me it mut be later. It belonged to generations of the Blackett and Trevelyan families; I am assuming these were influential families since we do now in Newcastle have a Blackett Street in the center of the city. The gardens heavily influenced by Capability Brown, who went to school in the village.
Wallington Hall is in Northumberland, about 12 miles from Morpeth. For anyone trying to find it by car, the easiest way is to get to the center of Morpeth, and from there, the B6343 is clearly signposted, as is Cambo, which is where you are heading for.
THE HALL AND GARDENS.
Its a strange place because you find yourself driving along a road, and are then suddenly informed that you are on NT land, and there is the car park. Access to the hall and gardens is via a rather impressive pedestrian only arched gateway.
There is a large expanse of lawn which leads to the actual house, which itself overlooks the Northumbrian countryside, and looks rather like a painted landscape.
I gleaned bits of information from one of the people who work there and apparently, the exterior is Palladian; all I saw was a building which was quite austere an very symmetrical,which contrasted wildly with the interior, which was all ornate plasterwork. The large hall looks like a courtyard. And there are lots of paintings of Northumberland. There are also lots of examples of ceramics, dolls houses and needlework. However, the weather being as it was outside, we didnt linger too long inside because all little miss wanted to do was get outside and have her picnic! Obviously as much a Philistine as her mum!
Outside the house is where, I think, it is special. There are long, well signposted walks, and we took the walk to the walled garden, which is fabulous- all lawns, packed borders, water features and an orchard. These lead in turn to a huge greenhouse housing plants which will presumably be put into the gardens.
Take the longer walks (we did) and you walk through vast woodland areas and you pass the Folly at Rothley Castle, as well as numerous lakes sporting lots of wildlife. These were the things which fascinated little miss- the duck which had to run along the lilly pads because there were so many of them, they had almost completely covered the water areas. On the walks, there are lots of farm animals in the fields, and if you go with children, plenty to talk about. It was at this sage that I wished I knew more about trees, or had taken a book along, because for some reason, trees and nature in general inspire lots of questions.
In amongst the wooded area is a play area with a great selection swings, rope slides, climbing frames etc. these are, as far as possible, made out of wood, and blend perfectly into the environment.
These change throughout the year so its worth contacting Wallington for information.
Opening hours for summer for the garden is 10am-7pm and 1pm-5.30pm for the house, although the house does sometimes close.
House, garden and grounds, £20 for a family,£8 adult, £4 child
Garden and grounds only, £14 family, £5.50 adult, £2.75 child.
OTHER BITS OF INORMATION
Toilets Make sure you go as soon as you get in, as the only ones I saw were by the entrance, near the shop.
Shop Sells the usual bits and pieces, as well as a good selection of reasonably priced plants and herbs, including some which are in the walled garden
Restaurant Does have a childrens menu but its all fairly limited, and most people had picnics it was very hot!
Dogs Allowed on leads, but I didnt see any, and I assume should you take a dog you would need a poop scoop but I didnt see anywhere to deposit the deposits.
Activities Lots of activities arranged throughout the year, including outdoor theatre and musical productions, nature trails, seasonal craft days. Best to phone for details.
Northumberland. NE61 4AR
Tel: 01670 773600
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT I THOUGHT
We did go on a beautiful sunny day, so had a great day out. There are somequite steep and hilly walks so if its sunny, take lots of drinks as there is nowhere to get refreshments en route. This is ok when its dry, but I would imagine that its awful when its been raining and is all muddy.
The house is impressive and has some interesting bits and pieces, but it was the grounds we were most interested in. The walled garden is fabulous, and because it wasnt overly busy, lovely to just lie in the shade. One of the things I liked about the place is that they arent precious about the lawns. There were children happily running about, playing football, and families eating their picnics under the shade. The one thing they ask is that you leave the borders alone which is a perfectly reasonable request.
The childrens play area is in a shaded place with lots of seats dotted round, so no chance of sun burn, and plenty of places for the adults to sit down while still supervising.
For a pleasant family day out amongst beautiful countryside, this is a good one.
Thanks for reading