Wallington Hall and Gardens

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In the heart of Northumberland not far from the market town of Morpeth stands a 17th century mansion called Wallington Hall which is surrounded by beautiful gardens, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland.

It was some years ago that I first visited Wallington Hall. It is full of variety and fascinating stories I promised myself I would return. When I did return I was keen to look at accessibility for the less mobile as since my last visit I had developed some mobility problems. I was pleased to find good accessibility which I detail within the body of this review and which I summarise at the end.

Wallington Hall is the former home to ten generations of the Blackett and Trevelyan families. It was gifted to the National Trust in 1942 by Sir Charles Phipps Trevelyan, Socialist MP.

Wallington Hall has so much to offer the visitor that a visit can easily take a full day. As well as the house and extensive grounds, there is a café, plant centre and gift shop.

There is a free car park around 200 metres from the house. The car park includes designated disabled car parking.

The house is fronted by a very large lawn on which four stone dragons stand as if they are guarding the house.

The Hall is open 7 days a week from 10.30. Entrance fees cost £11 with reductions for children.

Visitors walk through the entrance hall which has a large collection of China and then on to the magnificent arched Central Hall.. There is a superb collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings by the artist William Bell Scott which illustrate 2,000 years of local history. Each painting contains recognisable people/events, so my tip would be to spend time closely inspecting each painting!.

The Sitting Room has a good art collection by Turner, Ruskin and Burne-Jones.

The library, drawing room and dining room contain are available to tour – look out for the beautiful plasterwork.

The kitchen area shows what life below stairs would have been like, there are the scrubbed tables, utensils and a coal fired stove.

My favourite room has to be The Dolls House Room which includes one dolls house dating back to 1835 and another which has thirty six rooms!. This room also houses a case containing over 3,000 lead soldiers.

A rather magnificent staircase leads to the first floor (there is a lift for those with reduced mobility). This floor contains the nursery displaying a range of toys including china dolls and teddy bears. Also on this floor is the Blackett Bedroom which displays the bed made in 1765 for Sir Walter Calverley Blackett. The Needlework room shows textiles, coloured wools and silks.

The top floor (only accessible by stairs) contains a room called the Cabinet of Curiosities. I have never really understood its purpose but it is aptly named as is contains a variety of objects including fossils from porcupine fish, Egyptian figures and kangaroo paws!.

After touring the house we enjoyed a slice of cake and a welcome cup of coffee in the Café. The café has level access and is spacious. Here you can enjoy tea and biscuits or you can have a full meal. There is a brunch, lunch and afternoon tea menu.

The gift shop is well stocked and has level access.

The gardens and grounds are extensive and beautiful and I found to be quite accessible. The pathways are gravel but they also contain a resin so are more solid. These good quality pathways extend into the wood land at East and West Wood. There is an Access Map available at Reception for wheelchair users.

My favourite area of the grounds is The Walled Garden or as some call it The Secret Garden. This garden is tranquil, peaceful and full of colour and amazing scents. I could have sat in it all day. The walk to the Walled Garden took me around 15 minutes (I imagine the more mobile could reach it quicker). It does involve crossing a road. For the less mobile there is a mobility parking area available at the Walled Garden which needs to be booked in advance.

Summary of facilities for the less mobile:
Dedicated mobility parking in the main car park Mobility parking available at the Walled Garden Adapted W.C's Wheelchair and electric buggy hire available. Ramped Access to the house, Level access around ground floor of the house, lift to the 1st floor. good quality pathways in the grounds. Seating available throughout the venue Assistance dogs welcome.

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