Few could fail to be spellbound by Seaton Delaval Hall’s gardens – not least in the first throes of summer when everything is full of promise and neat spring bulbs are ready to burst into bloom during the balmy summer.
The grand old gardens of Seaton Delaval Hall, and of course the Hall itself are one of my favourite National Trust properties I’ve had the pleasure to visit. A familiar salty scent hangs in the air thanks to Seaton Delaval Hal being so close to the beach, but other than this coastal breeze, you’d find it hard to believe you’re actually so close to the coast and not swaddled in acres of countryside deep inland. Touring the length and breadth of the country’s finest National Trust properties and landmarks wasn’t something my family did when I was younger, so now I have my own set of wheels with a lot of catching up to do. If, like me, having spare time to indulge in some of your favourite things in life is few and far in between, then Seaton Delaval Hall is definitely a good place to start whether you have an hour or three to wander at your own pace and enjoy the scenery.
From swathes of beautiful French lavender, to lollipop head alliums with their purple firework foliage – I eagerly soak up the atmosphere on my impromptu visit to Seaton Delaval Hall today. Despite having access to the Hall included in my ticket price, I know I want to spend my afternoon in the sunshine exploring the gardens. With nothing but my iphone to hand, I can’t resist snapping the view of the gravelled courtyard café where I sit for a while – my mind wandering to the pretty flower pots on each table, to the clotted cream gates and old stone walls. Can I stay here forever, I wonder?
Eventually I decide it’s time to steal myself away from this straight-from-a-Country-Living-Magazine scene and continue my wander, crunching along the gravelled path past the grand old Hall toward the Rose Garden and blooming herbaceous borders.
As I take a step back to snap the view, I spot a charming blue summerhouse hidden between the trees and set off to explore. Suddenly, I realise what I’ve just stumbled upon – a beautiful old lily pond, surrounded by colourful deckchairs where you can just sit, and enjoy the natural beauty. I spot a lady in the distance curled up reading a book, so I sit down, pull out my notepad I carry everywhere with me and spill this view onto my inky pages – for who knows when I will have the pleasure to do this again?
As happy and content as can be, I’m soon joined by other visitors, equally enraptured by the simple pleasure of a garden on the cusp of summertime….