Seaton Delaval Hall is a hidden treasure in the truest of forms. Trundling along on the A190, you could almost miss it, as its entryway is so subtle. After initially missing the turning and doubling back on ourselves, we were astounded when the narrow entrance opened up into a spectacular view of this 18th century country house.

Over a number of years, major restoration works have been carried out at Seaton Delaval Hall following funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Trust and from donations. We were lucky enough to have a look around and we wanted to give you a sneak peek into one of the National Trust’s most significant restoration projects.

Our first stop was the new Brewhouse Café, a cosy building with brick interiors and wooden beams that is set in the once disused brewhouse. We chose to eat outside as it was a beautiful morning, so we took to the flower-filled terrace where there is ample seating and enjoyed a cuppa and delicious bacon butty.

Then, it was time to explore Seaton Delaval Hall’s striking surroundings, where the path networks and sightlines have been reinstated, giving visitors views across the wider landscape and back to the Hall. Playful interventions are dotted throughout, and families can play in The Dark Matter Cube, take selfies in The Mirror Cube and run riot in the fantastic children’s play area.

After our peaceful wander around the gardens, we headed inside to see the awe-inspiring transformations that have taken place in the interior areas of the Hall. Iconic cantilever staircases have been completely renovated, including the installation of new steps and landings to ensure that visitors can experience their grandeur.

One of the most visible transformations can be seen in the Hall’s basement, which has been turned from a dark, damp, unevenly floored space into an atmospheric, architectural, and visually striking part of the building which is now accessible to visitors. New flag flooring and sensitive up-lighting has been installed, and the discovery of a historic drainage system found during archaeological excavations can also be viewed.

Make a day of your visit and bring a picnic to enjoy in the tranquil grounds, or wear your walking shoes and explore one of the walking routes that take you on a circular route to the beach and back to the Hall. Based in the stunning seaside village of Seaton Sluice, there are a number of things to do and places to admire in the local area. And, keep your eyes peeled for the hall’s upcoming events, as performances are always being planned.

Author Jenni Meikle