13. 3. 2016 – The Delaval Hall Adventure with Olly & Curly
For Christmas gone, Curly and I got a great gift from her mam Anne. She bought us both family passes for the National Trust which gives you access to over 500 special heritage places across the UK from the coastline, castles, countryside and historic buildings which are preserved by the National Trust. A really thoughtful gift meaning we can have some great adventures together and also the little ones too.
We hadn’t managed to use the cards yet but Olivia had written down a list of all the places she would like to visit from the handbook they send you in the post for free. One of the places on that list was Seaton Delaval Hall which was less than 10 minutes drive from my home near the coast.
The sun was shining and we had a spur of the moment idea to make the most of it while I was home and actually had a day of nothing planned together. I rang to see if the little ones wanted to come along with us, but Macey was heading to a Star Wars party dressed as Princess Leia. Olivia was at her grandmas and she was excited to come along with us though so we grabbed a few things and picked her up on the way. She was waiting outside dancing around in her pink tracksuit and new trainers full of smiles as always. I had never been to Deleval Hall either, even though I had drove past the impressive building thousands of times, so it was just as exciting for me. Hahaha
Main Courtyard of Delaval Hall
Driving into the entrance you get a great view of the main hall. You head out to the left of the main place to a car park where you pass through a little shop and we got to show off our little National Trust cards. The lovely girl behind the counter gave Olly a little sheet of paper with birds and a pen and we had to spot the different kinds of birds around the castle. Hopefully we get to tick them all off and Olly gets a sticker on the way back out. We had a few jokes about looking for tits (blue tits and grey tits) in the trees as we looked at the sheet and headed out to the hall. Hahaha
There was a crazy little home made park made from trees and tunnels on the walk to the hall. We stopped as Olly spotted a big hill with a door in and wanted to go explore. It was the Ice Room with a huge stone pit inside. A bit like having a hugeeeeee fridge where they kept they’re game and fish away from the house.
Olly & Curly working out the names of the horses in the stables area
After that we headed for a look at the picnic area and then into the stables. All the names of the horses were above each stable and you had to guess from clues which one went with which horse. Olly and Curly had a good spoach around and worked out all the names in no time.
We then headed to the main courtyard. As you walk through the front of the building its quite an impressive site inside with a huge fireplace and all open so you can see up to the roof. Olly ran off as she seen some stairs and wanted to get upstairs as there was little viewing points but it was closed off unfortunately. Then she realised the stairs went downstairs , and started shouted “Dad…. the dungeonsssssss” Maria and Olly headed down and I followed downstairs into the gloomy underneath of the Hall. There was a huge wine cellar, perfect for Maria, and a lovely beer cellar about three times the size of my kitchen. The pantry and a few other rooms, also with barely any light. We headed back up after having a look about and headed out front to get some photos of the outside and the statue in the courtyard.
Looking up the staircase from the bottom floor
We then headed to the west wing which was full of suits of armour and huge tables set for banquets. Upstairs was all the paintings of the Delaval family and someone showing you each one. Olly loved the huge magic paintings when the knees pointed at you no matter where you were and the eyes of them following you down the corridors. She spent a little time asking questions about a painting of a little boy and girl. We found out one of them died very young because he tried to be a little naughty with one of the kitchen staff and she gave him a swift kick to the groin which ended his life. Oooooooochas!!! Not a nice way to go huh?
We headed to the little cafe for some refreshments and a little giggle before we left to find somewhere for our dinner. Olly had my crazy pound shop glasses that made your eyes look funny on and we had a right laugh while I supped my lovely coffee. Olly took some photos of me and Curly with the glasses on too.
Ollys photo of me in the poundshop crazy specs and Curly in the cafe
From there we headed five minutes along the road to the Waterford Arms, where I run a monthly buskers & open mic night with Derek, on the coast for some food and a little look around. I ordered a lamb Sunday lunch with half a Guinness, Olly ordered sausage, mash and peas and Curly had a salad as she was feeling a little under the weather. My dinner was absolutely amazing and the lamb was spot on. Olly was in a right giggly fettle and we had a right laugh at the table while we had our dinners. The Waterford is in such a great location too. Once we finished up our dinners and me and Olly had puddings we headed outside across the road to where all the boats are and took some photos as the sun was coming down. We hung around and wandered about for a little until the temperature started to drop then it was time to head home.Here is some of the photos I managed to grab on the walk.
It was a lovely little day of adventure and so close to home. The hall is a great local place to visit and I cant wait for the summer to come around so we can head back and chill in the picnic area if we ever get any sunshine. It would also be a fantastic venue for an intimate little acoustic gig. The prices usually without a National Trust card aren’t so bad either at £6.30 entry for Adults and £3.15 for kids. There was a lot more we didn’t get to see too as you can wander around the gardens and pretty much any of the land to the rear of the Hall. So I’m looking forward to taking the little one with us too and Olly can be the tour guide next time!
Take care and catch you for the next adventure and ……. don’t forget to make plenty of your own!
Jason, Amazing Adventures Always
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