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A place of great theatre and drama

Seaton Delaval may have been one of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh’s smallest country houses; but it was home to the larger than life Delaval family.

The house and surrounding landscape were in keeping with the style expected in Georgian society, yet behind the formality lies a story of theatrical mischief.  

Known as the ‘Gay Delavals’ due to their high spirited and flamboyant lifestyle, an invitation to one of their parties was the hottest ticket in town. In an age notorious for extremes of behaviour, they stood apart as the most notorious of all Georgian partygoers and pranksters. Imagine awaking in the house to find your room “turned upside down” with furniture fixed to the ceiling.

Enter a world where an extraordinary lifestyle was acted out in the most colourful way. The Delavals loved a performance, staging events from rope dancers and sack races outdoors to masquerade balls and even their own theatrical productions, which earned rave reviews at the time.

Seaton Delaval Hall has moved from fortune to misfortune many times through the centuries and the story of its survival is as dramatic as any performance that could be staged. It still bears the scars of the fierce fires which almost condemned it to ruin two hundred years ago, but even today plays a major part in the history of the North East.

Join the party and enjoy the drama.

Visiting Seaton Delaval Hall

View from the garden

Seaton Delaval Hall is a grand old building and designed landscape. Steps and high walls, lumpy floors and water features, old stonework, steep drops and varied terrain come with the territory. So please watch your step and keep a close eye on kids to avoid any tumbles. Enjoy the gardens, playscape and sheep, but remember that wildlife are nearby too, so please keep dogs on leads.

Facilities and access at Seaton Delaval Hall 

Table top talks

The gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall are really coming to life. If you'd like to find out more, why not come along and listen to a table top talk?

Every day at 12pm, until the end of September, we've got a 15 minute talk from one of our lovely gardeners.

This could be a story about the garden, poetry, a demonstration or something completely different! Come along and find out more... 


Enjoy a gentle stroll through some picturesque areas in Northumberland with the family and dog in tow, and find out more about the Delaval's past and the history of this very fab place!

Stroll through the gardens, explore the woodland trail or head out for a longer walk around the wider estate and enjoy the stunning sea landscape and nearby local points of interest. 

Why not take a look at our walking routes to help plan your visit?