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Explore the garden at Seaton Delaval Hall

The Parterre Garden at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
The Parterre Garden at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Discover the gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall. Explore the formal garden with its manicured lawns and topiary, stroll through the relaxed, wildflower-laden woodlands and uncover your playful side in the South East Garden. Enjoy family activities and stretch your legs on one of the walks across the wider estate.

Spring in the gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall

Arguably the prettiest time in the gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall, as winter snowdrops give way to the hall's historic spring Van Sion daffodils, these turn over to the pretty bluebells found dotted throughout the grounds.

Tulips provide pops of colour in the central beds of the formal Parterre garden, contrasting with the calm green hues of the surrounding planting. Outside the Brewhouse Cafe, their colours are more muted shades of deep reds and blacks with flashes of orange, inspired by the embers of the fire of 1822.

It wouldn't be spring without the vibrant appearance of the rhododendrons and azaleas, which lie between the hall and the Church of Our Lady, while laburnum arch watch starts in May when its hanging yellow petals start to bud. The laburnum arch is most striking from mid-May to early June when its masses of yellow flowers are in bloom. Over 20 trees grow over the arched tunnel, which leads through to the arboretum.

Discover the Vanbrugh landscape

Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, the landscape provides the same sense of drama and theatre as the Hall itself, and was a playground for the whole Delaval family.

On clear days enjoy the sweeping views north towards the Cheviot Hills and look out for classic Vanbrugh design features around the Hall such as the obelisk, which draw your eyes out to the far landscape.

Seaton Delaval Hall's historic double headed Van Sion Daffodils I Northumberland
Seaton Delaval Hall's historic double headed Van Sion Daffodils I Northumberland | © Siobhan Falkous

The formal gardens

The Parterre

Discover the beautiful structure of the Parterre at any time of year, with its formal hedges, whitebeam ‘lollipop’ trees, fountain, urns and standard roses. And depending on the season you’ll be treated to bursts of colour from tulips, azaleas, lavender, agastache and fuchsias.

Created between 1950 and 1953, the Parterre was the first large-scale commission for garden designer James Russell, whose brief was to ‘Italianise’ the garden and who later became head gardener at Castle Howard.

The Weeping Ash

See the magnificent weeping ash tree, set in its own lawn and surrounded by herbaceous borders. We believe it was planted around the same time as the Hall was built. Sadly it lost a limb during Storm Arwen in 2021, but it still sits with pride of place in the formal gardens.

Rose Garden

Breathe in the aroma of the formal Rose Garden, which is in full bloom from mid-spring to late autumn. Each variety was chosen for its beautiful foliage and fragrant scent. Look out for the dark pink flowers of ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and the coppery orange and yellow of ‘Just Joey’ and ‘Graham Thomas’.

Herbaceous borders

The herbaceous borders to the north of the Rose Garden come alive in early spring. They offer an ever-changing delight, from subtle yellow and pink flowers in spring to a vivid explosion of colour in summer lasting into autumn.

Privy Garden

Pull up a deckchair and relax in this peaceful spot, which was originally a private garden for Lady Hastings. Enclosed by yew hedging and unusual Ghent hybrid azaleas, there’s a small pond and the summer house where you can buy ice creams and light refreshments in summer.


The arboretum is planted with various trees and rhododendron bushes and it’s one of the most popular picnic spots in the garden. From here you can visit the Church of Our Lady but this isn’t managed by the National Trust, so be sure to check the opening times directly with the church before visiting.

The South East Gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall in spring
The South East Gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall in spring | © National Trust Images/ Colin Davison Photography

Discover the South East Garden

Explore the recently transformed South East Garden, a thriving space where plants, trees and wildlife have the space to grow and flourish. Soak up the views across the wider landscape from here – we’ve reinstated the paths and sightlines using Vanbrugh’s 1781 estate plan as inspiration.

We’ve also reintroduced Lady Tyrconnel’s wildflower garden with a Tibetan cherry tree as its centrepiece. And don’t miss The Oval, once the location for many a ‘gay Delaval’ party. It’s now the perfect place for a quiet picnic or a spot of cloud gazing.

Hidden Pleasures

Look out for two installations designed by Studio Hardie in the South East Garden. The Mirror Cube and Dark Matter Cube capture the playful spirit of the Delavals. They were inspired by the way the garden was originally designed to conceal and reveal different views and features.

Work up an appetite at the Community Kitchen Garden

Stop by the Community Kitchen Garden and chat to the National Trust volunteers about what they're growing. Keep your eyes peeled for some unusual fruits and vegetables in the raised beds.

There’s also the Cutting Garden, where the Hall’s flower arrangements are created, a wildlife area and a herb garden.

The Parterre Garden at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland

Discover more at Seaton Delaval Hall

Find out when Seaton Delaval is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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