A woodland, riverside and stately home with formal gardens walk. Expensive for a dog walk if you are not National Trust members as entrance costs £11.00 (in 2019) for each adult.
12 miles from Morpeth, the nearest town, on winding roads, but well worth the drive once you get there.
Plenty of parking and lots of walk options. The circular route shown here is one of many. The walled garden is especially pretty but be sure to keep your dog on a leader as the gardeners will soon tell you it it is not.
Two cafes, one at the house and one in the walled garden.
How to get there
Postcode for Satnav - NE61 4AR
Travelling from the south, take the A1 north to Newcastle then 20 miles on the A696, airport/Ponteland road, then turn off on B6342 to Cambo. Travelling from the north, take the A1 south to Morpeth, then just as you enter Morpeth turn right on the Mitford road and drive 12 miles west on the B6343.
Click here to see a detailed OS routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
From the car park, walk towards Wallington hall, then as you pass the house, turn right down to the river walk, crossing the river on a wooden foorbridge. Walk down the river bank, under the Chinese briodge, then to the stepping stones. Cross back over the river here, then turn back up the hill and into the very pretty formal garden. Once you have looked round the garden, head back towards the house past the lake, and then back to the car park.
The first recorded building at Wallington was a heavily fortified Pele tower, built in 1475. It was owned by the Fenwicks, a well known Border clan. Sir John Fenwick was a committed Jacobite who plotted against William III and was eventually beheaded in 1697. The king confiscated Fenwick's horse, White Sorrell and was riding it five years later when it stumbled over a molehill and threw the king, breaking his collarbone. King William eventually died from his injuries and the story was the the horse avenged his master's death. The Jacobites celebrated the fall of the king by toasting 'the small gentleman with the black velvet waistcoat'.
Before his death, Sir John Fenwick sold Wallington to Sir William Blackett, who became Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1683 and was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1688. Blackett was a wealthy shipping magnate and mine owner and was apparently 'a man of strict propriety'. This does not quite match his antics al Wallington, which he bought to be a country retreat where he could hold shooting parties. However these were not tame events, as he employed six strong men to carry himself and his guests to bed after their extended drinking sessions.
His grandson, Walter Calverley-Blackett built the hall that you see today. He bought the four large griffins heads that stand on the lawn beside the house. They originally stood on the medieval Bishops Gate in London, which was demolished in 1761. Apparently they were first used as ballast, to stabalise an empty coal boat returning to Newcastle from London.
If you like the paranormal then supposedly you can hear a heavy breathing ghost in the hall as well as flapping wings and banging noises. About 200 years ago there was also stories of a ghost that liked to get into the visitor's beds!