Washington Old Hall is one of few National Trust sites in the City of Sunderland area and has gone in as one of my favourites. The site has a vibrant history and beautiful gardens to explore.
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Now let’s get on with the guide! There is so much more to Washington Old hall that I didn’t know about before I visited.
The History of Washington Old Hall
Many locals will already know that the famous city of Washington DC and the president who also bore the name originated from Washington Village in the North East of England. Washington Old Hall was the ancestrial home of George Washington and his family. Much of the original structure is no longer here but the house that now stands is a really great example of what was here.
The Washington family coat of arms is not too dissimilar from the original flag of the USA. Even though no connection has ever been proven.
You can read more about the history of George Washingtons’ family and its connection to the hall on the National Trust website here. Or wait until you visit to learn it!
Visiting Washington Old Hall
So, here is all the important information about the site. The hall itself has most of the exhibits in it and a load of information about the family, including a really interesting video upstairs which goes through the history of the site.
Downstairs in the hall, there is a really fun art exhibit called the WASSA on display right now which brings together some of the most notable elements of the States. This exhibit is only on display until the end of October 2022 so if you are wanting to go then now would be the time to do so! There are leaflets on offer to you which explain everything that is going on in the artwork. Alternatively, the members of staff there are so welcoming and knowledgeable that they will tell you everything that you need to know as well as answer any questions you might have about the site as a whole.
The site will be hosting a couple of outdoor theatre events this summer from The Pantaloons. The first is their performance of The Wind and the Willows on August 3rd. And the second is Much Ado About Nothing on the 26th of August. More information about these events is on the trust’s website including performance times and ticket prices.
The gardens however were my favourite. The site isn’t a huge place so don’t expect to be able to go for a long hike as you would at say Gibside or Cragside. However, they are beautifully maintained and are really peaceful places to walk and sit. The site encourages picnics and simply enjoying the garden space and after visiting, so do I!
Open Hours and Parking
Washington old Hall is open 10am – 5pm Friday – Monday with the hall itself closing one hour before the gardens. The site then closes in November for the winter before reopening in the springtime. I would absolutely budget 1.5-2 hours of your time to sufficiently experience the site.
If you are wanting to visit then you will need to follow Postcode: NE38 7LE
There is no designated car park here. However, there is ample parking on the streetside around Washington village green.
Prices and Booking
Pre-booking is not essential for your visit, however, during the bys summer months, it will make things go smoother for you when getting there.
Prices are as follows:
Non-Member Adults (18+): £5.50
Non-Member Children (5-17yrs): £2.75
Under 5s go free as do National Trust Members
There are also family tickets available, information about those is on the website which you can find here.
How to extend your day
There is no denying that Washington Old Hall is on the smaller side. And i by no way want to lead you into a false sense of security. So if you want to really make it worth your while, I would highly recommend grabbing some food or simply a coffee from any of the amazing places on the Washington Village Green.
Such as The Green Washington, Vinyl Restaurant and Cafe or The Forge
Alternatively, it is just a 20-minute walk along to Albany Park and the Washington F Pit. The park is a nice little place to walk around and the Washington F Pit (if ever open) is supposed to be a great place to learn about the history of mining in Washington.
Overall, I do think that Washington Old Hall is somewhere that locals could really enjoy and I encourage everyone to visit. And if you aren’t a local, give it a visit anyway because it is a really great site!
Thank you for continuing to support my blogs and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. And a special thank you to the staff at Washington Old Hall for inviting me along and showing me around.
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Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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