Days Out

Belton House – The Hard Hat Tour

Belton House is one of our favourite places for a good day out as we’re just 30 minutes or so from Belton, near Grantham.

Belton House Stables
Belton House Stables – due to undergo a renovation project to provide improved kitchen and dining facilities for visitors

Today’s visit was a little different to our usual as we joined a special ‘Hard Hat Tour’ of the stable block before a big renovation project begins.  We couldn’t take Elliot on the tour, so my Mum and Dad came a long to look after him while we climbed the dusty stairs!

The hour-long tour with our guide, Chris, shared a wide range of historical information about the stable block, from the architecture and fixtures and fittings to the characters at Belton House through the centuries, including some fascinating historical graffiti (volunteers and historians have documented all the graffiti on the Belton House Graffiti website).

We were also given an overview of what is planned for the stable block, which will see the much better kitchen and dining facilities at Belton, as well as improved office space for the staff and volunteers.

The secondhand bookshop, run by volunteers, is brilliant – it has been moved from the stables into one of the shop areas, which is great, but I will miss browsing in the charm of the old horse stalls where it was previously located.

Belton House Gardens
‘Bishop of York’ Dahlias starting to bloom at Belton House

Before the tour we walked around the gardens – looking fabulous as always!  The fountain was not running, but the yellow and red Dahlias are starting to bloom and they will look amazing further into the season.  At the shop you can purchase a number of plants, including the Dahlias – we treated our garden to the yellow ‘Bishop of York’.

The Orangery offers a beautiful collection of exotic plants, it was looking the best I’ve seen it today – I was particularly impressed with the ‘pink pineapple’ plants – I forgot to note its proper name!  Behind the Orangery is the prettiest walled garden, borders for cut flowers and perennials are often missed by visitors, but it really is a lovely spot.

'Pink Pineapple' - one of the exotic plants in the Orangery at Belton House
‘Pink Pineapple’ – one of the exotic plants in the Orangery at Belton House

After a stroll around the gardens we went to lunch in the Stables restaurant – the jacket potatoes are excellent value, I was stuffed!

Mum and Dad took Elliot off for the lakeside walk to the Boat House while we took the tour – it’s a leisurely walk and is well worth a visit as it makes for stunning photos. It’s definitely a favourite spot of ours at Belton.

The shops at Belton are lovely – I’m loving the National Trust range of gifts at the moment – surprisingly this time I bought nothing apart from the plants!

More about Belton House:

 

Graffiti at Belton House
Historical Graffiti on the Stable Block walls

 

Walled Garden at Belton House
Walled Garden at Belton House

 

The Deer at Belton House
The deer relaxing at Belton House – quite accustomed to being gawked at!

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