Earlier this summer we visited the picture perfect Belton House in Grantham, Lincolnshire. A National Trust property that could possibly be the ideal English country house? Built in the 1680s by Sir John Brownlow, Belton House is cited as one of the finest examples of Carolean architecture that flourished after the restoration of Charles II.
To enter the house you ascend a grand sweep of steps into the grand marble hall. It is from here that you start your tour of the house. There is no set route, you can wander around the rooms at your will. The interiors feature a range of decorative styles, including: restoration, regency, victorian, and 1930 styles. The various styles are a product of ongoing refurbishment by subsequent generations of the family. Of particular interest is the friendship between Perry Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow and Edward, Prince of Wales. Bolton House was one of the locations in which the Prince of Wales’ affair with Wallis Simpson was played out, resulting in the infamous abdication crisis.
Once outside, the gardens include formal Italian and Dutch styles near the house, leading into informal gardens and small boating lake. There is a wonderful orangery showing lots of lovely exotic plants. Near the orangery is a 12th-century parish church, the church of St Peter and St Paul, where many of the Brownlow and Cust families are buried. The gardens are surrounded by a further 1300 acres of deer park, perfect for exploring, adventuring and picnicking.
Belton House has been used as a location for several films and tv programmes, possibly most famously used in the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as the house of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
The National Trust have made sure there is plenty for families to do. There are both indoor and outdoor adventure play areas which we have to say looked awesome! At the Discovery Centre there are craft activities and dressing up.
Belton House is a great day out, whether with kids or without. We really enjoyed exploring the house and garden and wish we had more time to explore the grounds. Find out more about Belton House at the National Trust website.