Last week I went a cheeky trip out with my family to Belton House and Gardens, a National Trust property near Grantham in Lincolnshire!
The parkland is extensive, formal gardens and a mansion house to explore, along with the usual National Trust cafe, shop and kids play areas. We decided just to concentrate on the formal gardens as it was a gorgeous day (one of the rare few we seem to get in UK!) and promised to be the perfect time of year for flowering plants.
First up was the Dutch garden directly behind the house, which has the most amazing lavender, it was literally humming with all types of bees and insects. The old decorative urns that stand in amongst the planting are now so weather worn and covered in moss and lichen that the patterns are almost indistinguishable.
We walked across to the orangery, which is almost a mansion house in itself! Its pretty impressive and probably larger than most peoples houses. The inside felt like a different world, with impressive cacti and fuchsia, classical sculpture and the fountain trickling into the fish pond. It was so peaceful, I could have happily sat there most of the afternoon.
A perfect English garden
To the rear of the Orangery was an old rose garden containing the most beautiful display of plants; I imagine its what springs to most peoples minds when they think of ‘an English country garden’! I wanted to take photographs of pretty much every flower; there was so much packed into just in this one little corner of the garden.
To the front of the orangery is the Italian garden, containing beds of yellow and red dahlias with a pond at its centre. Across the other side, a lionhead fountain sits in the centre of a curved stone wall with planted urns in alcoves either side.
We walked back through the lavender beds in the dutch garden and over to the mirror pond. This is the oldest feature in the garden, having been built in 1688. The oldest tree in the garden sits at one ends of the pond, a magnificent beech, with a small temple at the other.
We couldn’t leave without visiting the lovely Stable restaurant for a drink. The Trust has been replacing the large windows so it wasn’t looking its most picturesque, I will look forward to seeing it all finished. To make it easier going for wheelchairs and pushchairs, the National Trust is also creating smooth paths alongside the old cobbles. I like that they are adding these new level pathways besides and in sympathy with the 300 year old cobbled ones.
We will definitely be heading back to visit the Belton House itself and explore the parkland and I might just have to visit the orangery again! Have you been to Belton Hose and Gardens? Let me know if I missed something by commenting below or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook . I’ll add it to the list to check out on my next visit!