I’m on a roll when it comes to day tripping around the UK! So here’s another share if you’re looking for thing to do this Summer in the UK. It’s another castle trip too. Belvoir Castle sits between Grantham and Nottingham (nearer Grantham) and is a magnificent Castle with lots of stunning Gardens too. We visited in early May 2021 so could only visit the gardens and walk around the exterior of the castle. It’s nestled a top a hill with only small villages and towns around it. But it does have the ‘Engine Yard’ complex opposite which has numerous small shops and places to stop for food. So with that you can really make the day of it.
- Car- Parking wise there’s a big gravel car park next to the ticket office. There are charges that have recently been introduced. The first hour is free. On the Belvoir Castle site it says you can pay £5 all day, but we didn’t see that option whilst there. Luckily you can extend your time there at any time. So when we got stuck waiting for Pizza in the Fuel Tank eatery, we could nip across and top up the meter for an hour (which cost £2.20). You can park in the Engine Yard but that is a smaller car park and was pretty full. Parking is limited to 2 hours max there too
- Train – The nearest train station is in the village/town of Bottesford. It’s an 8 min drive from the station to the castle. I’d advise a pre booked taxi if you are planning on this though. Trains are direct from Nottingham and it takes around half an hour
Planning Your Trip
Like most places there’s lots of events planned for 2021. With the castle re-opening planned for Monday 17th May in the bag now. Then events like a summer concert, Fireworks Championships, Theatre Shows, 1940s weekend and lots more. It’s worth looking if anything takes your fancy before deciding when to visit.
Tickets for Belvoir Castle Gardens are currently £12 for an adult but goes up to £16 on some special event days (the 1940s weekend for example). On normal weeks, you can book up to a month in advance. Children (ages 4-16) are £7 each. For Castle and Garden tickets its £18 for an adult rising to £22 on some Special Days. For Historic Houses Members it’s free and no need to pre book. Just show your card on arrival and they will make a note of your membership number and you’re good to go! Some other bigger special events are separate events. To book you will visit the organisers site. These carry a higher charge as you’d expect.
When we went to just the gardens we spent about 2 and a half hours in the castle gardens. There were refreshments at the castles small café there and a few seats too, plus benches around. So we picked up some cake and some Belvoir presses (when in Belvoir and all that!) On the map there’s approximate times for each walk. More on that below! We skipped a couple but you could spend 4 hours just exploring all the pathways alone! Once the castle inside is open you’ll need to allow for extra time visiting that too.
Belvoir Castle Gardens and Grounds
What I like about the Belvoir Castle map and grounds is that all the areas are clear. There are walks that are given colours and names, both on the map, and via path markers making it easy to follow. For example, they suggest it takes 20 minutes to explore all of the rose garden. With its beautiful blooms and view point. It also includes the small sculpture garden. That then leads into the Japanese Woodland area which takes you around the lakes in around 20 minutes too. There’s a few little areas to sit and enjoy the peace if you want to spend longer. The Spiral walk is another short 20 min walk which takes you around the base of the castle and out around the front. We skipped this one though as didn’t have time. Plus and Owl distracted me so ended up walking around the front.
From there there’s a few longer walks too. We went up to the grotto and the root and moss house before making our way back through the Duchesses Gardens as we didn’t have time for much more. be wary as some of it is uphill though, even from the ticket office to the castle which is the first part! Some of the paths are narrow on a hill too. Although there were a few prams going on them fine. There looks to be a little shuttle bus service from the ticket office to castle. It looked to be more for people who planned it ahead as only saw it move once so not certain. There is disabled parking at the castle and I also saw disabled access signs for going into the castle. So when that opens up I expect that to have accessible parts as well.
Overall for us, it was a lovely way to spend a few hours. Afterwards we went to the Fuel Tank in the Engine Yard for woodfired pizza. Whilst the pizza was delicious, the wait of over an hour for it wasn’t so much. However they were very busy and it was bank holiday Sunday. So we did the British thing of not complaining and freezing our legs off waiting!
If you do visit don’t forget! Historic Houses Membership is £89 for a couple for an annual pass. This in turn gives access to you to pay for exclusive tours of some properties as well as free entry into a lot of houses and gardens. In this example you’d save £24 (Belvoir gardens only). If you do join please make sure you put I recommended you! Just select Historic Houses Member on the ‘how did you hear about us’ in step 2. Then enter Lucy Earnshaw and membership number 500257797. I’ll get money off my next years membership if you do as a thank you!
What I Wore
You may have spotted the sneaky outfit change!
- ASOS Raw Edge Rose Print Midi Dress With Strappy Back £30*
- Gucci Marmont Belt in Plus Size 115cm £355*
- See by Chloe Bag £275 (unsure on my colour but similar to Motty grey)
- Hotter Tropic II Sandals in Tan £69*
- Crop White Denim Jacket Old Marks and Spencer
- Second Dress- Old Monsoon
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