Monday 16 October 2017

Belton House

Built in the 1680's for Sir John Brownlow, Belton House is described as 'a classic country house' by the National Trust. Set in 1300 acres of land it offers beautiful grounds, which are just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. 

Belton House is around an hours journey from where we live in Nottingham, so it's on our radar for days out, especially as we're National Trust members. Back in June, with nice weather forecast, we set out for our first visit! 

Dad and son walking towards a stately home

We started by venturing into the house. There's no set route to follow so you are free to wander around. Now, I say free to wander around obviously there are ropes and raised skirting in other areas to stop you going fully in and making yourself at home. This lead to what is now known among our family and friends as 'the Belton House incident'!! As many parents do we always feel a bit tense going into these kind of places with a 3 year old but after our trip to Wordsworth House last year we felt a little more at ease. 

We shouldn't have! In two of the rooms the ginger hurricane squeezed past the rope pole but luckily I managed to scoop him back round before any damage was done. Apparently he wanted to sit on the beds and try the chairs! Having explained he wasn't to go behind the robes we continued around the house. Unfortunately, one of the next rooms didn't have ropes. It had raised skirting, which Joseph didn't see as he sped over to one on the chairs, tripping as he went, nearly face planting a beautiful side table and triggering an alarm!

Two National Trust volunteers were quick to respond to the chaos as Daddy retrieved him. Completely horrified, I was sure we would be banned from all National Trust properties and have our membership revoked! But we were reassured by the lovely staff that no harm was done and that it often happens. The sound of the alarm certainly tamed the hurricane and he asked to be carried for the rest of our time in the house! 

Beside that experience, we enjoyed our time in the house. There is so much history to Belton and it was fascinating to hear of its connections to King Edward, Wallis Simpson and the abdication crisis. There's also an amazing collection of books. ceramics and portraits. 

Outside there are stunning gardens to be enjoyed and admired. 

Stately gardens with an orangery and church in the background

It's clear that the volunteers work incredibly hard to maintain them. 

Stately gardens

Child standing on a gravel path among the gardens

Large open lawns

There's also a fantastic play park and it's quite possibly one of THE best we have ever had the joy of playing on! Joseph enjoyed the park so much and we were easily on it for over an hour!

Child sitting on a wood train in a play area

Little boy sitting on a small land train ride

Now as you know I always like to share the important info with you all! Obviously following our experience, if your little ones are fast moving or maybe a little wayward, reins are a good idea. Joseph will definitely be wearing his next time! Pushchairs aren't practical as there's stairs and backpacks have to be carried in hand or left near the door to avoid items being knocked over and damaged. There's plenty of parking, super clean loos, baby changing and the usual cafe. 

Child eating a scone

There's also a gift shop with lots of National Trust items on offer and there's a selection of toys and games for the little ones too! At the side of the play park there is an awesome little train but there's an addition charge so make sure you have some cash with you! 

Belton House has so much to offer. A beautiful country house for grown-ups to admire, with a garden for the whole family to enjoy and a fantastic park for the kids to run around and have adventures in. 

Child walking through a large stone archway

Daddy and son walking hand in hand on a gravel path in stately gardens

We will definitely be returning soon, even if its just for a snooze on the lawn!

Little boy laying on the grass with his arms folded and a hat over his face

Mummy Snowy Owl

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  1. The gardens look beautiful! I guess an alarm is a good way to quieten down excited kids then lol
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes :)

  2. We love a National Trust day out and this place looks spectacular. Love your photos and it looks as though Joseph had a fab time! Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x