Belton house is another National Trust property we visited recently with friends. It’s also on our fun list for June. It was so ace I wanted to share with you.
When we first drove up to the car park it was packed, hubs let out a massive groan and moaned his face off that we shouldn’t have gone. I admit I felt dread, a packed car park usually means a lot of people. Neither of us like crowds of people very much as we are too polite (British) and often just get shuffled away from stuff we want to do or look at. Luckily the property and grounds are huge so despite the fact there was LOADS of people it didn’t once feel busy.
The first thing we did was head to the children’s play park which is absolutely amazing. It’s hard to describe but the area is huge and has lots to do.
We let the children decide what to do first and they chose a ride on the train. The train was the only activity with an additional cost at £1.50 a seat, we opted to let E to have her own seat rather than sit on my knee. The train experience was cute, there was a wooden platform and a conductor who loved playing his role with the smalls. The ride itself was about 5 minutes and the E loved it!
From the train we explored the massive play area. There is loads of slides, swings, climbing frames, mini houses, music making and so much more. The girls had the best time, despite the amount of people, the play area felt safe and the girls didn’t have to wait to access anything.
We could have honestly stayed at the play area for the entire day but we headed off after about two hours for a picnic on the front lawn of the house.
After our picnic we toured the house which was fascinating. Although learning about historical paintings wasn’t for the children who declared boredom 5 minutes in. At one point, despite holding my hand and listening very well, E some how managed to do one step with one foot over the weird ‘not at all barrier’ barrier and the room protecter man wasn’t pleased at all. Of course protection of history is very important so quickly left after that.
From the house we explored the gardens and orangery which are beautiful. The dads played croquet on the lawn with the girls and it was all very lovely.
Then things got interesting. We decided to head to the maze and used our map to get us there. Despite it being signposted we failed to see the maze and things went a lot awry. The dads took over and had us marching through the gardens further and further into the wild insisting the maze was ‘just over there’. At certain points I declared we weren’t going in the right direction, as did my friend but the dads were insistent. After about an hour we gave in and decided to head back. Just as the house came within reach, I spotted the maze. Exactly where my friend had said it would be. We didn’t go in the maze, the dads declared the map a failure and we walked on. In their defence ( and because my husband is making me add this in) the maze wasn’t as big as anyone expected, nor was it on the map. It was just a number and an arrow pointing off the map. Also, the walk they took us on led us to a beautiful lake and boat house and we got to see things we perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise.
We spent the whole day at Belton, it was so good and we didn’t even see or go to everything. If you aren’t a NT member then it’s costly but I would dare say, totally worth it for the play area alone. There was even a seesaw that sprayed water!
A lovely National Trust man had advised us if we wanted to use the indoor play area or do any guided tours we needed to book but we decided against that as it was a lovely day. If you do go and want to do those things, follow their advice because a few hours later when we popped to look around the house we noticed a sign saying the tours were fully booked as was indoor play area.
As I said at the start Belton House really was amazing. We will certainly be heading back and this time we won’t get lost looking for a maze. Ironic really ey?!? A total Lincolnshire recommendation!