Belvoir Castle with Dennis and Sandra

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Pity about the scaffolding!

We drove to Belvoir Castle today to meet up with mates (and newly retired) Dennis & Sandra. We’ve built up quite a portfolio of venues over the past five years for our ‘days out’ together.

Venues past…

Kedlestone Hall (May 2021)
Hardwick Hall (August 2020)
Castle Howard (December 2019)
The Ro
yal Armouries Museum (March 2019)
Bolsover Castle (October 2018)
Belton Hous
e (May 2018)
York (February 2018)
Burghley House (October 2017)
Hull (May 2017)

Leeds (February 2017)

As per normal, with the help of my incredible (shrinking!) brain, I was certain we’d been there before, but again, as usual, I had no idea when! Nothing in any of my past blog posts to say we had ever been there, but Belvoir (rhymes with ‘fever’) rang a bell – albeit faintly!!

Cue ‘Annipedia‘ who recalled that we had visited this impressive Castle, back in the early 90s when we lived in Peterborough. We didn’t go inside during that visit – as it was closed – instead, we were there to watch a jousting competition with Ann’s brother and then, current muse, Hilary. Ahh! As it was PRE Blog days (I didn’t start blogging until May 2004) – that’s my excuse for not remembering the detail! 😉

Back to here ‘here-and-now’! It was pretty much the A1 north all the way, but first, we had to get to the A1! Normally, no problem at all, but today? A pain in the a***! They had decided to shut the A43 (but there had been no advanced communication) and that meant we had to find another connecting route having encountered numerous ‘road closed’ signs everywhere, as we attempted to ‘miss out’ the ’43’!

What would normally take us about 75 minutes, eventually took us closer to 100! 🤬. We eventually got there, a little frazzled, but already thinking of how the journey home would play out? 🤔. Anyway, time to put that to one side and enjoy Belvoir and catch up with our friends’ news! 😍

The Castle

And, not only a day of culture, but we’d also planned to try out their Afternoon Tea (purely in the name of research, you understand! 😁)

Today’s factoid? Belvoir Castle was the last piece of work that the world-famous Capability Brown undertook before his death in 1783.

Factoid No2: The current owners: The 11th Duke and Duchess of Rutland – the Manners family – are separated (but not divorced) and live in different parts of the Castle! 😲

There were plenty of signs of wealth here and each room did NOT disappoint!

Time to look ‘below stairs’…

…and back ‘up top’, the view from the castle was spectacular!

Time for Afternoon Tea! It turned out to tick all the boxes (apart from the plastic table cloth rubbing against my legs throughout – it was like getting engulfed in a shower curtain!). Excellent sandwiches, flavoursome tea and a good selection of cakes and scones (plus, they came round with seconds!!!). At £25 each, it was great value!! 👏👏

The Gardens

There was plenty to see in the Gardens, but we probably didn’t do it justice because of the time running out on our car-park tickets. It features the ‘Spiral Walk’, ‘Rose Garden’, ‘Japanese Woodland’, ‘Duchesses Garden’, ‘Duke’s Walk’ and ‘Hermits Garden’. Not enough? Add to that: ‘The Dairy’, ‘Stumpery’, ‘Tufa Grotto’, ‘Lord Granby’s Cave’, ‘Mausoleum’ and the ‘Root and Moss House’ (more of that later!). All-in-all, plenty to look at INSIDE and OUTSIDE too! Today, the weather was ideal for the latter!

…and the famous ‘Root and Moss House’ where we sat and planned our next get-together this year – a trip to Chatsworth House in November.

Built in 1818, and recently restored, this was a cosy place to compare diaries! (Pity about the overflowing bin!)

With our next trip pencilled-in we headed for the exit and said our goodbyes. It had been a great day (apart from the journey there!), good to catch up with friends and enjoy this continuing heatwave! 👍👍

Just one more responsibility – a trip to Denis’ and Mae’s graves in Heckington to pay our respects! 😪😪.

Thankfully, we successfully navigated around the A43 problems going home, and were indoors by 6.15pm. 👍

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