We are very lucky in the United Kingdom to have such a rich history with some fantastic houses and gardens to visit, none more so than in Lincolnshire. The county has a number of hidden gems and I managed to visit a couple of them recently.
First stop was Belton House three miles north east of Grantham on the A1. It is the quintessential country house estate built for Sir John Brownlow in the 1680s.
The house certainly impresses with its classically proportioned mansion sat in elegant formal gardens, looking over 1300 acres of historic deer park.
The Orangery and surrounding Italian garden was built around 1820, and was mainly used to show off plants rather than grow oranges. Today it is filled with some delightful plants; including palms, water features and climbers, and looks like it would have done back in its heyday in the early 1900s.
Children are particularly well catered for with a recently restored outdoor adventure playground and an indoor play area which is great for wet days. There is also a restaurant and café
If you have problems with mobility there are many areas with uneven cobbles and gravel paths, so give them a call before visiting if you’ve not been before.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house
The final stop was Gunby Hall and Gardens near Spilsby. The house was built in 1700 for Sir William Massingberd, and remained in the family until 1963. Between 1967 and 2012 the house was tenanted, but is now under the direct management of the National Trust.
If you stand in front of the Hall it still has its circular driveway designed for carriages which looks very impressive with the main house standing majestically behind it. There are three floors to visit with a collection of interesting pieces amassed by the family over the years.
There are eight acres of beautiful gardens to stroll through, as well as a walled garden with arched pergolas of fruit trees, herbaceous and cutting borders, and a rose and herb garden. Growing in the kitchen garden are varieties of old fashioned vegetables, fruit and flowers.
Another must is a visit to the Old Laundry tea room where you can enjoy some of their homemade cakes and other sweet treats.
It is disabled friendly, and allows friendly dogs on leads in the garden.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gunby-hall
Other places worth a visit are Burghley House, Doddington Hall, Ellys Manor House and Lincoln Castle and Cathedral nestled in the heart of the city.
Enjoy your garden.