A sunny afternoon to take a trip up the A1 to Belvoir Castle (pronounced Beaver)'Beautiful View', (French I believe but all a bit too much for the locals to pronounce) in Leicestershire although it does seem to have a Nottingham post code? Furthermore the nearest town appears to be Grantham which is in Lincolnshire ...somewhat confusing so best to place ones trust in the satnav .... Regardless the Duke and Duchess of Rutland warmly welcomed us to share their gardens , at least that was what it said on the brochure. So armed with a packed lunch and a bottle of pop we made our intrepid way uphill to the 'Dukes walk'. Allegedly a 3 hour walk that takes in Capability Brown's excellent work and panoramic vistas. The gardens have undergone several changes over the centuries, the latest being a 2 year restoration programme that saw the lost plans of Capability Brown brought to fruition. This saw the creation of new walks into the woodland through a Japanese, Duchesse's and Hermit's gardens.
|Wyatts Summer House|
Lots of interesting and quirky sights to see on the walk which made it all very interesting. Possibly my favourite area was 'Frog Hollow' a series of large lakes by a lovely pavillion - an ideal spot for a pic-nic!
It was a good thing we had a pic-nic because the only outlet for food and drink was at the entrance down a very steep hill and there was no way we were going all the way back there in this heat. I think I nodded off for a short while after too many mini scotch eggs and dips, is this too much detail? Revigorated we set off again and promptly went off piste. Not a deliberate on I might add, my map reading skills went south , although it could quite easily have been North , West or East .. We did a large loop to arrive back where we started from..
We set off again in what was thought to be the right direction. It was only when we happened upon a game of cricket that I realised we had actually gone off the map and were heading towards Lincolnshire. Another about turn , just what my wife wanted in this heat and I was left to use distraction methods to stop her flagging. These included 'isn't that a Red Kite up there' and 'I shall buy you a lovely cup of tea at the end and some cake'. This seemed to improve moral until we discovered for the third time we were back at Frog Hollow again. As much as I liked the place it was getting slightly annoying, particularly as a large frog on a tree trunk seemed to be looking down and laughing at us.
|The Laughing Frog|
There was just enough time to go up to the Castle and grab a couple of photos that really didn't do justice to the view. That cup of tea and slice of cake went down really well I must say!