MEHR SETHI EXPLORES LEICESTERSHIRE’S FAMOUS BELVOIR CASTLE.
Medieval Belvoir Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland, a family that has resided at Belvoir for almost a thousand years. After several rebuilds, the castle standing today emerged in the early 1800s for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Rutland and was designed by architect James Wyatt. The stately home is now owned by David and Emma Manners, the 11th Duke and Duchess of Rutland.
Occupying a hill-top location with spectacular scenery overlooking the Vale of Belvoir, the castle certainly lives up to its French name, ‘Belvoir’, which translates to ‘beautiful views.’ Boasting 16,000- acres of land, there’s plenty of estate for visitors to explore and admire.
Open throughout the spring and summer months, as well as selected days in October, the castle offers both free flow and guided tours. Take a leisurely stroll inside the castle and absorb centuries of local history. Marvel at the detail and grand décor in many of the charming rooms on show including The Guard Room, The Kings Room and Elizabeth Saloon.
If art is a keen interest, then Belvoir Castle won’t disappoint. The interiors and exteriors are adorned with lavish paintings and sculptures by creative artists that each generation of the Manners family have carefully selected. The current Duke’s Great Grandmother, Violet (Duchess 1906-1925) was an accomplished artist and her portraits can still be viewed today around the castle.
Roam around the enchanting gardens and take in the peace and tranquillity from within the Japanese Woodland, Formal, Duchess and Hermits Gardens. Each area has been carefully redesigned, nurtured and restored back to the almost lost plans of 18th-century landscape architect, Capability Brown. Embark upon the six colour-coded trails for visitors to explore each of the stunning gardens.
On Sundays, bank holidays and on selected days during school holidays, you can enjoy afternoon tea in the Tea Room, where you can sample a selection of sandwiches and homemade cakes and scones.
Besides the beautiful landscapes and historical charm, you can also take part in a range of country pursuits at Belvoir such as shooting, fishing and hunting. The landmark also hosts corporate events and weddings, and has been the prime location for filmmakers and production companies. The idyllic castle has featured in films including The Da Vinci Code, Young Sherlock Holmes and The Young Victoria.
Entrance to the gardens and castle cost £16 for adults and £9 for children, and guided tours are priced at £20 for adults and £10 for children.
For more information about Belvoir Castle and a full list of upcoming events, visit: www.belvoircastle.com