Donettes – Belvoir Castle 4th August 2021

Despite dubious looking skies we were fortunate to have a super day for our get together at Belvoir Castle yesterday. We met at ‘The Engine Yard’ for a coffee and a chat followed by a browse of their unique array of shops. We then had a picnic with a view before going into the grounds of the Castle.

Belvoir Castle’s history dates back to the eleventh century. It is the ancestral home of the Duke of Rutland, where the family have lived in an unbroken line for almost a thousand years. The name Belvoir – meaning ‘beautiful view’ in French, and pronounced today as ‘beaver’ – dates back to Norman times.

We began with a walk along the top of the Duchess’ Garden, past the rather unusual Root & Moss House and the Tufa Grotto to get to the Duke’s Walk where we could view the Capability Brown landscape in the distance. This was started in 2013 when a set of landscaping plans drawn up by Capability Brown in 1780 were discovered after it had been thought they were lost in a fire in 1816. The current Duchess of Rutland brought these plans to fruition with a dedicated team of employees and volunteers and featured in a television programme with Alan Titchmarsh in 2015.

We carried on through the Hermits Garden, Japanese Woodland, Rose Garden and up to the North Terrace of the Castle itself to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding area – where you can see for miles over the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

Some of our small, select group went off to view the interior of the Castle while others meandered through the woodland to get a final drink and / or ice cream before setting off home in our beautiful Morgans.

Jan Fileman