Belton Park walk
Belton Park is rich in wildlife and covers about 1,350 acres, of which 750 acres is designated deer park.
Explore the park and woodland with historical highlights
The route passes key features of ancient woodland, highlights built structures and wildlife habitats and points out the site of a deserted medieval village.
Belton House main car park, grid ref: SK928391
Make your way from the visitor reception building towards the front steps of Belton House. As you look at the mansion, follow the small gravel path on your right, into the park, keeping the estate railing on your left. During the Spring and Summer months, when sheep are grazing this area of the park, you will also have to go through a small pedestrian gate to pass through the temporary electric fencing. Follow the treeline all the way to a gate in the wooden fence.
Belton House is the former home of the Brownlow family and is often cited as being the perfect example of an English country-house estate. The seventeenth-century Carolean treasure house contains fine collections of porcelain, silver, paintings and books. Why not pop in when you have finished your walk?
Go through the gate and on your left you’ll see a ha-ha. Built in c.1800 this grade II listed landscape feature provides visitors to the house with uninterrupted views from the mansion along the tree lined avenue to Bellmount Tower in the distance. Make your way across the parkland towards the brow of the hill.
Seen from across the parkland during the walk, the tower was completed in 1751 for Viscount Tyrconnel. The viewing tower was designed as a focal point. Guests would gaze out along the avenue of lime and horse chestnut trees towards this ‘eye catcher’ on the hill. Reach Bellmount Tower from the car park on Five Gates Road.
Pick up the woodland path and head around the back of Old Wood. The wood is identified as Old Wood on estate maps dating back to 1690. Old Wood forms a sanctuary for Belton’s wild fallow deer, and they can often be seen resting here. Once you reach the other side of Old Wood, you’ll eventually see the fence line that denotes the edge of the golf course. Head right and follow the fence line down the hill.
Look out for the direct descendants of the wild deer herd enclosed here in 1690. They have large, flat antlers and can be a variety of colours. Young are born in June and then hidden in the grass by their mothers to protect them from predators. Please take care not to disturb them, if you do find a fawn it's important not to touch it, as human scent will make them more vulnerable to attack.
You’ll come to a grade II listed Conduit House, built in the early 19th century to house part of the parkland water system. Continuing along the fence line down the hill go through a gate and on your left. You’ll see the Alford Monument within the golf course; a memorial which was erected by Baron Brownlow in 1851 in memory of his son, Viscount Alford. Head left at the corner of the golf course, following the fence line and through a gate at Towthorpe Ponds, heading down towards the Lion Gates.
Built in memory of Viscount Alford. The Latin inscription reads: "Farewell, my dearest son. Among these trees, once fortunate in aspect, I, your weeping father, place this here, offered in your name with a prayer".
With your back to the Lion Gates, that once marked the main route into the Belton estate, head left along the grass path towards the River Witham. Along this stretch, you’ll often see or hear Green Woodpeckers, who like to feast on the yellow meadow ants found in the numerous ant hills.
These gates once marked the main route into the Belton estate and originally stood by the main road to Lincoln.
Here lays the site of the deserted medieval village of Towthorpe. Look out for signs of earthworks and evidence of the ridges and furrows associated with medieval farming methods. Continue to walk beside the riverbank and enjoy the contrasting riffle and flow river features, as well as possible signs of resident otters and water voles. Then head towards a gate in the small wood.
Towthorpe is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 but is thought to date from much earlier, as pre-historic and Saxon artefacts have been found in the area. Today there's little trace of the village, although earthworks can be seen on the western side of the river.
Go through the gate and head right along Towthorpe Ponds. Kingfishers and dragonflies can sometimes be spotted here, darting across the pond. Make your way towards the old carriageway of the ‘south drive’ and then head north through the gate and back towards the mansion.
Towthorpe Ponds were created around 1820 and have been a haven for white-clawed crayfish since special reefs were built in 2009.
You’re now back at the top of the oval where, during the Spring and Summer months, you can watch Belton Park Cricket Club play their home matches.
Belton House main car park, grid ref: SK928391
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