Pleasure Grounds Walk

Walking trail

Pleasure grounds were very popular in the mid- to late 18th century as ‘naturalised’ extensions to more formal gardens. They brought walkers closer to nature, at one with their senses. Natural sounds, movement and light were all features of the woodland paths as they meandered past unusual trees, water features and buildings. Dogs on short leads welcome.

Beyond the splendour of its formal gardens and avenues, Belton’s pleasure grounds feature more relaxed informal woodland planting, with a network of paths offering glimpses of Bellmount Tower, the deer park, Fishing Lodge, a cascade, two ornamental ponds and a wealth of wildlife.

The Swiss fishing lodge on the boating lake at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Map route of Pleasure Grounds Walk at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Belton House, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LS


Make your way from the visitor reception building to the front of the mansion. Follow signs to the garden entrance, taking the path down the side of the mansion into the gardens.

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A winter view of Belton House, Lincolnshire


At the wooden shelter turn right along the gravelled statue walk. Follow the path, with the maze on your left, until you reach an over-sized garden seat at the end. If you step to the right of the seat onto the lawn, you'll get a wonderful view of the mansion in one direction and Bellmount Tower in the other.

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A very frosty morning by Statue walk in the gardens at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Move away from the seat further into the garden following the sign directing you to the lakeside walk and boathouse. This section changes seasonally with autumn leaf colour and spring bulbs particular highlights. As you pass through the railings, take the right hand path that runs parallel to the railings. After about 100 metres continue following the path left handed.

Visitors walking in the garden in spring at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Continue along the path, over a dry ditch and through the yew, larch, beech and cherry trees. Cross the small stream and follow the slope up to the water’s edge. A bench seat provides a welcome opportunity to rest and enjoy the view.

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Fishing Lodge, Belton House, Lincolnshire


The route will return to the fishing lodge for a closer look later. Moving on, with the pond on your left, you’ll quickly reach a wooden footbridge. Down to the right there's a cascade and rockery garden, sheltered by mature lime and oak which formed the original approach to the pond.

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The cascade, Belton House, Lincolnshire


Cross the wooden bridge and follow the path through the iron kissing gate. To the right you’ll catch views of Bellmount Tower in the distance. You might also get a glimpse of Belton’s fallow deer grazing in the parkland.

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The herd of wild fallow deer in the parkland at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Beyond the gate the path heads away from the parkland, through a mixed woodland of holly, horse chestnut, yew and oak. You’ll catch glimpses of Boathouse Pond and its island. There's a bench seat to your right overlooking the pond. Follow the path that heads left.

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Visitors enjoying the autumn leaves at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Continue through the trees until you reach a more defined path over a small stream. Head right through the yew grove and rhododendron which flower in May, up a slight incline to the dam of the second pond, Tar Lane Pond. Continue across the dam and around the pond in an anti-clockwise direction.

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Crimson water lily on the lake at Sheffield Park Sussex


You'll eventually return to the dam. Keep right and follow the woodland edge and rhododendron back towards Boathouse Pond, catching glimpses of the island and Fishing Lodge. The path would have originally been framed with neatly clipped box hedging. The fields to your right are let to local farmers who graze them with native breeds of sheep – Lincoln Longwool and Poll Dorset. Go through the iron kissing gate and you're back in the idyllic setting of Salvin’s Fishing Lodge.

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The fishing lodge on the boating lake at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Returning to the path, follow it to the right of the wooden fence and along the woodland edge. Go back through the railings taking the right hand path until you reach an ornamental gate overlooking fields. Follow the path down towards the centre of the garden until you reach a central crossing point of paths. You can choose the direction in which you wish to proceed, to the Italian and Dutch gardens and orangery or back the way you came originally towards the café and car park.

Belton House frosty morning view across mirror pond


Belton House, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LS

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Pleasure Grounds Walk


The terrain is generally firm and flat with occasional inclines and uneven surfaces. The paths may be muddy at times. There are three gates, but no stiles and frequent bench seats along the route.

Pleasure Grounds Walk

How to get here

Belton House, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LS
By road

Located on the A607, Grantham to Lincoln road, Belton House is signposted from the A1 and A52.

Parking: provided free of charge. Please note: all visitors (including members) must obtain a ticket from visitor reception.

SatNav: please use NG32 2LW for directions.

By bus

Bus 1 (Lincoln – Grantham) and Bus 27 (Sleaford – Grantham) both stop outside the main entrance of Belton House.

Pleasure Grounds Walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking, please note grounds admission applies
  • On arrival, please could all visitors check-in at Visitor Reception, including National Trust members.
  • There is no access for dog walking in the gardens or pleasure grounds but dogs are welcome on leads in the parkland.