Belton's Moondial walk

Walking trail

Inspired by Moondial, the much-loved children’s book by BAFTA award-winning author Helen Cresswell. Dogs on short leads welcome.

Following Minty's footsteps...

The story tells of a young girl who discovers that the sundial at the heart of Belton’s formal gardens, is in fact a magic portal to the past. The popularity of the book boomed when the BBC commissioned it for a children’s television series and radio play. Regarded as a nostalgic favourite by followers of 1980s children's drama, Moondial was filmed almost entirely on location at Belton House.

Belton's sundial was created by Caius Cibber


Map route for Belton's Moondial walk


The West Courtyard


Let your eyes wander over the courtyard to the wooden door in the corner. This used to be the entrance to the garden. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Now turn around and cross the courtyard, through the tall, decorative gates following the path across the front of the mansion and through the new garden entrance.

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The west courtyard door to garden at Belton House, Lincolnshire


As you pass through the gate into the garden turn left, making your way towards the north terrace of the mansion. Step onto the terrace and look out over the Dutch Garden. Has this garden been waiting for you?

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Belton's Dutch Garden in Spring


Make your way down the steps into the sunken garden. At the bottom turn around and look back at the house. Why might Minty think she was being watched?

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The North Front at Belton House, a restoration country house built 1685-88


Walk on, taking steps that have already been measured for you. Lift your eyes to find ahead, at the crossroads of the garden, another statue. Can you feel the power in the air, so strong that Minty could hardly breathe? Why do you think the Gods of Time and Love are important to Moondial?

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The moondial at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Continue your way down the garden path and turn left at the end towards the church. Find the churchyard gate to your right and look through. This 12th century parish church of St Peter and St Paul belongs to the Lincoln Diocese. What do you sense that signifies a mystery? What churchyard smells are in the air today?

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A view from the gardens of Belton's St Peter and St Paul church, in Lincolnshire


Make your way to the Orangery which houses Belton’s collection of lush foliage and exotic blooms. Located at the top of the Italian Garden, Sir Jeffry Wyatville designed the Orangery with glass walls and stone pillars to create an illusion. What classic Roman structure do you think Sir Jeffry was inspired by?

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The Orangery at Belton House, Lincolnshire


Look out over the Italian Garden to spot the watery pool of reflecting glass. Walk towards the water fountain and sit quietly on its edge. What song reflects your feelings at this special place?

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Belton House, Lincolnshire, seen across the fountain in the Italian Garden


The Italian Garden

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Belton's Moondial 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.

Belton's Moondial walk

Facilities and access

  • Free parking. Please note grounds admission applies.
  • On arrival, please check-in at visitor reception, including National Trust members.