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Snowdrop in the gardens at Belton
There are carpets of snowdrops throughout Belton's gardens and pleasure grounds | © National Trust / Rika Gordon
Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire

Belton Snowdrops Walk

Pleasure grounds were very popular in the mid-to-late-18th century as ‘naturalised’ extensions to more formal gardens. The idea was to bring walkers closer to nature, via woodland paths that meander past unusual trees, water features and follies. During the early part of the year, the Pleasure Grounds are taken over with carpets of snowdrops, making an impressive sight.

Admission charges at Belton

Normal admission charges or National Trust membership applies when accessing this walk, please visit visitor reception before you set off.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

Belton Estate, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2LS.

Step 1

Make your way from the visitor reception building to the stable yard and enter the gardens. Stepping through the garden entrance, you’ll find yourselves in the Italian Gardens. Inspired by the 1st Earl’s Grand Tour of Italy, Sir Jeffry Wyatville was commissioned to design this sunken garden in the early nineteenth century. Successive Brownlow generations enhanced and enriched its plants and sculptures. Boasting a fountain centrepiece, topiary, and borders full of vibrant colour in the summer months, the Italian Garden is a delight to discover.

Step 2

The Conservatory is on the left. Overlooking the Italian Garden, this protective environment is home to a collection of lush foliage and exotic blooms. Californian and Kentia Palms add texture and height. Pelargoniums frame a tranquil pool, serenely overlooked by Belton’s bather statue. Designed by Jeffry Wyatville in 1810 and built in 1820, Belton’s Conservatory was crafted around a cast-iron sub-frame, making it the first garden building of its type in England. Turn right here, and follow the path towards the Pleasure Grounds. You’ll find the first signs of snowdrops immediately on your left-hand side!

Step 3

Continue to follow the path alongside the Mirror Pond, which is presided over by the tranquil figure of a white lady statue and a gnarled and twisted 250-year-old beech tree. The ‘eye-catcher’ stone temple provides a sheltered spot and wonderful reflections on a still day. Keep to the left past the stone temple.

Step 4

At the crossroads, go straight over. This section of the Pleasure Grounds changes seasonally with autumn leaf colour and spring bulbs. At this time of year, you can marvel at the drifts of snowdrops that carpet the grounds here. When you're ready, take the next left and follow the path up to the lakes.

A carpet of snowdrops in the pleasure grounds at Belton
Discover flowering snowdrops in the pleasure grounds at Belton | © National Trust

Step 5

Here you'll find the entrance to the lakes. At this point you can turn right to go around the lakes, or you can turn left for a shorter circular walk. The paths around the lakes are uneven, unsurfaced and seasonally muddy. There are benches around the lake.

Step 6

Follow the path around the lake and past the Fishing Lodge. Moving on, 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.

Springtime view of the Fishing Lodge at Belton
The magnificent 19th-century Fishing Lodge was used by the Brownlow family for private picnics and fishing parties | © National Trust Images / Mike Selby

Step 7

When you reach the top of Boathouse Pond, you can continue around to the top lake, or turn left to continue around Boathouse Pond.

Step 8

Take a rest here on the bench and enjoy picturesque views of the Fishing Lodge. Once back at the gates, turn right.

Step 9

Once you're at the crossroads, you can continue straight on towards the statue walk or explore other pathways. Don't forget to share your snowdrop photos with us!

End point

Belton Estate, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2LS.

Trail map

Belton Snowdrops walk trail map
Belton Pleasure Grounds walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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