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Visiting Belton House

The south front at Belton House, Lincolnshire on a sunny day with clouds in the sky.
The south front at Belton House, Lincolnshire. The house was built in the 1680s and its designer is thought to be William Winde. | © National Trust Images/Megan Taylor

Sometimes described as the 'perfect' English country house estate, Belton was built in the late 17th century by 'Young' Sir John Brownlow. Home to the same family for nearly 300 years, Sir John's heirs also made their mark on Belton, commissioning the finest designers and craftsmen of their age.

Spotlight on Conservation (Tues & Weds)

The popular Spotlight Sessions at Belton are returning for 2024! Spend time with our mansion team to see the conservation work they do while the mansion is closed to free flow visitors. We’ll open a changing selection of rooms for this experience throughout the year. The team will be starting off inside the family flat – taking you behind the scenes to an area located off the typical visitor route.

Running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while the mansion is closed to free flow visitors. You can book now for July dates.

The mansion is open for free flow visits Thursday – Monday, 11am – 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). On these days you can explore the upper ground floor and first floor at your own pace and discover a collection rich in global history. You can also pick up our short guide to Belton House, with information on all the rooms on display.

A Voyage of Discovery

Travel across the globe was an exciting pastime for the Brownlow family, as they would experience new cultures and acquire ‘exotic’ items to add to their growing collection.

Journey through the mansion and discover more about the use of precious materials by skilled craftspeople around the globe and the origin of some treasures, including the remarkable lapis lazuli cabinet.

From European portraits to Chinese porcelain, we’re highlighting the rich variety of globally influenced treasures we have here at Belton, with new displays to explore. We’ve introduced new interactive stations in some spaces for families to enjoy, alongside a map which will lead you around the house to discover the many wonders the Brownlow’s collected. You can search for hidden animals in tapestries, build your very own lapis lazuli cabinet, or enjoy some reading in the library.

Open for free flow Thursday - Monday, 11am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm).

Explore the rooms at Belton House

The Marble Hall was designed as the main entrance and the first in a procession of grand rooms. In the Victorian period, its function changed dramatically into an area of familial comfort, with large rugs, plants, and seating in place.

Look out for the overmantel carvings in the Marble Hall, from c1688, one side is attributed to Grinling Gibbons and the other is carved by Edmund Carpenter.

Detail of the tapestry by John Vanderbank, (d1727), Chief Arras Worker of the Great Wardrobe, in the Chapel Drawing Room at Belton House
Detail of the tapestry by John Vanderbank, (d1727) in the Chapel Drawing Room | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Walking through the house you'll come across the Chapel Drawing Room, which is a rare example of decor that dates from the building of the house in 1683-1685. If you had visited Belton in the 1690s you would have been in no doubt that this was one of the most opulent rooms in the house. What is now subdued gree/blue marbling was originally bright lapis blue with white and gold flecks. No doubt Lord Tyrconnel enjoyed looking out to Bellmount Tower which he had built as part of significant alterations to the grounds in his later year.

A close-up of Chinese wallpaper at Belton House, depicting bamboo, climbing plants and birds, with human figures in the foreground.
Chinese wallpaper at Belton House | © National Trust Images/Martin Trelawny

Upstairs you'll discover the Chinese Bedroom with wallpaper that was hand painted in China and intended for export. The pink background, now faded, and the inclusion of figures were stylistic adaptations to appeal to European consumers. This paper was hung in 1830 but probably made much earlier.

By the 19th century a Chinese bedroom or drawing room had become an almost expected element of the British country house. They were associated with women, where the ladies of the house would receive members of their family and more intimate friends.

Before heading back downstairs you'll visit the Windsor Bedroom. This room is named in honour of Belton's association with Edward VIII, the british monarch who abdicated in 1936 so he could marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, a divorcee. Peregrine Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow was a close friend and Lord-in-waiting to the King. He accompanied Mrs Simpson to France at the height of the scandal and, to protect the monarchy, he encouraged her to renounce her relationship with Edward.

Belton Today

Belton's collection tells a story rich in global history and our future work will focus on bringing those stories to life.

Explore the house at your leisure and, while there is no particular route to follow, you may find it useful to pick up our new guide to Belton House, with information on all the rooms in the house. If you would like to take it home as a souvenir, we ask for a £2 donation to cover printing costs.

The Mirror Pond during the summer at Belton with the Garden Temple overlooking the pond

Discover more at Belton

Find out everything you need to know about visiting Belton, including how to get here, things to see and do on your visit, and more.

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Oil painting on canvas of Dorothy Mason, Lady Brownlow by Sir Godfrey Kneller from Belton House.

Belton's collection 

Take a closer look at 400 years of ambitious collecting, where treasures include English portraiture, Oriental ceramics and a restored lapis lazuli cabinet.

A hot cup of tea on a table in the Stables Cafe at Belton

Eating and shopping at Belton 

Rest and refuel in a historic setting or treat yourself to something special to take home. Find out about our dog-friendly café and other places to eat and shop.

The Boat House and Lake with geese swimming on the water at Belton House Lincolnshire.

Visiting the gardens at Belton 

Explore the gardens at Belton, including the Italian Garden, a Conservatory and a Dutch Garden with formal bedding schemes. Whatever time of year you visit, the shifting seasons provide a great variety of colour and wildlife to see.

Sheep grazing in the parkland with the house in the background at Belton House Lincolnshire.

Exploring the estate at Belton 

Explore 1,300 acres of parkland at Belton and find out more about the wildlife you may see along the way, including the herd of historic fallow deer.

A child smiles over a hedge in the maze at Belton House, Lincolnshire.

Family-friendly things to do at Belton 

Explore our fun family day out ideas, including our indoor play area and outdoor adventure playground. Make the most of your day out with the kids at Belton and plan ahead for Summer of Play.

Moated medieval manor hall, with blue skies in background, Oxburgh Estate, Norfolk

Houses and buildings 

Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about their histories and plan your next visit.

The South Front of Belton House with blossom blooming in front of the house

Houses and buildings in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire 

Explore the diverse range of houses and buildings in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, from historic churches and country houses to a Victorian workhouse.