We woke up last Sunday to a beautiful, crisp sunny morning in Durham so decided to head out for the day. As we’re now fully fledged English Heritage members we thought we’d pay our first visit to one of the locations in our area.
We chose Belsay Hall, castle and gardens near Morpeth in Northumberland. It’s about a 30 minute drive from our house and somewhere we’d never been before.
Belsay Hall is a Grade 1 listed 19th century mansion. The hall design is based on a Greekvilla and was designed by Sir Charles Monck (formerly Middleton), who was hugely inspired by Ancient Greece after his honeymoon in Athens.
During our visit we were lucky enough to come across Blast From The Past performing beautiful seasonal Victorian songs in the library. They were such a pleasure to listen too, even the little man was mesmerised by the singing and instrument playing.
After a good wander round the hall and a quick cuppa and piece of cake in the tea room we decided on walk round the grounds.
Prior to our visit, I knew nothing about Belsay Hall, castle or the gardens. It was interesting to find out that there are over 30 acres of grounds surrounding the hall and castle. You can meander down from the hall to the castle through the stunning quarry gardens, filled with an array of beautiful plants and wildlife. It’s about a half a mile walk through the gardens from the hall to the castle.
The quarry gardens are truly stunning. I can’t imagine how amazing the look during the warmer, summer months. It just feels like you’re in the Jurassic Park film!
The castle itself although partly ruined is a rather grand affair. It’s quite strange too, it has quite a calm serene feel too it. I’m not sure if it was the beautiful crisp day of our visit but it felt such a peaceful place to spend time.
I can’t wait to return to Belsay Hall in the summer. It’s such a beautiful place where you can spend a full day. It will be the perfect location for a family picnic.
If you’re not an English Heritage member the entrance fees are –
Adult – £8
Child aged 5-15 years – £4.80
Concession – £7.20
Family (2 adults and up to three children) – £20.80.