Who says blustery Sunday afternoons in January have to be spent in front of the telly? With so many wonderful English Heritage properties to explore in the North East and a nice wooly hat and scarf to keep me warm, I decided to venture out to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland a couple of weeks ago and I had a lovely day out with my fella.
It’s clear to see the influence of Ancient Greece in the magnificent Hall at Belsay and although it’s unfurnished, I found it easy to imagine what the bedrooms and living areas might have looked like when Belsay was home to the Middleton Family, who lived there until 1962.
Outside, there are extensive grounds including a romantic Quarry garden which we roamed hand in hand, trying to pronounce all the proper names of the various plants and trees. Needless to say we failed miserably at most of them.
We’re hardly Charlie Dimmock or Alan Titchmarsh but we did get some great ideas for our own garden at home and both agreed to come back in the spring and summer to see the gardens in all their glory.
The medieval castle was very impressive, especially the views from the top of the tower! I’m sure kids would have a great time exploring the ancient rooms.
Speaking of kids, how do you fancy training yours to be butlers? No really… Belsay are inviting families to join their Victorian Butler School during half term. You can learn all about the etiquette of a country house, from dressing a table to folding a napkin, with the master of the house there to keep you on your toes. Actually, I wonder if I can sign James up for that?