About the garden
Emma Rutland and David Manners
Belvoir Castle is perched on top of a solitary hill surrounded by a Capability Brown landscape and spectacular views of Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. Amid the 3000 acres of naturally designed landscape, Capability Brown left 26 acres of pleasure gardens for duchesses to leave their own mark. Elizabeth (5th Duchess) faithfully followed Brown’s plan, Violet (8th Duchess) hired Edwardian designer Harold Peto, while Frances (10th Duchess) was a remarkable plantswoman. Emma (11th Duchess) is responsible for today’s 10-year extensive restoration program, with more than 13 acres of woodlands being cleared and replanted with rare trees and shrubs, including magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, Enkianthus, and Styrax to name a few.
Carved into the steep hill of the castle is a formal Rose Garden that leads to wonderful views of rhododendrons over the statue garden and parterre. The Japanese woodland is full of camellias, Prunus and acers, followed by beautiful blue hydrangeas in August. The horseshoe-shaped Spring Gardens are sheltered from west winds and contain plants such as Tetrapanax, Melianthus and Euphorbia mellifera. The root and moss house with its thatched roof overlooks long, terraced herbaceous borders sheltered beneath a monkey-puzzle tree once viewed by Queen Victoria. The seven-acre Hermits Garden was cleared in 2013 and planted with unusual ericaceous-loving trees and shrubs. This planting theme has been carried on into the five-acre Carlisle Wood set amid sequoias and majestic candelabra pines.
The topography at Belvoir undoubtedly makes these gardens unique, with views around every corner, punctuated with lakes, statues or champion trees. The gardens still have plenty of undisturbed areas for wildlife.
With miles of new walks and tracks, we recommend you bring a good pair of shoes and leave plenty of time to discover the new gems at Belvoir.
Please note: this garden is partially accessible.