Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Morpeth is described on the English Heritage website as somewhere that you can lose yourself and when we were struggling to decide where to go for the day last weekend using our English Heritage membership, it was this description that swung it for us:
….with its unique combination of Grecian architecture, medieval ruins, formal terraces and lush jungle-esque Quarry Garden. Soak up the sights and smells of our Grade 1 listed gardens, roam the fabulous pillars in the grand hall, and enjoy wonderful views from the top of the castle tower.
Belsay Hall was built in 1817 and in it’s day was a modern country house inspired by the ancient Classical temples of Greece. These days the hall is empty and displayed without furniture which means that it’s essentially (to our untrained eyes) just a big building with lots of rooms although even we could see the beauty in the architecture of the building. As there was a family fun event including medieval knights battling taking place in the castle at the other side of the gardens, the hall was practically deserted leaving us alone to explore the many rooms and the cellars!
If I’m honest, there wasn’t really much to get excited about Belsay Hall itself but the best bits were still to come as we walked through the beautiful quarry gardens to get to Belsay Castle. The gardens were lovely with areas that were beautifully maintained right alongside the woody paths that we had so much fun exploring.
The walk to the castle is quite a short one but we took ages getting there are the gardens and the woodland walk was so much fun! By the time we got to Belsay Castle the event was well underway and we could see from the approach how much fun families were having.
We didn’t watch the knights jousting for long as we decided to have a look around the rest of the castle area while everyone else was watching and I’m really glad we did – there was barely anyone exploring the rest of the castle area and we still caught a bit of the show from inside the castle.
We had a lovely day and we’re planning on going back when there isn’t an event going on so we can see more of Belsay Castle without the crowds. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area!
We used our English Heritage membership to visit Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens but if you don’t have a membership or you don’t want to get one (we love ours as it costs less than £8 a month) then it will cost £23.90 for a family of 2 adults and up to three children including gift aid.
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