High on a hill with spectacular views of the beautiful vale of Belvoir is Belvoir Castle (known locally as Beever Castle).
Belvoir Castle has been the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for 1000 years. It is currently home to the 11th Duke and Duchess and their family.
The current castle is the fourth castle to stand on the site since Norman times. Ealier castles being destroyed during The War of The Roses, The Civil War, then a fire in 1816.
Before our recent tour we had previously visited the castle to attend a wedding in the magnificent Guardsroom The bride making a dramatic entrance down the grand staircases. The Guardsroom with its high ceilings, open fireplaces and walls covered with displays of military treasures is spacious providing a grand setting for a wedding and an interesting room to explore during a tour.
Returning to the castle in 2012 we decided we would like a full tour of the castle.
Parking the car outside the castle grounds there is a steep walk to the castle entrance. However, Car parking is available outside the castle in the castle car park (fee payable).Those with poor mobility can obtain from the Car Park Ticket office a car pass enabling them to park the car close to the castle. Those travelling on a coach tour should be aware that coaches cannot access the car park and the only access to the castle is via the steep walk (approx 5 minutes uphill.
Admission to the castle is free to wheelchair users who only have access to the ground floor of the castle. Guide and Assistance dogs are the only animals permitted to enter the site. Entrance fees to the castle cost £15 for adults (concessions available) children £8. For those wanting to explore the gardens the tickets cost £8 for adults (concessions available and £5 for children
Guided castle tours are available at approx two hourly intervals.
The castle contains a wealth of good art, sculptures, fine furniture, silks and tapestries.There is the fasciniating Guardsroom to see, , The State Dining Room is magnificent as is the elegance of the Elizabeth Saloon. There is a lot to see, including the School Room and Nursery to visit. However, I have to say, despite all the splendour what I found most fascinating was visitihg the servants quarters which illustrated so well life below stairs in 1825. The Old Kitchen and The Bakehouse complete with such a range of equipment and utensils, just looked as if someone had just been working in it.
We intend to visit for a third time. Belvoir Castle has large gardens we would love to explore. When we at the castle during our friend's wedding a few years ago we had access to the Rose and Statue Garden where wedding photographs were taken. This is a truly magnificent garden with a central fountain and forms just a small section of a huge garden area but enough to show us that a return visit is needed!