Stamford is a town on the River Welland in Lincolnshire which has 17th and 18th century stone buildings, as well as timber framed houses and five medieval churches. It is a picturesque and unspoilt little town, full of character. The facades of the houses in the town are favourites of film and TV producers, and were used as “Meryton” in Pride and Prejudice. Look out for The George, which is one of England’s greatest coaching Inns, as well as hidden courtyards that are home to speciality shops, cafés and pubs.
Belvoir Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland. The family have lived at Belvoir in an unbroken line for almost 1,000 years. Built on a hill, its turrets and towers rise over the Vale of Belvoir like an illustration in a romantic fairy-tale. It is the fourth castle to be built on the site, finished in 1832 closely resembling the original romantic Gothic style designed by James Wyatt, and is now designated as a Grade I building. There are lavish staterooms, the principle ones being the Elizabeth Saloon, the Regents Gallery and the State Dining Room. The Castle was recently the venue for Phil Spencer’s Stately Homes TV programme; it looked an amazing place.
The formal gardens include the Duchess Garden which contains a “root and moss’ house - restored in 2014 - and a Japanese Woodland Garden containing magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias. When plans for the grounds drawn up by Capability Brown were discovered in the recent past, they were brought to fruition by the Duchess of Rutland, with new areas now open to the public. The Castle Tea Room serves sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks.