Belsay Hall- let your imagination run riot

Our friends Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Bob recently took their 4 year old grandson, ‘L’, to Belsay Hall, an English Heritage property about 15 miles north west of Newcastle Upon Tyne in Northumberland.

He had a great time battling monsters, exploring the gardens and climbing to the turreted roof of the medieval castle.

Suitable for all toddlers +

Where: Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Belsay, Nr Morpeth, Northumberland NE20 0DX
Admission: under 5 FREE – concessions, family tickets
Website: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/belsay-hall-castle-and-gardens

This is their review

‘L’ has just started school and has a great imagination so on arrival in the gift shop we bought him a polystyrene sword which proved very useful in defeating all the monsters and zombies he encountered that afternoon.

There is an 18th century Hall,which was given to English Heritage on condition that it was not permanently furnished, so it is used for temporary exhibitions, but at other times children can run round and explore.


‘L’ loved the beer and wine cellars beneath the house; loads of rooms with brilliant hiding places where they used to store the beer barrels. He immediately realised that the vaulted ceilings echoed and we made ghostly and monster noises.

Then we went through the formal gardens, past the croquet lawn (shades of Alice in Wonderland) and into the quarry garden, which is always dark and mysterious with strange large plants and the walls of the old quarry towering over them.

Finally we went into the medieval castle, up the spiral staircase (not suitable to younger children), examining all the arrow slits on the way, and out onto the turreted roof, where the sword was placed in the arrow slit of each turret in turn to protect us from the zombies.

I don’t think ‘L’ has enjoyed himself so much in years. We hope to take him back there during the half-term holidays when there will be Halloween story-telling and workshops. There are often fun art exhibits in the grounds in summer; altogether a good family outing.

Getting There Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Belsay, Nr Morpeth, Northumberland NE20 0DX
In Belsay; 14 miles NW of Newcastle, on A696 – sat nav Postcode: NE20 0DX 
Google see map or get directions

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