Things to see and do

Things To See and Do

Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall is currently undergoing vital conservation work to repair and protect the roof for generations to come. Scaffolding now surrounds the hall but it is still open for you to experience a close up look at the conservation in action as you wander round. You can also head up the scaffolding for fantastic views and venture down via our 6 metre slide for even more fun! We are also running guided tours up the scaffolding to see unique views of the hall and learn about the conservation work taking place from May until August. 

Scaffolding Tours

Enchanting Gardens

Lose yourself in the vast 30 acre Grade I listed gardens. Follow through ravines cut out of rock to discover the jurassic-feeling Quarry Garden. Inspired by Sir Charles Monck's travels, the Quarry Garden has its own microclimate which means all sorts of exotic plants grow here.

We have one of the biggest collection of rhododendrons in the country. You'll find winter flowering varieties in the Quarry Garden and a stunning display in the Rhododendron Garden during late spring.

Enjoy year-round seasonal interest in the formal Yew Garden and Magnolia Terrace. And if you're feeling energetic why not take the Crag Wood Walk, which is owned and managed by the Belsay Estate.

Medieval Castle

Power up 56 spiral stairs to marvel at the view from the top of the 14th-century defensive 'pele tower' at the top of the ruined medieval castle. The castle was built as a refuge at a time of Anglo-Scottish warfare but it was also designed to impress.

Explore the maze of rooms and keep your eye out for rare traces of elaborate medieval wall paintings. In the manor house style wing you can still see the old cooking range and fireplaces.

The whole ensemble here is the creation of the Middleton family over more than seven centuries. The estate was owned almost continuously by the family from the 13th century, when Sir Richard de Middleton was Lord Chancellor to King Henry III.

Tea and lemon cake in the Victorian tearoom at Belsay Hall

Victorian Tearoom

Once you've worked up a hunger from all of that exploring make your way to the tearoom, in the hall's original kitchen.

We serve hot lunches and lighter bites like soups, sandwiches and sweet treats. There are hot and cold drinks to quench your thirst too. Our stotties really are the star of the show - we recommend trying the bacon and blue cheese.

Lots of our ingredients are locally sourced and our scones are made right here in the kitchen by our chef. Highchairs are available if needed.

Second hand Bookshop

During your visit enjoy browsing our secondhand bookshop. Situated in the former laundry rooms in the old stable block, we have over 2,200 books to choose from – fiction, specialist subjects, film DVDs and music CDs. 

We ask for a small donation for your purchases which goes towards the conservation work needed at Belsay Hall.  We are always looking for donations so feel free to bring any unwanted books with you on your visit. 

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