No beatin’ Belton House when it comes to big family fun

Belton House.
Belton House.
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Belton House is often thought of as the jewel in the crown of Grantham’s attractions.

The classic 17th century English country house owned by the National Trust brings in visitors from far and wide.

It is acclaimed for its beautiful architecture, fine décor, artworks and parkland. But there is more to Belton than its wonderful historical surroundings. Families can make the most of the many additional attractions put on by the National Trust, especially during the summer holidays.

If you’re looking for a family outing without needing to travel too far, or want to keep the kids amused for a couple of hours, here is a quick summer guide to family fun at Belton.

Playtime - Wednesday, August 7

All sorts of fun and games have been organised around Belton to mark the national day of play. Play points will be located on the garden play trail or youngsters can run around the playground games trail. Both trails will be available from 10.30am outside the Discovery Centre, which will be open from 12.30pm with arts and crafts. Cost £1 per trail.

Theatre - Friday 9 August

Younger children will love the Thunderbus Theatre Compny’s production Dotty the Dragon. The performance, in the garden, is suitable for 3-7 year-olds. Entrance is from 5.30pm for picnics and the performance is from 6.6pm. Tickets: adult £11 (In advance), child £7.

Friday, August 30

Jane Austen’s classic love story Pride qnd Prejudice, centred on Elizabeth and the enigmatic Mr Darcy, is the perfect choice for an outdoor production at Belton. Chapterhouse Theatre Company take the stage at 7pm, and you can get there early and enjoy a picnic. Tickets: adult £12 (in advance), child £8 (book on 01476 566116).

History/archaeology - Fridays, August 2 - August 30

Children can turn detective to discover fascinating facts about the paintings at Belton. The events are for accompanied children, aged seven and over, from 11.30 to 12.30. Tickets: Booking advisable but some tickets may be available on the day. Free event (normal admission charges apply).

Third Saturday of month, August 17 - December 21

A team from Heritage Lincolnshire have been running a family archaeology club at Belton since August 2011. Young members aged seven to 12 do a variety of activities and crafts based on archaeology and history. The club meets in the activity centre from 10.30am to noon. Telephone 01476542 974 for the 2013 programme. Charge: child £1, accompanying adult free.

Wildlife - first Saturday of month, August to December

The RSPB has got together with the National Trust at Belton to organise Belton Wildlife Explorers Club, offering hands-on activities for youngsters aged 7-11. Sessions are 10am-noon. Charge: child £1, accompanying adults free.

Wednesday August 14 - 28

Pond dipping and bug hunting sessions are held throughout the day, from 11am to 4pm, in these Wild On Wednesday sessions. All kit is supplied. Charge: free, but normal admission charges apply.

Friday, August 23

Belton at night is home to many varieties of bat. You can learn more about them on a walk organised by Lincolnshire Bat Group. The two-hour walk is from 7.30pm. Cost: adult £9.50, child £5.50

Try your skill - Sunday, August 11

The Lionheart Company of Bowmen ofer an introduction to archery, from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Charges: £2 (for six arrows), normal admission charges apply.