On our second day in Grantham we hadn’t actually made plans. I’d assumed we’d go into Nottingham and visit the castle and Robin Hood Statue as a natural progression from our time spent at Sherwood Forest. Dave wanted to explore somewhere new so we had a drive and eventually ended up at Kelham Hall and Country Park.
Kelham Hall and Country Park
Kelham Hall (Sat Nav postcode: NG23 5QX) is a Victorian Country home located in the Trent Valley. It is a stunning backdrop for weddings, events (there was a jousting event on the day of our visit) and family days out. Car parking and entrance to the grounds are free. There is a charge for home tours, events, The Maize and camping. We didn’t know what to expect but we parked up and decided to explore.
The girls posed with the personalised helicopter parked outside the hall.
And then did roly-polys down the hill- always fun!
Kelham Hall Play Park
Immediately we found a play park and picnic benches, we decided to sit here and eat our picnic to save carrying it around with us as we explored (part of) the 52 acres.
You can’t tell from the pictures but as we sat here there was thunder and lightning and it suddenly poured with rain. Thankfully the storm soon passed and we only had rain to contend with for the rest of the day.
St Wilfrid’s, Kelham Church
After our picnic, we continued our walk, first passing St Wilfrid’s Church. This medieval church is very popular with weddings, due to the location.
Another Play Park
Opposite the church we found another play park where we sheltered under the trees from the rain as the kids played.
There is also an indoor play area close to the main hall reception but we didn’t venture indoors during our visit.
Kelham Hall Sculpture Garden
The Kelham Hall that we see today is actually the third build on this site (the previous halls were damaged by fire) and is considered to be a masterpiece of high Victorian Gothic architecture.
We found the sculpture trail in the formal gardens very interesting.
The cobwebs add to the dark Gothic effect!
The heavy rain didn’t stop us walking amongst the statues.
The intricate details are stunning.
The garden (over) grows around them and in many ways the living garden makes the sculptures almost come to life as they naturally interact.
Some of the sculptures were slightly more colourful!
We spotted a few extra plinths to add our new statues.
Being huge Doctor Who fans, our statues were more scary than serene (think Weeping Angels- don’t blink!).
Tree stumps made great statue bases too.
For seventy years Kelham Hall was home to an Anglican order of Monks. Inside the hall you can visit their impressive dome Chapel. Outdoors you can walk through the secret Monk’s Graveyard.
The Riverside Walk
We then embarked on the riverside walk. Dave led the way and I admit at first I wondered where he was taking us as we seemed to be entering the private areas of the grounds usually reserved for deliveries and bin storage. My faith was restored as we reached a path and could see the way to the river.
I love this view with the weeping willows in the background. They are so beautiful.
Kelham Hall Bridge, which lies across the River Trent was built in 1858. The previous bridge was destroyed by a huge block of ice in 1955 (just five years after completion).
Both girls were straight into the nettles (as always) but thankfully found dock leaves to ease the sting.
The walk along the river was very pleasant and we saw lots of dragonflies. Thankfully they landed lots so we could photograph them (unlike the frequent flyers at Sherwood Forest).
We also saw a family of ducks.
A riverside walk is always peaceful. I love seeing the clouds reflected in the water.
Picked up twigs become (rather short!) walking sticks.
We walked all the way across the river and then past the Maize and camp site and back to the house. There is a longer “Kelham Hills” walking route too.
It was a fun free day out in Nottinghamshire and when we’re in the area again we’d like to also visit the house and Maize. As we were only keeping the girls entertained for a few hours before we picked Danny up from PGL the walk and parks were enough for us to explore.
Kelham Hall is open daily from 09.00 – 18.00
Free car park and access to grounds
Tours cost £5 per person with under 10s free
The Maize is open daily until 22nd September (then will reopen for next summer)
Book camping here.
Follow Kelham Hall on Facebook to hear about future events
Have you visited Kelham Hall?