New Capability Brown garden tours at Belvoir

Capability Brown’s spectacular ‘lost landscape’ design for Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, now features in a number of new tours by bus around the garden. Designed and narrated by Emma, Duchess of Rutland, the guided tours are hosted in the Castle’s new eco-friendly, rechargeable electric bus.

Brown’s original landscape designs were thought to have been lost in a fire that destroyed almost half of the castle in 1816, however, by chance in 2014 they were rediscovered, enabling the 11th Duchess to lead a two-year restoration programme, recreating large parts of the landscape as it was conceived by Brown.

The 4th Duke of Rutland commissioned Brown to produce a plan for the Belvoir Estate, but at the time of Brown’s death in 1783, the scheme remained mostly unfulfilled. A certain amount was implemented in the 19th century by Elizabeth, 5th Duchess, but the majority of Brown’s extensive vision has only recently been realised by the 11th Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

The Duchess comments that at first glance much of Brown’s design is still instantly identifiable in the landscape around Belvoir but a closer scrutiny of his plans reveals huge insights into his creative direction in the latter stages of his career: “Our new garden bus tours transport visitors back in time, gaining a deeper understanding of the beautiful landscape that surrounds the Castle. We explore new areas and previously unseen views that have been opened up in the 16,000 acres of parkland. Then we leap forward to the present day in the newly restored Pleasure Gardens, which we painstakingly restored to coincide with the tercentenary of Capability Brown’s birth in 2016,” explains the Duchess.

What’s extraordinary about the landscape is the enduring nature. It is still as appropriate today as it was when it was first created. It serves its purpose perfectly for future generations’ agricultural, environmental, sporting and aesthetic purposes,” she added.

Tours start outside the Castle at 1200, 13,30 and 1500 and last between one and two hours. For further information please visit:

Picture credits: ©Belvoir Castle, banner image: credit Swan Photography