Access Information

Belmont House & Gardens Access Statement

Introduction

Belmont House and Gardens is situated approximately 5 miles outside of Faversham, Kent. It is a Grade I listed small stately home, dating from the mid-1700’s, open to the public for guided tours, surrounded by formal gardens and parkland.

We aim to provide an excellent service to all visitors and strive to improve their experience.

Pre-Arrival

For full details and maps of how to reach us please see the directions page of our website.

The nearest train station is Faversham. There is no bus service direct to Belmont, there are taxis available outside the train station.

Car Parking

We have a car park with a gravelled surface but also an “overspill” area that is grassed, a further area is accessed through a wooden gate that leads onto parkland.

There are no designated Disabled slots.

The car park is approximately 80m from the entrance to the courtyard, down a drive with a tarmac surface.

From the car park, walk across the drive, which is in use at all times and down a very slight slope towards the courtyard.

There are 2 picnic tables on the grassed area to the car park.

Arrival

On your right hand side is a gravel path, signed “Orangery and House Entrance”, this leads around to the front of the House, where the Guided Tours start. This is staffed when the House is open, Wednesdays from 10.45am, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays from 2.00pm onwards.

At all other times and if you are visiting the Gardens only, please carry on to the Courtyard. On your left is a small octagonal shaped building, the “Tack Room”, the entrance facing into the Courtyard. In here are leaflets and information boards. The Gardens leaflet includes a plan of the garden, to help you to plan your time at Belmont.

There are always staff members about and if you require assistance then please go to the Estate Office (signed), which is the grey door opposite the Clock Tower, ring the bell on the right hand side and someone will answer.

Courtyard & Tea Room

The courtyard is partially lawned with tarmac areas, there are also uneven cobblestones to the front of the Tea Room, which is located under the Clock Tower. These are uneven and can be slippery when wet.

The Tea Room is a converted stable and is furnished with wooden tables and benches. These are quite low. The floor is the original small stone cobbles and can be uneven in places, there is a small stone lip at the threshold. There are 6 tables in the old stalls. There is a warm air heater above the door to provide thermostatically controlled comfort heat.

There are 5 picnic tables outside the Tea Room.

During the times when the House is not open the Tea Room is run on a self serve basis, there is a kettle provided. At other times it is fully staffed.

There are old flagstones in front of the Estate Office door, these are uneven and can be slippery when wet.

Toilets

The main public toilets are located just off the Courtyard, through an arched entrance, clearly signed “Gardens & Toilets”. There are ladies and Gentlemen’s toilets.

There is also a unisex disabled toilet with a hand rail positioned to the left of the low-level wc, a pull-down handle also fixed to left of the wc. There is a small hand-basin and a warm air hand – dryer. There is no alarm call system.

In the Ladies toilets there are 3 cubicles with bins, 3 hand basins along with 1 warm air hand-dryer. There is also a chair. A small table is provided for baby changing but no changing mat.

In the Gents there are 2 cubicles and 2 urinals, along with 3 hand-basins and a warm air hand-dryer.

The floor of the passage to the toilets is tile and can become slippery when wet.

The passage also exits to the Walled Garden, there is a raised lip step at this point.

House Tours

This starts outside the House, on the Orangery side, accessed via the gravel walk around the side of the House. The Tours are accompanied by a Guide at all times. When the Tour moves inside, this is via the Orangery itself, accessed via two wide and very shallow stone steps, over a wooden raised lip and down two further stone steps, the second of which is deeper than the first. The floor of the Orangery is stone flagged and can be uneven in places.

For wheelchairs we have an access ramp that can be placed on the external stone steps, enabling entrance to the House via the original front door – please ask staff for assistance.

The Tour then proceeds to the main House, where the stone floor of the hallway has a runner of carpet throughout. The rooms have polished wood floors, with some parts carpeted or a felt drugget over.

There are small, lightweight, folding stools available to carry into the main house, enabling visitors to sit.

There is plenty of natural light, supplemented by period light fittings in the House.

There are 3 main rooms on the ground floor, accessed via the ground floor corridor, the doors are an average of 106cm wide. There is one set of internal double doors.

There is a large staircase to the first floor, in 3 sections. This has, respectively, 5, 11 and 14 shallow steps that are 130cm wide and 16cm deep, carpeted, with a banister to the left hand side. There is no lift access to the first floor.

Upstairs are two principle bedrooms along with 4 smaller rooms, these may become crowded dependent on the Tour size. Door widths upstairs are smaller, between 92cm and 106cm.

Museum

This is a large room displaying more of the Clock collection, with open access to both sides from the door. There are clocks displayed on the walls and within two large glass cases, accessible on all sides. The wall-mounted labels are at 150cm or 165cm in height. In the central display cases the labels are visible to an, approximately, 90cm eyeline.

There are cabinets set within an alcove in each of the two sections. The wall mounted display has labels at a height of 170cm and the floor mounted cases at 100cm.

Lighting is both overhead and internal to some display cabinets.

Temporary Exhibitions

These can be located at several locations within the House but for 2015 it will be housed in the Smoking Room. This is accessed at the end of the Ground Floor corridor, via a door that leads directly into the room. This has a polished wooden floor and contains 3 display cases, two accessible on all sides. There are two interpretation boards with pictorial representation and large text, placed at a maximum height of 120cm to eyeline.

The Armoury objects will be labelled in a key format, there will also be a returnable laminated information sheet available, which gives detail of the information and displays in the exhibition.

Each case is lit individually and there is angled lighting to the displays.

Gardens

From the car park it is advised that visitors walk to the Courtyard. In the “Tack Room” are leaflets for the gardens that open out and provide a plan of the gardens. You can access the Walled Garden via the metal gate just before the courtyard entrance or through the archway near the toilets.

There are wide, gravelled pathways and low level signs, directing the visitor. There is a pond in the garden, towards one end, this is not fenced. There are two doors in the garden wall, one exits to the garden/park at the side of the main House, the other through to a path leading to the drive.

The signs for the Kitchen Garden lead the visitor up a slight incline, through an iron gate, approximately 120cm wide, across the tarmac drive. Please note that the drive is in use at all times and care should be taken. There is another metal gate, leading to the cold-frame area of the Kitchen Garden. (These are open but accessed via brick steps that are uneven). There are large, wooden double gates leading to the Kitchen Garden, again accessible via gravelled pathways, largely on the level. There is a pond at the centre of this garden which is not fenced.

Several gates lead to other parts of the Gardens including a Nuttery, this is laid to grass. The Mandala is circular in shape with gravel paths and a lowlevel fence and gates.

Coronation Walk is laid to grass and bordered by yew hedges. This leads to the Pet Cemetery and Prospect Tower.

There are wooden benches located at intervals around the gardens.

Additional Information

Service dogs are welcome.

All dogs are welcomed in the Gardens, please keep them on a lead at all times, we provide water bowls near the wall mounted tap in the courtyard.

There is no background music or tannoy, unless there is an event on in the Grounds.

We have a set of evacuation procedures – should you require it someone will assist you with evacuation either out of the buildings or to the Muster point.

All our signs are white on a green background and use large font.