Beautiful formal gardens including topiary gardens, intricate parterre and a rectangular walled Potager created by Lady Ancaster and Peter Coates in 1960s.
Stunning herbaceous borders frame the view across the lake.
Other features include the Groves and the Long Plantation.
Several bike trails through the surrounding estate – dogs are allowed in this area on leads.
The gardens are open from Sunday to Thursday during the season.
Historic Houses members visit for free.
In 1516, Henry VIII granted Grimsthorpe to William, 10th Baron Willoughby de Eresby as a wedding present. Lord Willoughby married Maria de Salinas, kinswoman and lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. A housekeeper’s book from 1560s mentions payments to weeder women for weeding the ‘inner courts’.
On inheriting the property in 1666, Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey rebuilt the north front of the 16th century house. The architect was possibly William Winde or Robert Wright. His son Robert who succeeded him in 1701, commissioned Stephen Switzer to lay out the gardens and perhaps to celebrate his dukedom, asked Sir John Vanbrugh to redesign the house.
In 1771, ‘Capability’ Brown was commissioned by 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven to update the park. The Dukedom became extinct in 1809 with the baronetcy passing to Lady Priscilla Bertie who became 20th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.
The Castle was remodelled in 1810s with further alterations in the early 20th century by Detmar Blow.
After the property was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War, further restoration work was carried out by the 26th Baron.
It was at Grimsthorpe Castle that in 1964, Nancy Astor died surrounded by her family. Her daughter had married Gilbert James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby in 1933, thus becoming Countess Ancaster.
In 1978, a charitable trust was created to maintain the Castle and the surrounding estate.
The current owner of Grimsthorpe is Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, granddaughter of Nancy Astor. Lady Willoughby also inherited Drummond Castle from her father. Her brother, heir apparent of the Earldom of Ancaster, was lost at sea in 1963 and the Earldom became extinct.