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Unique Self-Catering Castle Folly | Grimsthorpe, Lincolnshire

The Summer Folly

Grimsthorpe, Bourne, Lincolnshire, UK

Hidden within the grounds of one of England’s greatest country houses, this whimsical folly in rural Lincolnshire hides a treasure trove of joy. Frescoes of a life well-lived adorn the ancient walls and ceilings and an abundance of pattern and colour await through every door. Including unlimited access to Grimsthorpe Castle, Park and Gardens, The Summer Folly offers a unique self-catering homestay for those who like to holiday less ordinary.



The final creation of architect Sir John Vanbrugh in the 1720s (who also built Blenheim Castle), The Summer Folly, settled in the grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle, is a curious holiday retreat in rural Lincolnshire. Beginning life as the estate’s summer house, hosting picnics and parties for visitors, housing estate workers and even hiding an anti-aircraft battery during the Second World War, this fanciful garden bower has seen it all.


Delights hide behind the rose-covered stone exterior; unanticipated bursts of yellow shine from alcoves, Moroccan tiles splash across the kitchen wall and intricate, hand-painted murals (designed as a personal account of the previous tenant’s life in the style of a Renaissance take on Pompeii) adorn the ceilings and walls of the living room and snug. The Summer Folly, surprising and just a little bit giddy, brings zest to every soul who steps inside.


Two patios surrounded by towering yews create sheltered, outdoor lounges for summer days al fresco dining and a flower garden overflowing with ditsy blooms and bobbing flowerheads headily scent the air. Beyond the walled garden, 3,000 acres of private estate is yours for the taking. Lounge in the kitchen garden with a book and flask of tea or roam the wider park with eyes on the sky, keeping watch for buzzards, red kites and migrating geese.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests
    From £1,850 per week, £1,450 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsOn the first floor there is one bedroom with super king-size zip-and-link bed complete with en suite bathroom featuring cast iron bath and separate shower. On the second floor, bedroom two has a king-size bed with en suite cast iron bath and handheld shower attachment. There is also a ground floor WC and a further WC in the annexe.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesCinema snug, petanque lawn, croquet, badminton
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabes-in-arms and children six and above are very welcome. One travel cot and one highchair are available.
  • PracticalitiesThere is spacious parking for three or more cars at the property. The main kitchen includes a dual gas-electric Rangemaster, dishwasher, fridge, wine fridge plus washing machine and tumble dryer, while the smaller kitchen in the annexe features a small fridge, wine fridge and sink. As the house is set within Grimsthorpe Estate, the gates to enter the grounds are monitored by CCTV for security purposes. Please ensure children are supervised as there is a small unfenced pond at the end of the private drive to the property. Please refer to the house book for Grimsthorpe Castle´s opening dates. With extensive grounds and wildlife, please supervise dogs at all times.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper of local goodies, guest pass for Grimsthorpe Castle and Gardens, TV with BT Sports, Netflix and Amazon Prime, fluffy bathrobes, WiFi, charcoal barbecue, Bluetooth speaker, luxury bed linen...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

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Moroccan patterns adorn the walls of the living room
This self-catering retreat is settled in the grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle
Plush seating and intricate artwork adorn the living room

Prices & Availability


Surrounded by an abundance of bucolic scenery, Bourne is noted as one of the most important market towns in the United Kingdom. Castle ruins, a Roman road and museums galore will satiate any culture vulture who visits southern Linconshire.

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Getting there

  • On the Map The Summer Folly sits within the impressive Grimsthorpe Estate grounds in the quaint market town of Bourne just 25 minutes south east of Grantham, Lincolnshire.
  • By Car The house is a little under a three hour drive from central London.
  • By Train The nearest train station is Stamford which is half an hour away by car.
  • By Air East Midlands Airport is just over an hour away by car, while Birmingham Airport is around an hour and 45 minutes.

From the owner

“Standing alone surrounded by some of the oldest woodlands in the country and set in 3,000 acres of land where deer freely roam, the house and surroundings are nothing short of exceptional.”

From the owner

The beauty of The Summer Folly is that you can walk out the door, over the bridge and you're in Grimsthorpe Estate. With trees dating back to the Doomsday era, deer peacefully roaming by and birdsong overhead, it honestly feels like you've stepped back in time.

Taking a lazy stroll down to the lake by the castle is a walk not to be missed, the views are stunning! In the warmer months, packing a lunch and choosing a tranquil spot in the park to watch the wildlife flit by is very special. Or, wander up to the castle and explore its amazing interior, followed by afternoon tea, of course.

From the sitting room window, you can spy the castle in the distance, along with woodland and arable fields, which is what this celebratory space was originally designed for; parties and picnics in view of the castle.

With the most stunning sunsets and blazing red skies, the house really is the perfect vantage point to see it all.


Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Bourne with an insider’s perspective.

The George, Stamford

To Eat

The George, Stamford

Creeping ivy scrambling the walls, a sophisticated Champagne bar at the hub of the manor and the most decadent afternoon tea around (crusts off, naturally); The George is the place to be.

Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground

To Do

Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground

A year-round traditionally English sporting course, the shooting ground at Grimsthorpe Estate is one of the most desired in the country. Does anything say ´rural escape´ more than this?

The Engine Yard, Belvoir Castle

To Do

The Engine Yard, Belvoir Castle

The Engine Yard is a unique retail-foodie experience set in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, combining local fayre with artisan shopping housed in restored estate buildings.

Rutland Water

To See

Rutland Water

With 4,200 acres to discover, there´s no end to enjoyment here; from watersports to wildlife spotting on the nature reserve, there´s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Keep an eye peeled for the Osprey!

Guest Testimonials

The Summer Folly is such a fabulous place … real quality and the ultimate romantic escape from it all. We had a gorgeous time and loved exploring the beautiful grounds in which the property so perfectly sits, thank you.

The history behind the property is fascinating, the decoration and the attention to detail is incredible. The grounds in which The Summer Folly sits, make the property feel very magical and the final touches added by the property owner and housekeeper only add to the magic!

Absolutely stunning! As a decorator, I was fascinated and hugely impressed by the artwork and wall paintings. I loved the attention to detail at all levels; from the colours used, the fixtures and fittings right down to the books. The welcome hamper was fabulous as were the fresh flowers and level of cleanliness. We loved it all, particularly the privacy and tranquillity.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which The Summer Folly and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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