Historic Houses & Gardens
The Lake District offers an array of places to visit and is home to many magnificent Historic Houses and Gardens. If you are you an avid gardener or enjoy looking at what other people achieve in theirs we're sure you will enjoy looking around some of the best gardens in the Lake District.
Recommended Houses & Gardens
Blackwell - The Arts and Crafts House Blackwell is one of England's most important surviving houses from the turn of the 20th century. Designed by M. H. Baillie Scott between 1897 and 1900, it is a superb example of Arts and Crafts movement architecture. It occupies a stunning position overlooking Windermere and has recently been restored and opened to the public as a gallery for craft and applied arts. Opens February - December (check which dates - they vary each year) Open 7 days a week from 10.30am - 5.00 pm. In November, December, February & March closing time will be at 4.00pm. Run by the Lakeland Arts Trust which also operates the Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal, hosting many groundbreaking art exhibitions.
Sizergh Castle, (National Trust) near Kendal The home of the Strickland family for over 760 years, the medieval castle was extended in Elizabethan times and has an exceptional series of oak-panelled interiors with intricately carved chimney-pieces and early oak furniture, culminating in the magnificent Inlaid Chamber. The castle is surrounded by handsome gardens which include a particularly imposing and beautiful rock garden. The estate has flower-rich limestone pasture and ancient woodland supporting numerous species of butterfly. Open until 31 October, Sunday - Thursday. House: 1pm - 5pm. Cafe, Shop & Gardens: 11am - 5pm. Estate: 9am - 5pm.
Levens Hall and Topiary GardensThe Hall is a magnificent Elizabethan mansion built around a 13th century pele tower. It is the family home of the Bagots and contains a collection of Jacobean furniture, fine paintings, the earliest English patchwork and many beautiful objects. The world famous award winning gardens were laid out from 1694. The Topiary, beech hedges and colourful seasonal bedding create a stunning visual impact. Open until 10th October, Sunday - Thursday. Garden 10am - 5pm. House 12pm - 4.30pm, last admissions 4pm.
Brantwood, ConistonThe home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900. Ruskin was a poet, artist and critic, he was also a social revolutionary who challenged the moral foundations of 19th century Britain.The house is filled with Ruskin's drawings and watercolours, together with much of his original furniture, books and personal items. Open daily until 3rd November. 10.30am - 5pm.
Holker HallThe home of Lord and Lady Cavendish, displaying grand architecture and furnishings. It has 25 acres of national award winning gardens; including water features, rare plants, trees and shrubs. The Annual Garden Festival is an event not to be missed: hosting displays many direct from Chelsea, to the wonderful Festival Show Gardens, to hundreds of quality Trade Exhibitors, the Floral Art Marquee, Fine Foods and Fine Crafts. Open until 3rd November, Sunday - Friday. Hall: 11am - 4pm. Gardens: 10.30am - 5.30pm. Gift Shop: 10.30-5.30pm.
Holehird (Home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society)
+44 (0)15394 46008
Overlooking Lake Windermere, at the top of Troutbeck Valley, the stunning gardens offer spectacular views over Lake Windermere and the Lakeland Fells. Open daily dawn to dusk, except Christmas Day and FREE!
Townend (National Trust), Troutbeck
Townend is a unique farm house once owned by the Brownes. Was apparently Beatrix Potter's favourite. It seems everything was carved out of oak including the furniture. Includes a wonderful example of a bank barn. Open Easter to end October.
Fell Foot Park, (National Trust) Newby Bridge:
+44 (0)15395 31273
This Victorian park, restored to its former glory, offers substantial access to the lakeshore of Windermere, where there are leisure facilities in season including rowing boat hire, and fine picnic areas. Situated East of Newby Bridge. Open daily all year, 9.00 - 19.00 or dusk if earlier. Facilities 31 March - 4 November 11.00 - 16.30.
Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill, near Penrith: Ancient oaks and the high enclosing walls of this delightful garden keep out the extremes of the Cumbrian climate, resulting in a spectacular display of shrubs, roses and herbaceous borders. Sheltered orchards contain a variety of traditional fruit trees and the famous herb garden is the largest collection of medicinal and culinary plants in the North. A circular woodland walk runs along Crowdundle Beck to Acorn Bank watermill, which although under restoration is open to visitors. Open 29 March - 2 November daily 10.00 - 17.00. Closed Tuesdays.
Dalemain, near Ullswater
+44 (0)17684 86450
In the 12th century a pele tower was built on the site where Dalemain is today, this was then followed by the construction of a hall onto the tower creating a manor house. During the reign of Elizabeth I two wings were added to the hall and then in the mid 18th century a Georgian facade was added to the Elizabethan parts of the house, giving it the appearance it retains to this day.Not only renowned for the fascinating building and its collections, the grounds surrounding Dalemain are both beautiful and varied, they include an array of beautiful walks. Open 23 March - 13 October Sun - Thurs 11.00 - 16.00. Gardens, restaurant, tea room and agricultural and countryside collections 10.30 - 17.00
Muncaster Castle, Gardens and Owl Centre, Ravenglass:
+44 (0)1229 717614
Muncaster Castle, home to the Pennington family for 800 years, is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. Its Great Hall, Octagonal Library and elegant Dining Room are all windows on a grand past. But Muncaster's wild history reveals a flipside to life in a stately home. The castle evolved from the Pele Tower, built to repel marauding Scots. Those who stay here say it is haunted by ghosts, including the legendary Tom Fool. At Muncaster, headquarters of the World Owl Trust, you will also find one of the largest collections of these thrilling birds in existence. Meet the birds at 14.30 - This is a talk and demonstration by the World Owl Trust. At 15.30 its Heron Happy hour - where they feed the Herons which fly in (sometimes up to as many as 20 Herons) (after British Summertime it takes place at 16.30). Open - Castle 9 March - 2 November Sun - Fri 12.00 - 17.00. Gardens & Owl Centre all year daily 10.30 - 18.00 (dusk if earlier)