Whether you are planning a sightseeing trip around the Lake District or you want to stay close to your spa hotel in Windermere, you will find plenty of stately homes and castles within easy reach.
From haunted castles to Tudor houses and medieval Pele towers, a wide choice of homes and castles are open all year round to the public.
Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass
Situated in Ravenglass, Muncaster Castle boasts stunning gardens and an Owl Centre. This 800 year old castle is said to be haunted, and is situated on the west tip of the Lake District. If you get the chance, go in May during the Festival of Fools.
Abbot Hall, Kendal
HYPERLINK "http://Www.abbothall.org.uk" Abbot Hall is a beautiful Georgian manor house situated in the shadow of Kendal Castle, next to the River Kent in the village of Kendal. The Hall now houses a museum and art gallery said to be one of the best in Britain. Works by Romney, Ruskin, Turner and Constable are exhibited. Also, the award-winning Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry is situated at Abbot Hall.
Hutton-in-the-Forest is situated in north Cumbria, and was bulit in the 14th Century. The Pele Tower is the oldest part of the house, which was built in 1350. Hutton has only ever been owned by two families – the de Hotons and the Fletchers. The Fletchers added a Victorian Gothic tower to match the medieval Pele. The interiors ae a mix of Regency and Victorian decoration with original William Morris wallpaper. The grounds are also worth exploring with terraces, topiary and a walled garden.
HYPERLINK "http://www.brantwood.org.uk" Brantwood is the former home of famous former Coniston resident, John Ruskin. Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.
The house includes the Ruskin Museum, plus a Gondola trip and afternoon tea in Jumping Jenny´s Cafe. Brantwood boasts some of the best views in the lakes, looking to Coniston Old Man and the lake itself.
Graythwaite Hall Gardens, Ulverston
HYPERLINK "APHRO ALL/LAKE DISTRICT/graythwaite.com/graythwaite-hall"Graythwaite Hall Gardens at Graythwaite, Ulverston were designed by Thomas Mawson in 1896. The gardens combine the formal with the informal. The spring garden is set in a wooded valley of over 12,000 acres, boasting thousands of rhodedendrons and azaleas. Graythwaite has been home to the Sandys family for over 500 years. The family are actively involved with the estate, and the gardens are open from April to September each year. The oldest parts of the hall date back to the 18th Century.
Mirehouse is a family run historic house open to visitors. This house easily makes the list of the top 10 stately homes in the Lake District, and also enjoys strong literary connections. The grounds of the house stretch from Dodd Wood to Bassenthwaite Lake, and include four woodland playgrounds and a heather maze. The house is situated just 3 miles from Keswick, and other attractions include the Poetry Walk, the Rhodedendron Tunnel and Bee Garden. The Old Sawmill Tearoom offers delicious local food.
Why not combine a trip to the stately homes and castles of the Lake District with a stay in a spa hotel in Windermere?