I spent a lot of my childhood in the Lake District and I still frequent it as an adult, but in all that time, I have never heard of or visited Lowther Castle before.

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle

When I was given the opportunity to visit it- I jumped at the chance to tick another Cumbrian place of interest off my list. 

As it was the first day in December when we visited there was a chill in the air, so we wrapped up warm and made our way from the car park to the coffee shop in the old Stable Yard for something to warm us up.

The café is very modern inside and offers a large range of refreshments and food to indulge in before or after (or both) your tour around the building and gardens. We enjoyed a hearty tomato and butter bean soup and hot drink before we went back out in the cool winter air to explore.

The Story of Lowther- is your first port of call and it's a series of information boards and artefacts located inside the main building that told us all about the castle’s inhabitants over the years. There are a few colourful characters indeed- but I will leave their story as a surprise for you when you go!

Then we ventured into the ruins of Lowther Castle itself where we could visualise where key areas of the building used to be and where work had been done to stabilise the structure- thus making it safe of people to walk around.

The building is right next to the Parterre- an area of garden which, from above, was designed to look like a tapestry- testament to how grand it would have looked in its heyday.

There are many outdoor areas of interest in the grounds- including the New Orchard, the Rock Garden, Japanese Garden and Sweet Scented Garden- all of which have their own unique appearance and story. Many of them are being worked on by volunteers to uncover some of the original features of the gardens when they were in their prime. So, it’s interesting to see to constant progress that’s being made when you compare the areas that have been tended to and the places that are yet to be discovered.  

At the end of Yew Avenue is the new Rose Garden which is still being implemented and is set to be ready in summer of next year. At present, you can certainly see the scope of the project, which is bound to be beautiful when it’s complete.

The Jubilee Summer House is a must- apparently the Queen came to picnic here to admire the sweeping views of the mountains and Lowther River and it’s obvious why- a photographer’s delight.

Lowther Caste might not strike you as a place that is particularly targeted at children but once you reach The Lost Castle- any concerns you might have are put to bed. This large, wooden structure boasts slides, hiding places, climbing areas and nooks and crannies where children can play and enjoy the outdoors while mums and dads can rest.

This area has a toilet and café too, so you have everything you need if the kids want to spend some time there. As it’s set far back into the woodland- even the noisiest of little adventurers won’t disturb the people looking from some quiet time around the rest of the site.  

The newest addition to this area is the party house, which you can book out for children’s birthdays by the hour while they have exclusive access to The Lost Castle. Now that would be a birthday to remember!

The Castle is also hosting a Gingerbread Man hunt at present so children, which is free with entry and has a sweet prize on completion.

Once you reach the end of the South Lawns, there is a magnificent view of the castle against the backdrop of the mountains which is the perfect selfie/picture spot if you want to capture some memories of your day. During the summer, the lawns are also available for families to enjoy picnics on- so feel free to bring your own food.

Jack Croft’s Pond was frozen over when we visited, however the summer house situated at the end is the perfect place to sit and look out onto the water and wildlife in the warmer months.

As the grounds were very icy- we were unable to take advantage of all areas of the site, however there are other attractions in and around the castle that are more suited to the spring and summer months.

The grounds are very extensive so, depending on your level of fitness- you can make your walk as long or as short as you like; our tour took just over an hour.

As we walked around- it struck me that this is the perfect spot for a post-Christmas walk to burn off all those excess calories if you live nearby. The site is dog friendly too, so you can bring your pooch along for some exercise. 

This year the Castle is hosting Christmas markets too- the next one is on the 10th December where you can combine your visit with some festive stall shopping.

The courtyard also has a new firepit and illuminated turret-shaped trees which look beautiful by night and make the perfect setting for late night shopping at the onsite gift shop and of course the Christmas markets.

At the end of our tour, we went back to the café for a scone and another drink as we’d worked up quite an appetite.

Overall, I was really impressed with Lowther Castle- although it’s a cliché- it has something for everyone and is suited to all types of weather.

We were joined by many mums with their babies as a place to take their pushchair around, older couples who were taking advantage of the warmth and the wholesome food and then there was us- so it’s great for romantic walks with your partner too.

If the weather is unkind- you can simply go for your lunch, look out at the view and pay a visit to the shop. If the weather is fair- you can learn a little something in the Story of Lowther, or with a tour guide, simply walk around the gardens to reach your step count or take the kids for a day out that doesn’t involve any digital devices.

Lowther Castle is a hidden gem within the landscape of the English Lake District so if you’re in the area- it’s well worth a visit. And if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the red squirrels!

Thanks to Peter, Pamela and Anne for making our visit one to remember.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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