National Trust in the Lake DistrictBACK
10th March 2022
It’s March and that signals the reopening of several National Trust locations in the Lake District. Below we take a look at a few of our favourites, all within easy reach of Birkdale House.
Hill Top, Near Sawrey
If you’re a fan of Beatrix Potter, this is a must visit. Hill Top is the former home of this celebrated author and is a step back in time, having been preserved to look just as it did when she was penning those famous tales.
Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with proceeds from her first few books and it became the inspiration for several more books. Inside the house is pretty much as she left it, with original illustrations laid out and still packed full of her personal possessions.
Outside, the delightful cottage garden is just beginning to reawaken, an explosion of colour after the cold, dark days of winter.
Sizergh Castle, near Kendal
This striking medieval manor has been home to the Strickland family for more than 750 years and is filled with thousands of items collected over twenty-six generations, including the internationally renowned Inlaid Chamber.
Outside, the wonderful garden and grounds offer a variety of walks through around 1,600 acres of countryside including wetland, woodland and orchards.
Claife Viewing Station
Claife Viewing Station was built in the 1790s for the first tourists to visit the Lake District. Minutes from the Bowness ferry, Claife Viewing Station offers amazing views of the Lake Windermere, framed by coloured glass.
While you’re on Windermere’s west shore, why not visit Wray Castle? Built in the 1830s, Wray Castle is one of the National Trust’s more unusual properties, a folly featuring turrets, towers, arrow slits and a portcullis. It was once used by Beatrix Potter’s family for their holidays, and more recently has been a youth hostel and a training centre for the Merchant Navy.
Outside the grounds are crying out to be explored – the perfect spot for the kids to run around.
Tarn Hows is a beautiful, man-made tarn in the heart of the Lake District, and ideal for a family walk, with a circular 1¾-mile path around the tarns. The mountain views are a sight to behold, particularly in the morning or evening list. Bring your camera!
Townend is a cosy farmhouse near Windermere and is absolutely brimming with character. Home to the Browne family for over four-hundred year, it’s full of intricately carved furniture, a library containing over 1,500 books, including forty-four which are the only remaining copies on the world, and Elizabeth Browne’s original cookery book.
Outside, take a stroll in the cottage-style garden or relax among the colourful flowers and traditional fruit trees, soaking up the views across the valley.
Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston
Step back in time with a trip aboard The National Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water. The vessel is a rebuilt version based on the 1859 original, with inspiration taken from a traditional Venetian ‘Burchiello’ boat, with elegant saloons and ornate decoration relecting the tastes of the Victorians.
The knowledgeable crew provide a commentary on famous landmarks and the history of the lake. Cruises depart from Coniston Pier, subject to weather.
Fell Foot, Newby Bridge
Our final stop is Fell Foot, at the southern tip of Lake Windermere. Fell Foot is one of the few places where you can access England’s largest lake, perfect for paddling, boat hire and picnicking. With forty-three acres of beautiful parkland, this is a fantastic day out for the whole family.
There are so many National Trust locations in the Lake District, all offering something for everyone, young and old. This is just a snapshot of a few of our favourites which are within easily accessible from Birkdale House – for more information, please do get in touch.