Lowther Castle & Gardens

4 mins read

Introduction to Lowther Castle & Gardens

Lowther Castle & Gardens sit on the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. In the gently rolling countryside beside the River Lowther. What you see today is just the outer shell of the mansion built in 1814 for the first Earl of Lonsdale. William Lowther, largely derived his fortune from the West Cumberland coal mines. The family’s wealth, however, was squandered by the fifth earl. He lived an ostentatious lifestyle in the first few decades of the twentieth century and the Lowthers were forced to dismantle the castle in 1957.

pathing leading from carpark to Lowther Castle and Gardens

The site is so much more than just these outer walls today. It’s a place for lovers of gardens and woods to wander. It’s part of a more significant estate for cyclists and walkers to explore. For children, Lowther Castle & Gardens has the most humungous adventure playground.

Gardens and Grounds

Visitors enter the grounds through an exhibition explaining the history of Lowther Castle & Gardens and the family who own it. They then step out into the informal garden that’s been planted within the walls of the mansion. The best view of the ruin is from the massive lawns and landscaped grounds that lie to the south of it. First laid out in the seventeenth century, these have only recently been restored. Work continues on returning them to their former glory.

Best spots to admire the castle’s ruins and surrounding scenery.

Paths crisscross the grounds, providing vantage points from which to admire the ruins, the gardens and the surrounding countryside. The Western Terrace, in particular, provides superb views across the valley to the fells of the eastern Lake District. Should the weather turn bad, restored summerhouses are scattered about to hide in. Grab a hot drink from the ‘into the woods’ refreshment hut, and wait for the rain to pass.

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Activities and features specifically for children, like the Lost Castle.

Younger visitors will find lots to do, whatever the weather. There are tree swings, a willow den and balance beams. But best of all, there’s the Lost Castle. Hidden away in the woods, this is a wooden representation of the real castle. It is a massive maze of walkways and turrets big enough for the whole family to explore. There are slides and zip wires and climbing walls. Some of it designed for older children, some explicitly intended for toddlers.

The lost castle playground at Lowther Castkle
The Lost Castle playground at Lowther Castkle & Gardens

Refreshments, Amenities and Activities

As well as the ‘into the woods’ refreshment hut, Lowther Castle also has an indoor café that serves hot and cold meals. This is located in the entrance courtyard, where you’ll also find a souvenir shop and bike hire. Bikes aren’t allowed within the castle grounds, but there are many miles of trails. Lowther Park consists of 3,500-acre , with trails heading out into the surrounding countryside. For walkers, there is a way-marked route that leads down to the banks of the River Lowther. Then up on to the low moorland above the pretty village of Askham. Known as the Lowther Castle Loop, this is a seven-mile extension to the 20-mile Ullswater Way.

More information:

Website: https://lowthercastle.org/

Opening times:

Monday-Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm (4pm winter months)

Address: Lowther Castle, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2HH

For more ideas on family days out in the area, go to our article Things to do in Lake District with family.