The elegant mansion of Mirehouse was built in 1666 and has been owned by the same family since 1688. Modern visitors have access to several grand ground-floor rooms which house an interesting collection of furniture, portraits and letters from various notable friends of the family. These include the Poets Laureate William Wordsworth, Lord Tennyson and Robert Southey, Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle and the landscape painter John Constable.
Visitors are also free to explore the grounds, which reach from the base of Skiddaw down to the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. There are four adventure playgrounds to keep the children entertained while the adults enjoy a stroll. The 10-minute walk on a public footpath down to St Bega’s Church is particularly popular. This ancient, pre-Norman church sits alone in an enchanting spot beside Bassenthwaite Lake.
Opposite the entrance to Mirehouse on the A591, within Forestry England’s Dodd Wood car park, is the Old Sawmill Tearoom. This specialises in home-made Cumbrian fayre as well as cakes and scones.
Mirehouse is less than four miles north of Keswick and can easily be reached by bus from the town centre.