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Lowther Castle & Gardens In The Lake District – A Complete Guide

Lowther Castle is a historic country house with beautiful gardens. So here’s a guide to visiting the remaining ruins from medieval times.

How To Get To Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle is located just outside the small village of Lowther, in the very North East corner of the Lake District region.

The entrance can be found roughly 5 miles from the small town of Pooley Bridge, and 6 miles from the popular town of Penrith.

Car

The easiest way to reach Lowther Castle is by car, following google maps to postcode CA10 2HH.

Free parking is available at the entrance.

Cycle

We rented electric bikes from Arragon’s Cycle Centre and can highly recommend them.

We used them to bike from Pooley Bridge to Aira Force Waterfall, and you could definitely do the same to reach Lowther Castle.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there is no public transport connecting the outside areas to Lowther Castle.

Penrith is the closest train station to Lowther, and the best option is to either call a taxi (Penrith Taxis 01768 899298) or rent a car for the day from there.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Lowther Castle Entrance Fee

Adults: £11

Children: £7 (3-15 years)

Family Ticket: £34 (2 Adults & up to 3 Children)

Under 3 years: Free

Carer: Free

Dogs are welcome at Lowther Castle provided they are kept on their leads at all times.

For regular visitors, or those local to the area, there are even Annual Passes and Life Passes available through the Lowther Castle website.

Parking: Free

The Lowther Castle car park is only small, so it does fill up fast.

If this is the case, follow signs to Low Sawmill Car Park, where there is a charge of just £2.00 per day.

Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
The admission area at Lowther Castle.

Lowther Castle Opening Times

Lowther Castle is open daily all year round (except Christmas day).

Summer: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Winter: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Last entry is one hour before closing.

Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
Lauren skipping her way through the entrance.

Best Time To Visit Lowther Castle

As with any tourist attraction, the best time to visit Lowther Castle is first thing in the morning. The earlier the better to avoid crowds!

Be sure to check the weather because although the museum is spectacular from the inside, the most beautiful part is the grounds and gardens outside at Lowther Castle.

Another thing to mention is to wear sensible shoes. If you plan on seeing the best of what’s on offer, you’ll be doing a fair bit of walking.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
The first part of the history of Lowther Castle museum.

Lowther Castle History

Lowther Castle was commissioned at the beginning of 1806 by William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale.

As you can imagine, the castle was a grand location back in the day. Many important gatherings were held here, and it boasted a room for every day of the year.

Unfortunately though, as the family fortune was passed down, it eventually came into the hands of Hugh Lowther, the 5th Earl of Lonsdale.

A famous socialite, he didn’t do a great job of maintaining his wealth and in fact spent his way through the majority of it.

The castle’s upkeep was too extravagant for the 20th Century, and unfortunately it was closed in 1937 and left abandoned.

Fast forward 20 years and after taking too much damage in the war, it was eventually demolished in 1957.

Just the facade and outer walls remained standing and for over half a century, the castle was left empty. Home to only chickens, pigs and the odd bat, it became quite a run down location.

The prestige gardens that were once the envy of the north, had sadly been lost to wilderness.

Today, after intervention by public funding bodies and the creation of the Lowther Castle & Gardens Trust, Lowther Castle is once again of the most intriguing attractions in the Lake District.

Dramatic ruins, gardens within gardens, and an adventure playground to rival the best in the land. It’s a great day out for all the family.

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Standing tall and proud.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
The courtyard ruins.
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Flowers and castle backdrops.

What To Expect At Lowther Castle & Gardens

From the history and artefacts on show, to the 130-acres of gardens on Lowther estate, there’s something for everyone at Lowther Castle.

There are even tree swings and dens for the children, and scrumptious foods on offer in the cafe.

We visited in October, and the Autumn colours were out in full force. As we entered through the grand gateway we were greeted by old stables, where refreshments and toilets are available. There was even a food truck selling baked potatoes!

We then moved through the museum, learning about some of the history behind Lowther Castle and taking photos of the exhibitions on our way.

The vegetarian Viscount Lonsdale, Wicked Jimmy and the Yellow Earl are all prominent characters in the exhibitions and Lowther Castle has done a great job of making them fun.

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Arriving at the main entrance to Lowther Castle.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
Lauren throwing up a peace sign in the yellow exhibition.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
Quick snap in the mirror.

Lowther Gardens

The best part though, was exiting out into the courtyard. The remains of the castle were impressive but the grounds were breathtaking.

Lauren found herself in her element as colourful flowers were blooming in every direction.

As you leave the courtyard and enter into the vast grounds, you can’t help but imagine the wealth behind the family that once called Lowther Castle home.

There are plenty of areas to walk around and we’ll leave you to explore them all. You can actually see them all on an awesome hand drawn map here.

Overall, Lowther Castle is a great day out. If you’re looking for things to do in Penrith you’d be mad to miss it, or at least pass it on one of the many cycling and walking trails that cross the grounds.

It was refreshing to see how this once run down and abandoned castle, was being brought back to life through love, inspiration and dedication.

If you’re looking for other castles in the Lake District, a couple of my favourite are Muncaster Castle and Sizergh Castle.

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Lauren getting snap happy in the gardens.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
The gardens and grounds seem to go on forever.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
Quick post for the camera.
Lowther Castle Gardens Lowther Castle Cumbria
And a cheesy smile to end the day!

Where To Stay In The Lake District

Luxury

Lakes Hotel & Spa

This luxurious hotel is perfectly situated with views of Lake Windermere, a short stroll from the village of Bowness-on-Windermere.

The hotel can arrange collection from Windemere station which is just 10 minutes away.

Lakes Hotel & Spa has some of the best on-site facilities in the area, half of the rooms with hot tubs on private balconies. There’s also an on-site spa, a stylish restaurant and a cocktail bar. As well as bike hire, wakesurfing and paddleboading.

There are many walks that you can take straight from the hotel gates, and there are even boats that travel the length of Windermere, making it easy to visit surrounding areas.

Mid-Budget

The George Hotel by Best Western

This traditional hotel stands in the very centre of the bustling market town of Penrith.

Free parking and free Wi-Fi is available at the property. Meals are available to enjoy in the intimate, candlelit Devonshire restaurant which boasts a beautiful open fire.

The wood panelling and old local wall prints combine to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where many generations of loyal visitors have returned time after time.

Budget

Albany House

Located in Penrith, Albany House offers bed-and-breakfast accommodation with free WiFi access throughout.

Guests benefit from free public parking facilities near the accommodation. The property also boasts a 4 gold-star rating from the AA, along with breakfast awards.

Rooms at Albany House B&B come with a flat-screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities and either an en-suite or external bathroom.

Breakfast is available between 8:00 and 9:00 every morning in the common breakfast room.

For more places to stay in the Lake District, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Lowther Castle & Gardens In Penrith Guide