Cumbria is not only famous for its lovely lakes and stunning scenery, it’s also steeped in rich history which has resulted in some incredible castles and mansions being built along the way. Step back in time and come face-to-face with magnificent castles and ruins such as Wray Castle and Lowther Castle along with breath-taking buildings such as Holker Hall, Askham Hall and Rydal Hall; all of which come with their own well-kept gardens and land. There is also the chance to relax in the quaint towns of Kendal and Windermere.
DURING YOUR STAY
Day 1 – We have a short stop in Bolton before making our way to the hotel.
Day 2 – This morning, we travel to Holker Hall and Gardens, home to the Cavendish family who welcome visitors from far and wide into their lovely stately home. Around the Hall, you will find a beautiful countryside landscape with gardens that merge into the Lakeland Hills’ parkland. After, we visit the delightful Furness Abbey, which was founded by Stephen, Count of Boulogne and Mortain, who later became King of England. The remains of this site are a wonderful spectacle and there is also an opportunity to look at some of the treasures that have been found on excavations, including a monk’s gemstone ring.
Day 3 – Today, we travel to National Trust’s Wray Castle in Ambleside. This Victorian, Neo-Gothic building has only recently been open to the public on a regular basis. It stands proudly with towers and turrets overlooking the Lake Windermere shores and has beautiful grounds just waiting to be explored. This afternoon, there is free time in the well-known market town of Kendal. Why not find a quaint café to sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea along with a taste of some of Kendal’s famous Mint Cake?
Day 4 – After a leisurely breakfast, there is chance to explore Windermere. This busy little town has a great variety of local shops and is also home to Lakeland’s flagship store. After, we travel to Rydal Hall and Garden. This 17th Century mansion is set across 34 acres of beautiful grounds. Famous writer, William Wordsworth, was once a resident of the area from 1813 until his death in 1850 and it has been said that the local surroundings inspired some of his work, including ‘An Evening Walk’.
Day 5 – Our first visit of the day is Askham Hall & Gardens, which has recently been named a World Heritage Site. The Grade II listed gardens are perfect for exploring. Keep your eyes peeled for 230ft long herbaceous border, formal lawns and ponds, to name just a few of the fantastic features here. Our second visit takes us to Lowther Castle. Prepare to be amazed by these spectacular castle ruins where you can imagine the Victorian hey-day this site once experienced.
Day 6 – After a wonderful break, we make our way home.
Shap Wells Hotel, Penrith ***
Located on the edge of the Lake District, Shap Wells Hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms and is surrounded by 30 acres of woodland and wildlife.
• Bar & restaurant
• Free wifi in public areas
4 nights dinner, bed and breakfast
Visit to Bolton
Free time in Kendal and Windermere
Admission to Holker Hall & Gardens, Furness Abbey, Wray Castle, Askham Hall & Gardens, Rydal Hall & Gardens and Lowther Castle.
SKILLS REF: LXCD
DEPARTURE DATE DAYS FROM S/SUPP
Tues 31st July 6 £549 £75