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Lowther Castle and Gardens

Penrith CA10 2HH, England
+44 1931 712192
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Ranked #6 of 32 Attractions in Penrith
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Castles, Gardens
Owner description: A place of inspiration. The gardens at Lowther castle have lain abandoned for 70 years, and the original plantings have long since disappeared leaving... more » Owner description: A place of inspiration. The gardens at Lowther castle have lain abandoned for 70 years, and the original plantings have long since disappeared leaving the the architectural outlines of 17th Century and Edwardian gardens intact despite WWII weapons testing in the gardens, since overplanted with trees and covered by moss and lichen. The castle ruins are a constant reminder of the powerful presence of this place and its role in history. A major restoration project started 4 years ago and has uncovered a stunning selection of garden remains and vistas - the Pate d'Oie, Rock Gardens, Pinetum, 17th C. yew avenue, stunning views from the escarpment, and so much more. Atmospheric and enchanting, these gardens encourage reflection on the stunning past of this unique place. A small restoration exhibition shows details of the work already undertaken on the castle ruin and courtyard areas as well as 'stunning before and after' images. Tree trail, rope swings for all ages, and wild play areas for children. We are a charity. Admittance fees help us to continue the on-going works.Opening hours 10.00am to 5.00pm everyday; adults £8, children under 16 free, well behaved dogs very welcome. Why not visit the Courtyard Cafe for light lunches, soups, sandwiches and a wonderful selection of cakes and bakes. Luxury Picnics (please order in advance) or make up your own from our 'take - away' selection. We also have a gift and plant shop in the stable block. Visitor Feedback and comments:Ms H (London) The gardens are fantastic in their "hidden/secret garden" state Mr S (Worcester) First Visit! Stunning grounds & views. Really informative chat with Head Gardener.Ms U (Kirkby Stephen) Great space, lovely coffee & cake and really like the timeline information boards. Hope you go from strength to strengthMr & Mrs W (Marske by the Sea) A lovely walk through the grounds and a pleasure to see something coming back to life.We will certainly visit again.Ms H (Wirral) Cafe lovely, staff lovely, gardens lovely,Mr & Mrs A Kent We really enjoyed our visit here, with an interesting and scenic walk around the garden, the fascinating ruined castle, the warm and informative welcome and the excellent tearoom.Ms S (Doncaster) Amazed at how much you have achieved since my last visit. Daffodils beautiful. See you again, hopefully not too long. Well done everyone, be proud! « less
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014 NEW

We enjoyed a lovely walk around the gardens which are under development. The development shouldn't put visitors off as the walks and views are breathtaking. We took a small dog and were asked to keep him on a lead. Unfortunately we couldn't visit the cafe and sample the delicious looking cakes as there isn't anywhere to sit with a dog... More

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
21 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014 via mobile

From the brochure I quote' Definitely a different day out' and believe me it's true. This isn't your usual stately home. Hidden away in 130 acres for around 70 years this restoration program is really something and quite different. Apart from ensuring the castle and gardens are secure and safe the program covers ALL aspects and many layers; gardens,wildlife,bits and... More

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
29 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2014

We thought this was a stately home - well, it is, but is a spectacular ruin which is undergoing a programme of conservation, preservation and some restoration. The work will take some time but should not a deterrent to a visit. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, the main area was off limits due to the ongoing work but... More

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Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
40 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014

Having come across the ruined and overgrown Lowther Castle on a walk 10 years ago it was interesting to see what has been done to restore it. Then there was no access and the whole place was behind metal fences with conifers swamping it. With a lot of hard work the gardens have been revealed, not restored yet but a... More

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Worcester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

Firstly dont expect to walk round a castle - yes there are quite beautiful ruins which are still being made safe, largely without a roof, but quite stunning as a backdrop to the gardens. The courtyard and stables have been fully restored to a high standard and now incorporate a very modern cafe (which is very pleasant) a better than... More

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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

Great visits to Lowther Castle, excellent customer service by the ladies in the restaurant, we can recommend the Butternut squash and cous cous for lunch. Excellent Gift, Craft Shop great place to buy Birthday and Christmas presents. Will be visiting the Christmas Craft and Gift Bazaar November 24 to December 24th. The only problem was struggling to find places to... More

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Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
36 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

A fantastic transformation in such a short time. The Gardens are well worth a visit and future visits should be made just to see how the Gardens will be transformed. So sad to see such an estate become derelict and one can only admire the younger generation to be taking this in hand with the help of various organisations. In... More

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Durham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

First visit to this castle. Stopped at the cafe first and had a lunch that was served quickly, beautifully presented, very tasty, and very reasonably priced. We had the Chicken and Ham pie and the Gardener's Platter, both are recommended Then went for a walk through the grounds of the castle to find a variety of gardens in different states... More

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Birmingham England
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

We saw the castle advertised and expected, well you know, a proper castle which we could walk through. Instead we found the shell of Victorian stately home which is being stabilised and a garden which is being restored. Our jaws dropped at the scale of the project and we marvelled at a wild dream being turned into a reality. Work... More

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Liverpool, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

Second visit and more enjoyable than the last. The autumn colours looked fantastic with beautifly weather just right for wandering round the large grounds finding nooks and cranies not noticed last time. Excellent choice of food after the walk and very good price served by friendly staff. All round great experience.

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