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Lowther Castle and Gardens

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Penrith CA10 2HH, England
Phone Number: +44 1931 712192
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10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

A place of inspiration. The gardens at Lowther castle have lain abandoned...

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!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 343 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 184
  • 110
    Very good
  • 30
  • 11
  • 8
A Dog Friendly day out!

The gardens are in the early stages of a mega reform and we plan to visit regularly to follow progress. Dogs are made very welcome but must be on leads in the gardens. They are... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Chris W
Kendal, United Kingdom
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343 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The gardens are in the early stages of a mega reform and we plan to visit regularly to follow progress. Dogs are made very welcome but must be on leads in the gardens. They are also allowed in an area of the cafe which serves a nice selection of lunches and cakes!

Thank Chris W
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I thought this was going to be a real castle and was both surprised and a little sad when I learned the tragic history of the estate. It's a fascinating restoration work and the team on site have worked so hard. So many incredible little corners being uncovered all the time. It's so sad that the estate was left to... More 

Thank Mandarinlivs
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We stumbled across this purely because of a road closure due to floods. I had no idea this existed. A beautiful looking ruin which has been rescued and is going through a major restoration. Really wanted to explore the site but unfortunately the weather was not kind. Had a cup of tea in the lovely cafe and browsed the shop.... More 

2 Thank Wonderfultrev
Penrith, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2015 via mobile

Love this place, the grounds are spectacular and the cafe food is lovely. Well done Lowther. Even the toilets are the converted stable blocks....

1 Thank Phill C
Penrith, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2015

The gardens are a work in progress and that is part of their fascination. If you have the opportunity to return on a regular basis you will see the changes as they take place. It is a good place to bring children as they can run around, there are rope swings for them to play on and you can enjoy... More 

Penrith, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2015

We had fun playing on the big swings like big kids , and looking around seeing how there trying to restore it all, the gardens have some interesting little things in there and great views, a picnic and a bit of sun it will be a great day out for the family!

1 Thank tracea1971
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2015

This is a huge country house "castle", the interior of which was demolished when the owners could no longer afford to run it and no local authority would accept it as a gift. So the main building is just a shell, but it's very impressive nevertheless. Some of the old stable side-buildings have been converted into a great shop (really... More 

1 Thank DrDC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2015 via mobile

Beautiful castle with a number of secret gardens and walks to discover! Generally a good day out for the whole family!! Me and my wife decided to visit on our way home to Suffolk, and had a fantastic time!!

2 Thank Oliver H
Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2015

For so many years driving past this icon it is great to see that it is gradually being resorted to former glories. Tastefully being upgraded with a nice tea shop & gift shop this place can only get better. Didn't visit the gardens though due to rain.

1 Thank Blackzel
Level Contributor
182 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2015

Been to Lowther Castle earlier in the year, such a stunning place to visit in all seasons. We didn’t pre book this event but went along on the first of the two nights. At only £7 per adult and £5 per child it is worth every penny. I don’t want to spoil the fun. But there is a Nerf gun... More 

1 Thank LydiaCarlisle

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Kent, United Kingdom
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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?