Wray Castle
Wray Castle
3.5
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Discover this great estate with sweeping parkland, woodland and shingle shoreline on Windermere lake. Take in the grounds and panoramic fell views via waymarked paths and find original features such as the boathouse and miniature harbour, exotic firs and veteran oaks. Walk, run or cycle along the four mile lakeside path on Windermere’s West shore from Wray to Claife Viewing Station and Bowness Ferry. All against the backdrop of the imposing Victorian Gothic-Revival castle. Inside, take a glimpse at the castle’s ground floor rooms featuring changing exhibits. Joey’s Café offers drinks and snacks to be enjoyed inside and out.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Wray Castle
See what travelers are saying
  • FirenzeMamma
    Dorset, United Kingdom96 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic location
    This extraordinary pastiche of a medieval castle is in a fantastic location with wonderful views. There are lovely walks in the grounds. It’s owned by the National Trust, which has a very long plan of renovation works. The cafe, not run by the NT, was very disappointing.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 3, 2023
  • wilderspin
    Cambridge, United Kingdom167 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visit for the walks and grounds to explore, not the house
    The rating and review is based on the parklands and area for walks etc, for which the only fee is car parking. The pay and display car park is not that large so we struggled to find a space initially. The 'castle' is a very basic house inside, and you can only access about 6 or 7 rooms, all on the ground floor and empty ( apart from a few being used for a photo exhibition) so quite soulless. I'd say visit to take photos outside, and do explore the walks and woodlands etc but don't fork out to enter the 'castle' itself ( we are national trust members so no fee for car park or going inside the house).
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Alison R
    Ipswich, United Kingdom34 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Include this in your walk
    Although you can only view the ground floor rooms which are empty of furniture it was a lovely building and has a very good exhibition showing photos, some taken by Beatrix Potter's father. It was a shame the building appears to sit in limbo until the future of it is fully decided. It was free entry to the castle for everyone and the carpark was free for NT members. There are some goods walks from here, especially alongside the lake. Toilets and a cafe available but no shop to collect a souvenir badge!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Dancer K
    76 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely nature walk along the lake!
    We walked from the car ferry drop off point to the castle and it was not an hour walk but longer, we wanted to walk at a medium pace, enjoying the scenery. Two cafes at the beginning of the walk but nothing in between, just a path. The castle has a lovely cafe Joe's that do so many gluten free and vegan snacks as well as food. Same shop by the ferry drip off point. There's a bus stop 22m walk away if you don't want to walk back, you can go to Ambleside in 10m. It shuts at 4 on a Sunday though!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 16, 2023
  • mrandmrsg626
    Manchester, United Kingdom148 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive castle & great walks around it
    Wray castle is free to enter & only the ground floor is open at the moment. The castle is not furnished but there are very interesting displays of photography & items related to the castle. The volunteers were so helpful & full of interesting information. If you are a non National Trust member you have to pay for parking, if you have arrived by car! There are some lovely walks in the grounds, down to the lake & further afield.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 19, 2023
  • kpmart
    31 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Castle a bit pointless inside but lovely walks
    The castle itself is a little boring to be honest. I can see why it is free. Only the ground floor is open and really there is only very little information in one or two rooms. Not particularly exciting but looks impressive from the outside and there are lovely walks around. Also activities 'summer games' on for kids. Cafe (independent) was nice
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 4, 2023
  • Angela S
    Birmingham, United Kingdom92 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    A pleasant visit to Wray Castle.
    You don’t get to see much of the interior of the castle, which is disappointing. They had a really fascinating exhibition of Herbert Bell and Rupert Potter’s photography, which was definitely worth a look. The grounds are lovely and the castle is a starting point for several walks.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Tams86
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great views & a nice couple of hours out
    We visited here whilst staying in The Lakes & it’s such a lovely place to visit. Highly recommend a walk down to the beach & a paddle in Lake Windermere especially if you bring a picnic. Joes cafe is nice & the cakes are definitely one to add to the list, it would be great to see more children options available for food though
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Franco V
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Victorian folly on Windermere...
    Caught the boat from Ambleside and sailed across Windemere to dock at the boathouse pier of Wray Castle. Then it's a short ascent through the woods and around the bend to the front of the castle. It's really a folly built in the 19th century by a mad Victorian to look like a medieval fortress and it's amazing. It was worth coming to just stand and take it in. This is a National Trust property but is free if you don't bring your car. You can go inside to take a look at the first floor, again this is free and then head off and explore the grounds and shoreline. It's a lovely spot and there is a vegan cafe, Joey's next to the house who do a lovely ice cream for us and ice cream treats for your dogs if you take them along. We also had their coffee which is good and tried their curry pastie which wasn't cheap but was worth every penny. Very cool coffee bar with a nice patio area and tables and you can stay as long as you want. Worth timing your return on the ferry by queuing on the pier as everyone seems to want to leave at the same time and a lot of people never made it onto our launch which only seated 60 and had to wait for the next one. We took the Green cruise which takes you to Wray then to Brockhole and then back to Ambleside. A lovely way to fill in a lazy afternoon in the lakes. The sunshine was a bonus!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 20, 2023
  • Ljubica B
    London, United Kingdom7,486 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great location for a castle
    Lovely place next to Windermere lake…. The grounds are stunning 😍. They grounds are full lovely walking pathways… the air is very fresh, they have an outdoor cafe, some benches to enjoy a picnic. The architecture and location is simple stunning. Please bring sone comfortable shoes, parking is available.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 21, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles2,117 reviews
Excellent
608
Very good
584
Average
379
Poor
248
Terrible
298

StevWu
United Kingdom37 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
Where to start…we found Wray Castle a few year back at it was fab! Loads to do for our young children over many floors.
Now it’s basically a shell with nothing inside but 5-6 empty rooms! What a shame!
Do not waste your time going my kids were so so disappointed
To top it off we queued for 1hr for a truck stop style cafe called joeys that cost us £30+ Very little average snack food.
Avoid this place until it’s restored to its former self
Written July 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jayesh
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Hi. Visited wray castle today. Only things working in order is the collection of parking fees. Yes thats correct. But even the parking fees machines dont operate without cash. You will have to walk at the reception pay parking fee, come back to the car park and stick the paid slip on dashboard.
Now while entering the reception, they put their well effort telling you not to visit as there is nothing preserved in of old times other than that of building structure only. But they are correct when they try and tell you off as there is nothing inside the castle other than the empty room with normal table tennis and snooker table.
There is no connection with internet at the reception due to which they arent able to charge you entry fees and the card keeps declining.
There is one of the parking machine which is out of order even if u have cash.
Not at all a place for tourist if you visiting the castle to have a look in the sense of tourism.

Thank you
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ejg7983
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We visited Wray castle on a rainy, windy day during February half term with children aged 6, 8 and 12 years old. My 8 year old said it was the most fun castle he'd ever visited. There are soft play rooms, a table tennis table, snooker table, drawing activities, a dress up room, a pretend campsite, a nautical themed room, a miniature dry stone wall to build, Peter Rabbit themed rooms and more. The food in the cafe was delicious. We did a drawing activity and found out lots about the history of the castle and the fact that Beatrix Potter stayed there for 3 months on her first ever visit to the Lake District. The views across Windermere are stunning. We didn't explore the grounds due to the weather. If you are expecting your usual National Trust property you may be disappointed but if you have young children they won't be!
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
Disappointed with Wray Castle and National Trust should be embarrassed that they charge people to visit. We actually didn’t pay to get in but I still wouldn’t recommend even if free. You’ll never get that hour or so back. The outside is visually stunning and the view is great but inside is a joke. I don’t know how to explain this place. It’s kind of like a run down youth club with many random empty rooms and some partially filled with completely weird exhibits or pieces of paper to colour on. I wanted to apologise to the foreign tourists who must have paid nearly £30 for a family of four. National Trust, this place is a disgrace. Sell it, remove the entrance price for all, or do something useful as the place has excellent potential.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Venture743195
22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Parking is a bit of a rip off at £5 for up to 2 hours .The castle was closed however we had a lovely walk near the woodlands towards Windermere lake which we really enjoyed and got some lovely pictures . Toilets were free of charge and we went into the café .Again quite expensive £13.00 for 2 cans and 2 sandwiches which didn't come with salad or any sides just in a takeaway bag we enjoyed them tho .
Written October 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheCelticCrusaders
Wales78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Couples
Outstanding visit, the work NT are carrying out is first class, what an absolute pleasure that we are allowed into the castle and see the quality of work carried out when built. NT have done a lot of work and we look forward to coming back in a couple of years to see further what they have done.

The views are stunning and being able to sit on the plentiful seats and look out at the mountains and lake is first class.

Thanks to the gentleman in the hallway who's passion for Wray is evident to see.

Please start charging again to go inside or put a donation box.
Thank you for saving this building.
Written September 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

simply-peregrinating
Waddington, UK2,732 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We enjoyed a couple of most informative talks about Wray Castle which made up for the lack of furniture in the building. It was interesting to walk around from an architectural point of view but there was little to see. One disappointment was the cafe, very little choice and way over priced coffee, not up to the usual NT standard.
Written January 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JillyW
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
Our family of 4 adults visited Wray Castle less than 2 weeks ago. The 'castle' is under renovation and should NOT be charging the admission fee of £6 per adult.
The only room of any vague interest is showing approx 10 photographs of Wray Castle's owners in previous decades, including Beatrix Potters' father.
They have put some colouring pictures in a second room for young children - and every other room downstairs is empty.

The access to the upstairs is cordoned off so there is literally hardly anything to see.

Staff at the entrance did not mention that the renovation was taking place and there were a lot of irate visitors.
If we had not already been National Trust members, we would have demanded our money back.

Even the grounds were very overgrown, but the views from the edges of the lake were lovely.

Shame on the website- we travelled 30+ miles to visit the castle and were very disappointed.
Written September 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Belinda D
Montrose26 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Family
Hugely dissapointed, our first visit to the Lakes, we looked up where to visit, Wray Castle was close and we read there were dressing up rooms for children to re-enact period history. Our expenditure...£15 for parking (3 cars) for 2 hours, £37.80 entry to Castle and £10 for a few packets of juice. No dressing up, no walking around the castle as restrictions in place, Entry fee was to view 5 empty rooms on the ground floor, 1 room containing a few Beatrix Potter photographs. Dirty toilets. No access to play trail (we had 3 young children) due to the storms at the beginning of the year taking down a tree. Such a dissapointment...The only nice part was one of the rooms has tables with coloured pencils to colour in paper crowns.
Written September 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katie
Manchester, UK50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Walked dog around grounds and to the beach,

There's a boat trip which runs all day for 11 per adult which stops off at a few stops and returns you back to the castle (dogs not allowe) but this looked great! It used the lovely gothic style Dock that the castle used.

This castle is an interesting one, because albeit it's a new castle mimicking the gothic style, the history of the couple and what came to be of the house being passed to an owner who become a massive influencing character in preservation and then one of the three founding members of the national trust! Who knew!

The house is currently undergoing roof work, so only downstairs is open they say they think by next summer the upstairs should be open.

The rooms downstairs are in wonderful knick, as they were only built in the 1890sish era anyway. The woodwork, flooring and tiles are in wonderful condition and just really make you appreciate the workmanship gone into the detailing of the house.

I think it's intriguing how they also did mock ruins around the castle too, which ironically fell to ruin themselves, and the only remaining glass house (used for growing ferns) remains but is unaccessible due to it collapsing or something.

The circular walks are beautiful, lots of shaded woodland area and walks along the path that you can easily dip into the lake, it would even be a lovely mooring spot to kayak/ row up to!
Written July 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,088
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Wray Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Ambleside HotelsAmbleside Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Ambleside
All things to do in Ambleside
Spas & Wellness in AmblesideDay Trips in Ambleside
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars