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“Fantastic place!”

Lowther Castle and Gardens
Ranked #2 of 55 things to do in Penrith
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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!
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fantastic place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

We visited on a cold April day and had a great time! It was amazing to wander around the gardens as they are being rediscovered. The children loved our visit, especially the squirrel trail quiz and all the swings. We can't wait to return and see what progress is made, I can see us coming back year on year.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank taalia81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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623 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Surat Thani, Thailand
Level Contributor
390 reviews
207 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
“Rolling back the years”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

This is a breathtaking project and one where regular visitors will see gradual changes. This is not a restoration like the lost gardens of Heligan....some parts of the castle and grounds will be restored but apparently it is not the intention to recreate the past.
When we visited, the many thousands of planted daffodils should have been in full bloom but the bitterly cold weather had delayed things but nevertheless it was worth more than the admission money to see the magnificent views of the Lake District fells and surrounding countryside. The warmth of the welcome helped to offset the cold weather and from what has already been uncovered, it was easy to imagine the overall grandeur of times gone by. It must be a real haven for wild life, including red squirrels, although there was little evidence when we visited...presumably they were sheltering from the cold! There are magnificent trees and in places where uncontrolled growth has occurred, there are the most amazing shapes which will probably not be as evident in summer. A huge rock garden has been uncovered and it was good to see a notice explaining who had carried out the work.
After a bracing walk through the grounds ( had it been less "bracing", we would have stayed longer!), the tea rooms beckoned. Excellent cafe and close by is a display by the Penrith red squirrel group where some gifts can be purchased. If we lived in the area, we would undoubtedly go regularly as it is the sort of place where there will always be something new to see. A fantastic place to visit....please go! On a warm day, it would be possible to spend all day there.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Suratrichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A magical place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

OK, admitttedly it did help that the sun was finally shining after this interminable winter BUT this is a lovely place which is being very sensitively restored / maintained / left alone. I really liked the fact you could wander almost anywhere you liked, and along the way there were some intriguing ruins, plenty of wildlife, and fabulous views of snow-capped fells from the escarpment. The woman who took our entrance money was informative, friendly, witty, and altogether lovely, which greatly enhanced the whole experience. What they have achieved so far is very impressive, and I look forward to a return visit.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank InspectorBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penrith, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
134 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Wonderful vision”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

The castle is being restored and is set in huge grounds which are being redeveloped on a huge scale. There are beautiful views and vistas,hidden gardens, summer houses including one where the Queen and Prince Phillip have pic-nicked. The cafe is worth a visit.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Penrithperson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A pleasant surprise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

This was well worth the visit, the lady on the addmitance was very informative and friendly. The castle and gardens are a work in progress but still plenty to see. As we walked through the wood an owl flew over our heads really close, we saw a load of herons nesting in the trees and also a few woodpeckers this place is a very enjoyable day out with many views and hidden gems dotted around the gardens. I will definitely be visiting here again

Visited April 2013
1 Thank corrigan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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