Historic Houses, Castles & Gardens

Visit these historic houses in the Lake District when staying at The Forest Side:

Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby – is a tranquil haven known for its collection of over 250 herbs, hotbeds, vegetable patches and traditional fruit orchards Acorn Bank

Allan Bank, Grasmere – is a Georgian villa and former home of English poet, William Wordsworth. In 2011 the house suffered from a major fire, but has subsequently undergone an extensive restoration project. Inside you will discover some interesting surprises… Allan Bank

Brockhole, Windermere – is home to one of the first gardens created by renowned garden designer Thomas Mawson. Mawson was as a key influence garden design during the Arts and Crafts movement, designed gardens in numerous countries around the world – including the Peace Palace Gardens of The Hague Brockhole

Carlisle Castle & Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life – discover the castle’s turbulent past… Carlisle Castle has witnessed much of the country’s history during its nine centuries, it has withstood many sieges, housed many a member of the Royal family, both as revered guests and sometimes as prisoners and even been home to the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment. Discover the castle’s past in the fascinating exhibition, explore medieval castle rooms, 19th century military buildings, and visit Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life Carlisle Castle

Claife Viewing Station, Windermere West Shore – is testament to the early tourists drawn to the Lakes by the exponents of the Picturesque Movement. Built in the 1790s and later expanded, the building had windows tinted with coloured glass, designed to recreate the landscape under different seasonal conditions. Yellow created a summer, orange an autumn, light green for spring, dark blue for moonlight and so on. Recently the subject of major restoration the building is returning to its former glories Claife Viewing Station

Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens, Pooley Bridge – discover four centuries of history, five acres of celebrated award winning gardens, beautiful parkland walks and home to The World’s Original Marmalade Awards Festival Dalemain

Dove Cottage, Grasmere – this little cottage (a former pub) was the first family home of Britain’s greatest poet, who lived there 1799 – 1808, one William Wordsworth. Settling in the heart of his ‘native mountains’ meant that he was able to concentrate on writing and this period was his most inspired and productive. Discover his life, visit his garden and understand what inspired him Dove Cottage

Hill Top, Sawrey – a time capsule of marking Beatrix Potter’s life, her spiritual home and the inspiration for many of her tales Hill Top

Holehird Gardens, Windermere – The Lakeland Horticultural Society’s 17-acre hillside gardens at Holehird, include a great variety of planting such as specimen trees and shrubs, extensive rock and heather gardens, a walled garden, alpine houses and herbaceous borders and is home to four National Collections: Astilbe, Meconopsis, Daboecia and Polystichum Ferns Holehird Gardens

Holker Hall & Gardens, Cark-in-Cartmel – is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens that merge into parkland framed by the Lakeland Fells. The 25 acre gardens are part woodland and part formal garden and home to a number of very unusual and, in some instances rare plants, including Lord and Lady Cavendish’s National Collection of Styracaceae, which includes genera such as Halesia, Styrax, and Pterostyrax Holker Hall

Hutton in the Forest, Unthank, Penrith – this 700-year-old country house has a fine garden bursting with wild flowers and specimen plants, there is a fine selection of topiary, a formal rhododendron garden laid out in 1870, three feature ponds fed by cascades and original planting laid out by garden designer Gilpin in the early 19th century, as well as beautiful woodland walks and parkland, which plays host to various events, including Potfest and International Horse Trials Hutton In The Forest

Levens Hall & Gardens, Levens – for over 500 years this Elizabethan mansion has intrigued and fascinated countless generations of visitors. The garden and the park have been painstakingly conserved including the finest, oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world, with over 100 pieces clipped to an unusual and individual designs Levens Hall

Lowther Castle & Gardens, Lowther – is a unique restoration project featuring 130 acres of wild gardens dating from the 17th century framed by parkland created by the father of English Gardening Capability Brown, with later additions the gardening greats of their day such as John Webb, William Gilpin and Thomas Mawson reflecting the tastes of each age. This layered set of lost gardens is a timeline through English garden heritage Lowther Castle

Mirehouse & Gardens, Keswick – is a beautiful 17th century house on the shores of Bassenthwaite, nestling at the foot of the Lakeland Fells, with an impressive collection of rhododendrons and hydrangeas, a bee garden, an ancient wildflower meadow, terraced lawns and the beautiful Canada garden, home to a rhododendron tunnel and a snuff garden Mirehouse

Muncaster Castle & Gardens, Ravenglass – this 800-year-old castle set the backdrop of the Western Fells, once described by Ruskin as the ‘gateway to paradise’ has 77 acres of gardens that are brim full of interest. There are flowering camellias, magnolias and native wild daffodils, specimen rhododendrons and azaleas collected by some of the great Victorian plant hunters there is something to see all year round Muncaster Castle

Rydal Mount & Gardens, Rydal – is the longest lived home of celebrated poet William Wordsworth, a where he resided for 46 years. Like many of the time Wordsworth was a keen gardener, he spent many a happy hour creating terraces and rock pools in the 4 acres of grounds planting daffodils, bluebells and rhododendrons to produce a spectacular display of colour Rydal Mount

Rydal Hall & Gardens, Rydal – were designed by celebrated garden designer Thomas Mawson in 1911. The gardens are a fine example of Edwardian gardening; incorporating Italianate terracing replete with lawns bordered by splendid herbaceous borders. There are also informal woodland gardens and ponds leading to the iconic summer house overlooking the famous Rydal Falls. But that’s not all there is also community vegetable garden and orchard planted with 30 northern varieties of apple dating back to the 1850s and a plethora of flowers and vegetables all growing alongside each other Rydal Hall

Sizergh Castle & Gardens, Helsington – is a 750 year old Solar Tower surrounded by a stunning seven-hectare garden, which includes fine herbaceous borders, a stunning limestone rock garden, ornamental lake, orchard and kitchen garden, hot wall and croquet lawn as well as the National Collection of Hardy Ferns Sizergh Castle

Wray Castle, Low Wray – is fine Gothic revival castle, built in 1840 for Dr James Dawson a Liverpool surgeon. The gardens contain specimen trees – wellingtonia, redwood, gingkoa, weeping lime and varieties of beech. There is also a magnificent mulberry tree planted by William Wordsworth in 1845. There are spectacular views across Windermere towards the distant fells Wray Castle

Wordsworth House & Garden, Cockermouth – step back into the 1770’s and discover this beautiful Georgian townhouse, the birthplace of poet William Wordsworth. This is the place that inspired his twin loves literature and nature. You will discover a fully working 18th century kitchen garden, a terrace flanked by wild flowers, where Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy loved to play and a beautiful and tranquil riverside garden on the banks of the Cocker Wordsworth House & Gardens