Homes and Gardens
Published: Thursday 9th May 2013
Written by: Natalie Barker
The Lake District isn’t all about high energy activities and mountains, here in Cumbria we have some of the finest Country houses and gardens which are open to the public and can be enjoyed year round. Whilst staying in our cottages you are within an easy drive of several properties that are truly worth a day out. There are also numerous private houses that open their gardens to the public on selected days throughout the year. These can be found through the National Garden Scheme website (NGS). Listed below are some of the more prominent houses and grounds that are available to visit.
Holker Hall - Open between 24th March until 3rd November (Closed Saturdays) Holker Hall is the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish who welcome visitors of all ages to one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain. Magnificently situated only a short distance from Grange-over-Sands and the expanse of Morecambe Bay. Holker Hall is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens that merge into Parkland framed by the Lakeland Hills.This year will see the 21st Holker Garden Festival (31st May – 2nd June) held in the grounds of the estate with a three day summer spectacle, showcasing only the very best of gardening, countryside, food and crafts making it one of the most popular events in the gardening calendar. In true Festival style, Holker brings together magnificent show gardens, glorious horticulture, delicious artisan produce and fine craftsmanship, to entertain and delight visitors of all ages.
Levens Hall – Open between 31st March to 10th October the Topiary Gardens at Levens Hall are world famous. Designed in 1694 by Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont, the garden amazingly still retains many of its original features. Its very special atmosphere is partly felt through a great sense of continuity. Those three centuries of garden making here have made it a magical place. Each new generation brings a reworking within the historic framework to create fresh and beautiful contemporary plantings. A sense of excitement and joy is felt throughout in this continuing evolution of colour and design. Each area of the 10 acre garden offers something different to the visitor, set against the backdrop of the magnificent house which has been in continuous occupation since about 1350 (the house is also open to visitors. On Friday 26th July Levens Hall is hosting a Family Picnic and cinema evening, allowing families to enjoy food in the gardens before watching a special screening of ‘Finding Nemo’.
Holehird Gardens - As the home of the Lakeland Horticultural society, Holehird Gardens offer a unique look into how the Lake District climate and landscape can be used in conjunction with the skills of the volunteers to create a beautiful landscape enhanced by the views of the surrounding fells and the magnificence of Lake Windermere. The society aims to promote both the art, science and practice of horticulture whilst also promoting and maintaining three national plant collections. Apart from developing and maintaining the gardens and running educational lectures and courses, members run a specialist library, maintain an extensive photographic and documentary archive, publish a full-colour garden guide, journals and newsletters, operate a Met. Office approved weather station and provide a wardening service to assist visitors to the gardens (on some days you may turn up to be served tea by my Mum who is a Holehird volunteer)
Brockhole Visitors centre – In recent years Brockhole has transformed from country house and gardens to provide a great many activities for a complete family day out. The main house holds exhibitions whilst the grounds are the home of the newly built ’Tree Top Trek‘ activity and a large children’s outdoor adventure playground. there are walks around the gardens and along the shores of Windermere.