Five National Trust Days Out in the Lake District

Created Wednesday, April 10, 2024, by English Lakes Hotels

Lake District National Trust attractions are popular in Cumbria and there are sites within easy reach of our hotels. These make for a grand day out, especially if you are keen on culture, heritage and history.

If you’re keen on being a regular visitor to Lake District National Trust venues, it might also be worth looking at annual membership options.

Here are some of our favourite National Trust attractions in the Lake District and Cumbria:

Lake District Heritage at Wray Castle

Wray Castle sits majestically on the western shore of Windermere. This is a gothic looking castle complete with towers and turrets. With adjacent park and woodlands, it’s ideal for family expeditions. It's great too if you combine it by travelling there by bike, boat or on foot.

Wray Castle features changing exhibits in its ground floor rooms, with plenty of space for children to explore. Features in the grounds include a boathouse, mini harbour and hidden jetty, plus a scenic lakeside path to Claife viewing station.

A great way to get to this Lake District National Trust attraction is via boat. Windermere Lake Cruises run trips throughout the day from Ambleside. Check the National Trust website for latest activities and events.

Lake District National Trust Attraction at Townend House

A visit to Townend allows you to step back in time to see what life was like in the Lake District in the 1700s. Featuring significant pieces of Cumbria’s social history, Townend House is perhaps one of the most fascinating National Trust sites in the Lake District

It showcases the lives of an ordinary farming family from the spectacular Troutbeck Valley, the Brownes. Their home welcomes you with a cosy farmhouse kitchen, typical of the time, complete with an interesting collection of domestic tools and implements.

George Browne spent much of his time carving furniture. You get a real glimpse of his character and personality through these pieces of well-loved wood. There’s a library with 1,500 books, all with well-thumbed evidence of family use. Quite a number are the only remaining copies in the world.

Elizabeth Browne’s cookery book is on display, containing 80 cookery recipes. There are instructions on making bean cakes, apricot paste and medicinal recipes. On Thursday afternoons you can watch some of these traditional dishes being re-created by staff in the farmhouse kitchen.

The cottage garden contains beautiful, prize-winning and colourful flowers. It has been kept very much as the Brownes had it. There is also a trail from the garden to beautiful views of Windermere.

Lake District National Trust Hill Top

The tales of Beatrix Potter really come alive by visiting her home, which is full of her belongings and character.

Beatrix bought Hill Top, her much loved home, with the proceeds from the Tale of Peter Rabbit. It was from here that she drew inspiration to write many of her subsequent tales.

The cottage garden is a probably just as you have imagined it from her writings: a natural flurry of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Hill Top is a small house, and a very popular Lake District National Trust attraction, so plan your trip and timing carefully.

Lake District Tourist Attraction - Sizergh Castle

One of the most historic Lake District castles, Sizergh makes an important contribution to Cumbria’s heritage. Since the Battle of Agincourt, the Strickland family’s ancestors have played their part in defending the land.

Sizergh Castle’s 800-year history can be traced first-hand with a visit. It features stunning medieval architecture, ancient crafted furniture and fine portrait paintings. Sitting proudly in a 1,600 acre estate, the castle has a beautiful, well-tended garden with surprises at every turn. There’s woodland, meadow, lake, ponds, topiary and walled gardens all to explore.

Also on display is King James II’s silk Goan bedspread, a gift to the Strickland family in the 17th century for their loyalty to the king.

Explore the Eden Valley with a Trip to Acorn Bank

With a fascinating history going back to the thirteenth century, Acorn Bank was first owned by the Knights Templar, who also gave their name to the local town of Temple Sowerby. From 1543 to the 1930s, Acorn Bank was occupied by Thomas Dalston, a gentleman landowner, and his descendants.

This Cumbria National Trust site is famous for its gardens and huge herb collection with over 250 varieties. Traditional fruit orchards and vegetable gardens also feature, with produce used to great effect for delicious treats in the Acorn Bank tea room.

In the house there is limited access, but the grand entrance hall and the ascending stone cantilever staircase are worth seeing. There’s also a second-hand bookshop and gift shop.

A short stroll from the house, alongside the stream, you will find a working watermill. Although it fell into disrepair in the 1940s, a dedicated team of volunteers have worked with a passion to bring it back to life. The mill wheel is in operation most weekends, and the flour produced can be purchased in the shop on site.

There is also a series of beautiful woodland walks to enjoy with views across the Eden Valley to the Lake District.

A Cumbria National Trust Day Out Followed by Afternoon Tea

We can think of no better way to end your history and heritage day out than with an afternoon tea at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa or The Wild Boar.