At English Lakes, we enjoy recommending local activities and events to visitors from around the world. For those wanting to explore the heritage of the Lake District, we’ve put together a list of five of our favourite heritage days out.
An award-winning art gallery housed in an opulent Grade 1 Georgian house, Abbot Hall showcases a wealth of international art from the 18th Century to Modern and Contemporary pieces. It is fitting that, given Kendal was where he served his apprenticeship, the museum houses one of the finest collections of George Romney’s paintings. Abbot Hall also exhibits one of the most comprehensive collections of drawings and watercolours by John Ruskin, another local resident.
The building itself is recognised as the finest work of John Carr of York in 1759 and overlooks the River Kent and Kendal Castle. The Georgian rooms give a snapshot of what life was like in a bygone age.
From 7th April to 2nd July there will be an exhibition of local artist, Julian Cooper’s work – 30 paintings from 45 years of painting, borne out of his life in Lakeland and his inspirational worldwide travels.
Open Monday – Saturday, 10.30 am – 5 pm
Adults £7.70/£7, Children Free
Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry
The unique Lakeland landscape is the backdrop for many industries including farming, mining, and tanning. The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, housed in the former stable block of Abbott Hall, encourages an exploration of what that looked like for the people of the land – discover what a typical Victorian farmhouse kitchen looked like, what the local customs were or how the Arts and Crafts movement influenced life in the Lakes. There’s also an Arthur Ransome room containing many personal items including his library, sketch books and illustrations for many of his books.
Open Monday- Saturday, 10.30 – 5 pm
Sundays in July & August, 12 – 4pm
Adults £5.50, Children Free
Sizergh Castle and Gardens
Sizergh Castle is of the longest family-inhabited country houses in the UK, the Strickland family have ancestors who lived in the house since 1239. From the Battle of Agincourt, to the fight for Malta during the Second World War, the Strickland’s have had a part to play in 700 years of national history which can be uncovered first-hand at Sizergh.
Medieval architecture, fine furniture and centuries-old portraits sit amidst spectacular gardens with pond, lake, pasture and woodland.
House: Monday – Thursday & Sunday, 12 pm – 4 pm
Garden, Café & Shop: Daily, 10 am – 5 pm
Adult £10.50, Child £5.25, Family £24.80
Guided house tours £1 per person
Stott Park Bobbin Mill
The only working bobbin mill left in the Lake District, Stott Park once produced a quarter of a million wooden bobbins a week, and employed 250 men and boys, often in arduous conditions. The bobbins were vital to the running of the Lancashire spinning industry. Visitors to this award-winning attraction take a journey from tree to bobbin and are able to see first-hand the production process using the original machinery. Children can dress up and imagine what working life at the mill was like.
Guided tours around the mill are hourly, starting at 10.30 am
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm
Adult £8.40, Child £5.10, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £21.90
John Ruskin’s former home set in stunning location overlooking Coniston Water gives a fascinating insight into the life of a man who was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era as well as a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. Brantwood’s character has been successfully retained and it is treasure trove of Ruskin’s paintings and personal possessions.
The 250 acre woodland estate, with 8 unique gardens, has fantastic views and some interesting plant collections. During the summer holidays there are guided garden walks on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, included in the entry price.
Children have not been forgotten and there’s a range of activities for them to enjoy, including a garden trail to discover hidden animals. A lace demonstration featuring the traditional method of needle-made lace is scheduled for every third Thursday of the month.
Summer opening: 20 March – end November, 10.30am – 5.00pm every day
Adult £8.60, Student £6.60, Gardens only £5.95, Children Free
Great Places to Finish the Day
No day out is complete without some well-deserved refreshments. Stop off at Low Wood Bay, Waterhead or The Wild Boar for some tasty treats.