Although Cumbria doesn't have a Blenheim Palace or a Chatsworth House, it does have both gardens and houses that can add considerable interest to your visit. The Lake District has inspired many poets, writers and artists; find below some other suggestions that go beyond the legacy of Wordsworth and Ruskin.
A ruined Gothic castle with 130 acres of gardens on the edge of the Lake District fells near Penrith. The Lowther family have owned the site for 800 years and the gardens have a remarkable restoration story. An excellent cafe too.
A manor house near Ullswater that has grown from a Norman pele tower with a good tearoom and unusual gardens. The house interior is quirky and the site hosts an annual marmalade festival.
The best nursery in the area, with an extensive range of plant varieties, but also home to a gallery and an Italian inspired cafe. Located near Penrith, it is an important source of inspiration for our own garden planting.
Set in a stunning location overlooking Windermere and dating from 1901, the house is one of the best examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England. Probably the most "different" house in the Lake District.
Easily the biggest landowner in the National Park, the trust also own Hilltop (of Beatrix Potter fame) and other interesting buildings such as Town End, Sizergh Castle and Wordsworth House.
Holehird Gardens date from Victorian times and overlook Windermere. Probably the most interesting Lake District garden for plants, they hold several national collections and are run by volunteers of a Horticultural Trust.
Acorn Bank is a tranquil haven in the Eden Valley famous for the daffodil display but also including woodland walks and interesting gardens. Owned by the National Trust, the manor house remains unfurnished.
Hutton-in-the-Forest is a beautiful house on the northern edge of the Lake District with a range of architectural styles. It also has a beautiful walled garden, extensive grounds, and hosts an annual pottery festival.