Cultural & historic
There’s a choice of castles, historic houses, galleries, museums, theatres and even a sculpture trail all within a few miles of The Badger Sett.
If you travel to The Badger Sett from the south you will pass Hutton-In-The-Forest, the beautiful ancestral home of the Vane family which dates back to the mid 14th century. The house and gardens are open to the public from Spring to Autumn. The grounds also play host to frequent shows and events including the famous Hutton International Horse Trials. A little further away towards Ullswater is Dalemain House whose Georgian facade conceals a wealth of Tudor and medieval history. Every year they host the Marmalade Awards – a must for all fans of orange jam! For an historic house on a much smaller scale visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere. The cottage was once the home of William Wordsworth and is now run by the Wordsworth Trust as a museum and gallery. Another house with strong literary connections which is well worth a visit is Mirehouse on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. The house is extremely family friendly whilst the extensive grounds contain lovely lakeside walks as well as a series of age-themed adventure playgrounds.
Carlisle Castle has dominated the city of Carlisle for nearly 1000 years and boasts a fine Norman Keep as well as an interesting regimental museum. When visiting the castle make sure you pay a visit to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery across the road. Just south of Penrith the enigmatic Gothic ruins of Lowther Castle are currently undergoing renovations but the grounds are open to the public and there are some lovely walks through the surrounding estate. Further afield but worth a day trip is Muncaster Castle on the coast near Ravenglass. Combine a trip here with a ride on La’al Ratty, the narrow gauge railway that runs from Ravenglass in to the heart of beautiful Eskdale.
Galleries and museums
We’ve said it elsewhere but Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery definitely warrants a trip to Carlisle. We particularly like their imaginative programme of contemporary art exhibitions but the gallery is also well known for its fine collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings. We also recommend the High Head Sculpture Valley, just 5 miles away at Ivegill. As you follow the trails through the valley you’ll encounter sculptures by Jonathan Stamper. Its a beautiful spot with views over High Head Castle and the northern fells. There’s also a gallery, tearoom and spa. There are also a number of other private galleries in the area. Beckstones Gallery in Greystoke, The Upfront Gallery in Unthank, Red Barn at Melkinthorpe are all close by.