Brougham Castle

Katie Hale
Brougham Castle
Creative Tourist

From defensive keep to family home, to characteristic ruin, Brougham Castle sits on the River Eamont in the Eden Valley, a proud reminder of strength in a turbulent bygone age.

This part of the country is littered with castles, forming defensive strongholds in the violent borderlands, where raids by border reivers were a common occurrence, and stone fortifications a necessity. Brougham Castle is one of the area’s finest, where you can see defensive features such as the moat, the tracks for the portcullis, and the arrow loops to fire down on invaders.

However, the name “Brougham” (pronounced “broom”) comes from the Old English words for “fortification” and “homestead”, so it’s fitting that the castle also served as a home. It was renovated and modernised in the 17th century by Lady Anne Clifford, whose name you’re likely to come across quite a bit in connection with the history of the Eden Valley, and whose ghost is said to haunt nearby Appleby Castle, where she also lived.

Unfortunately, in the intervening years, Brougham Castle was neglected, and allowed to fall into ruin – although what remains is perfect for exploring. Children will love seeking out the castle’s nooks and crannies and hidden rooms (hide and seek, anyone?) – and seeing if they can spot the ancient toilet! And when you’ve finished exploring at ground level, you can climb the spiral staircase to the top of the keep for a magnificent view across the Eden Valley.

Brougham Castle is managed by English Heritage. Entrance is via the small museum and gift shop, which also has accessible toilet facilities, and there are plenty of picnic benches around the castle if you want to bring lunch. Or, if you’re looking for a café and a hot drink, why not combine your outing with a visit to nearby Brougham Hall?

Moor LanePenrithCA10 2AA View map
Telephone: 01768 862488 Visit Now

What's on near Brougham Castle

Where to go near Brougham Castle

Brougham Hall
Cumbria
Tourist Attraction
Brougham Hall

A historic site and restoration project with an eclectic range of shops, studios and a gallery space, run by local artisans and craftspeople. 

Cumbria
Event venue
Penrith Old Fire Station

Main venue for Eden Arts, an artist-led organisation based in Eden in Cumbria creating projects around mass participation, local distinctiveness and digital engagement, from Picnic Cinema to The Winter Droving.

Cumbria
Gallery
Red Barn Gallery

Red Barn Gallery is paramount in the Art World of the North West. Internationally renown works are put aside new artists, and the displays never ‘stand still’.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Xavier’s Café & Wine Bar

Xavier’s is Penrith’s answer to Paris’ wine-infused café culture. An elegant spot to unwind in both the daytime and evening.

Cumbria
Restaurant
J&J Graham

Right in the heart of the town centre, deli and bakery J&J Graham is a Penrith icon that dates back to 1793.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Simple Goodness

Rich soups, salads, hearty meals and homemade cakes are freshly made using seasonal and organic incgredients whereever possible from this vegetarian takeaway bistro.

Penrith Castle
Cumbria
Tourist Attraction
Penrith Castle

Ruins of a 14th century castle, former home of Richard III. Situated in Penrith’s Castle Park, and managed by English Heritage. Free to visit.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Grants of CastleGate

This modern bistro and bar, open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, serves up classic British pub fare reimagined to its most indulgent.

Cumbria
Restaurant
La Casita

La Casita serves the most authentic tapas in Penrith – the only thing not-so-Spanish about La Casita is their high quality fresh Cumbrian ingredients.

Cumbria
Cinema
Alhambra Cinema

An independent cinema in the heart of town, the Lonsdale Alhambra is, for many locals, a treasure of Penrith.

Penrith Town Centre
Cumbria
Tourist Attraction
Penrith Town Centre

A blend of historic and contemporary gives Penrith its edge, ancient tradition sitting side-by-side with trendy wine bars, hipster cafes and fine dining.

Cumbria
Gallery
EVAN Gallery & Studios

A gallery and studio space displaying works by local artists – including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, jewellery and textiles, as well as gift items.

Culture Guides