Dalemain, Dalemain,, Cumbria, CA11 0HB – Visit Now
Just three miles outside of Penrith, Dalemain lies with the Lake District National Park boundary, and feels about as far from town as you can get. With meandering wooded walks, riotous gardens and the gentle rolling fields of surrounding farmland, it’s easy to step away from all the bustle of normal life, and take some time to explore.
Dalemain is a country house steeped in story. Starting life as a fortified pele tower to protect the area from pillaging border reivers, the estate has been in the same family for eleven generations, and is still a family home today. It’s this that gives it its homely atmosphere, and the feeling as though its historic residents just popped out for a moment, and will be back any minute.
In the courtyard, you’ll find the Agricultural and Fell Pony Museum, and a tea room serving home-made food. If you like your produce sweet and citrusy, Dalemain also plays host to the annual Marmalade Festival, which takes place every summer – although if you’re visiting during the rest of the year, you can still find a selection of marmalades to buy in the gift shop.
In the gardens, there’s plenty to discover for adults and children alike – from hundreds of varieties of rose, to the rare Himalayan Blue Poppy, to stunning views of the fells (mountains) of the Lake District. As well as an abundance of flowers and birds and insect life, the garden’s inhabitants include a sleeping stone giant and a topiary dragon!
Fancy wandering a bit further afield? Two walks start from Dalemain: a two-mile round trip to the village of Dacre, with its castle and historic church; and the five-mile Dalemain Loop, which takes visitors through Dacre and Pooley Bridge, to the edge of Ullswater lake, and can be walked in isolation or as part of the Ullswater Way.