Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith, CA11 9TH – Visit Now
If you’ve ever wanted to experience time travel, Hutton-in-the-Forest can help. Just a few miles north of Penrith, this exquisite country house was described by Simon Jenkins as “one of Britain’s top 100”, and it certainly lives up to this description.
Exploring Hutton-in-the-Forest will transport you to a medieval hall, through Victorian décor and the Arts and Crafts movement, right up to the present day. The house owes its stunning collection of contemporary ceramics to its annual hosting of Potfest in the Park, which is attended by potters from across the world.
Like many historic buildings in the area, it started life (around six hundred years ago) as a pele tower, for keeping people and livestock safe against the raids of border reivers. Since then, its inhabitants have added to it across the centuries, creating a rich tapestry of architectural styles and atmospheres as you move through the building. (Speaking of tapestries, Hutton-in-the-Forest as a tapestry and needlework collection that spans five centuries!)
And, once you’ve finished exploring inside, there gardens to wander. Here, you’ll find vibrant borders, impressively carved topiary, and a pond that would make even Mr Darcy proud (though no getting any ideas – it’s strictly not for swimming in, and the resident birdlife might be a little bit put out).
If you are looking for a bit of exercise in nature, Hutton-in-the-Forest boats a woodland walk, designed to transport you to the heart of the medieval forest of Inglewood – the setting for a number of stories that make up the Arthurian legends. Keep an eye out for deer and red squirrel between the trees.
As well as Potfest in the Park, Hutton-in-the-Forest also plays host to a range of annual events, fetes and celebrations of rural life, from agricultural shows, to food fairs, to the local family favourite, Apple Day.