The Lake District Guide

Your guide to The National Trust in the English Lake District

In the Lake District National Park, the National Trust owns and protects over 50,000 hectares of land, ranging from magnificent skyline including Scafell, Great Gable and the Langdale Pikes to woodland and many of the traditional cottages and farms nestling in the valleys. This immense tract of land - about a quarter of the National Park - comprises the central fell area and six of the major lakes, and is considered by many to be England's most beautiful landscape. Indeed, this was the birthplace for the idea of the National Trust.

Country Walks

Freedom to walk extensively on the fells, and in the valleys is guaranteed through Trust ownership and enhanced by the network of Trust footpaths in addition to the public rights of way. But the provision and upkeep of footpaths is expensive and takes time. So too does the care of major areas of native woodland, repairs, to walls, stiles, bridges and traditional buildings and farmsteads. Yet each is all integral feature of this rich and diverse landscape.

We urge you to support the work of the National Trust.

Some of the National Trust properties in the Lake District

Not all of these properties can accommodate pushchairs or baby backpacks, and there are queuing arrangements at Hill Top. We suggest you visit the NT website to obtain more details.

Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill

Ancient oaks and the high enclosing walls of this delightful 17th-century garden keep out the worst of the Cumbrian climate, resulting in a spectacular display of shrubs, roses and herbaceous borders. Sheltered orchards contain a variety of traditional fruit trees and the famous herb garden is the largest collection of medicinal and culinary plants in the North. A circular woodland walk runs along Crowdundle Beck to Acorn Bank watermill.

Location: Just N of Temple Sowerby, 6 miles E of Penrith on A66 (NY612281). Station: Langwathby 5 miles, Penrith 6miles. Please check details of opening times before visiting. Phone: 017683 61893

Beatrix Potter Gallery

An annually changing exhibition of original Beatrix Potter sketches and watercolours from the celebrated children's stories. One of many historic buildings in the village, it includes memorabilia of Beatrix Potter and her husband.

Location: Centre of Hawkshead Village. Phone: 015394 36355

Fell Foot Park and Garden

A Victorian park and garden, beautifully situated on the shore of Windermere and magnificently restored to its former glory. Spring and early summer bring impressive displays of daffodils and then rhododendrons. There are magnificent views of the Lakeland fells. The park has access to the lakeshore where there are boats for hire and fine picnic sites.

Location: At the Southern end of Lake Windermere on the Eastern shore, entrance off the A592 to Bowness. Postal address: Newby Bridge, Ulverston, LA12 8NN Phone: 015395 31273

Hill Top

Beatrix Potter wrote many of her famous children's stories in this little 17th-century stone house and it has been kept exactly as she left it, complete with her furniture and china. There is a traditional cottage garden. A selection of her original illustrations can be seen at the Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkshead.

Location: 2 miles South of Hawkshcad in hamlet of Near Sawrey, behind the Tower Bank Arms. Parking 200m; no parking for coaches (all coaches must book in advance). Hill Top is a very small house and a timed entry system is operated (note: tickets cannot be purchased in advance). Phone: 015394 36269

Sizergh Castle and Garden

The Strickland family has lived for over 750 years at Sizergh and the castle reflects the turbulent history of this part of the country. Essentially defensive, its core is the 14th-century pele tower containing some exceptional Elizabethan carved wooden chimney-pieces. There is a good collection of contemporary oak furniture and portraits, and the castle is surrounded by handsome gardens which include a particularly imposing and beautiful rock garden.

Location: 4 miles South of Kendal, signposted off the A590. Phone: 015395 60951

Steam Yacht Gondola

The steam yacht Gondola was first launched in 1859 and now, completely renovated by the Trust, provides a steam-powered passenger service in its opulently upholstered saloons: the perfect way to view Coniston's spectacular scenery.

Location: Coniston Pier (0.5 mile from Coniston Village) Phone: 015394 35599

Townend Farm, Troutbeck

A very fine example of largely seventeenth-century Lakeland architecture, this solid stone and slate house belonged to a wealthy yeoman farming family and contains carved woodwork, books, papers, furniture and fascinating domestic implements from the past, largely accumulated by the Browne family, who lived here for 400 years until 1943.

Location: 3m SE of Ambleside at the southern end of Troutbeck village Phone: 015394 32628

Wordsworth House

The Georgian town house where William Wordsworth was born in 1770. Several rooms are furnished in contemporary style and contain some of the poet's personal effects. His childhood garden, with terraced walk, has been recreated.

Location: In the centre of Cockermouth. Phone: 01900 820884