The impressive Sizergh Castle, around 3 miles south of Kendal, has been the family home of the Strickland family since medieval times. Although they still live here, the property is managed by the National Trust and open to the public.
The house started life as a pele tower, a fortified building offering refuge from raiders and bandits. As times became less violent it was extended to become a comfortable home. It now boasts a number of fine oak-panelled rooms, numerous portraits, and a good collection of English and French period furniture.
Gardens & Estate
Sizergh Castle sits in 1,600 acres of grounds that include two lakes, a large limestone rock garden, a kitchen garden, orchards, and herbaceous border.
A walk through the Sizergh Estate takes in the ancient woodland Brigsteer Wood and offers views of the Lake District fells, Morecambe Bay, and the Lyth Valley. A map showing the route and directions can be downloaded from the National Trust website.
Facilities at the castle include a licensed café serving seasonal food and a gift shop selling National Trust gifts, plants, and craftwork.
Sizergh Castle hosts an interesting programme of events throughout the year. They include a children’s Easter egg hunt, the National Gardens Scheme Open Day, Heritage Open Day, Christmas fair, guided walks with the gardener, plus talks covering various attractions on the estate such as the bee hives, furniture, and ancient trees.
For further details visit the National Trust website.
Admission to the house and gardens costs £7.65 for adults and £3.90 for children. Tickets to the gardens only are priced at £5 for adults and £2.55 for children.
In 2011 the house is open between March 13 and October 30. Opening times are Sunday to Thursday, noon to 5 pm. For the first hour of opening admission is by guided tour only.
The gardens are open 7 days a week from March 13 to December 31. They open at 11 am and close at 5 pm (4 pm October 31 – December 31).
The café and gift shop are also open all year.
Location & Directions
Sizergh Castle is situated just off the A591, around 3 miles south of Kendal, and is easy to find.
Simply leave the M6 motorway at Junction 36 and take the A590 (signposted to South Lakes, Kendal, and Barrow). After 3½ miles take the left turning (still on the A590), signposted to Barrow and Levens. After a few hundred yards turn right (there is brown tourist signs giving directions to Sizergh Castle) and drive for 1 mile, passing the Strickland Arms, to the main entrance.
Owners of satellite navigation systems should use the postcode LA8 8DZ. Onsite parking is free for visitors.