Levens Hall stands on the banks of the River Kent, 5 miles south of Kendal. It started life in the 13th century as a pele tower but was expanded to a manor house in the Elizabethan era.
Today it is the family home of the Bagots and contains impressive collections of Jacobean furniture, paintings, and rare leather wall coverings.
Levens Hall is best known for its topiary gardens, regarded by many as the finest in the world.
In 1688 Colonel James Grahme purchased the estate and employed French landscape designer Guillaume Beaumont to layout the gardens.
In the 18th century topiary gardens went out of style in England and most were replaced. During this period the house was not the main residence of its owners, and as they were unwilling to spend much money on new developments the topiary gardens survived.
Levens Park the forms part of the Levens Estate and was also designed by Guillaume Beaumont. The park is private but public footpaths run through it, following the banks of the River Kent.
The park is home to sheep, and herds of black fallow deer and rare black and white Bagot goats.
The entrance to Levens Park is on the A6, directly opposite Levens Hall.
Other Facilities and Attractions
The Bellingham Buttery offers freshly-made food, including venison and pheasant from the Levens Estate. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
Levens Hall also boasts a children’s playground and willow labyrinth. A couple of traction engines are usually in steam on Sundays and bank holidays.
In August, Levens Hall is the setting for the Lakes Chilli Fest. The annual festival features over 50 stalls offering various chilli products plus live entertainment, music, and cookery demonstrations.
Levens Hall is open from Sunday to Thursday, April 10 to October 13 2011.
The gardens and tea room open at 10 am and close at 5 pm. The house opens at noon and closes at 4.30 pm.
Tickets for the house and gardens cost £11.50 for adults, £5 for children, and £28 for a family (2 adults and 3 children).
Entry to the gardens only costs £8.50 for adults, £4 for children, and £21 for families.
Location and Directions
Levens Hall is situated near Milnthorpe in Cumbria, around 5 miles south of Kendal.
Visitors arriving by car should 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 driving for ½ mile take the A6 to Milnthorpe. At the first junction turn left (still on the A6). The entrance to Levens Hall is about 100 yards on the left.
Drivers with satellite navigation systems can use the postcode LA8 0PD.