Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle is a stunning historical landmark situated in the picturesque region of Cumbria, England. With its imposing facade and rich history, this magnificent castle has captivated visitors for centuries. Nestled in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Lowther Castle offers a unique and captivating experience, blending architectural splendour, lush gardens, and a fascinating cultural heritage. The origins of Lowther Castle can be traced back to the 13th century, when the Lowther family, a prominent noble dynasty, first established their ancestral seat in this idyllic location. Over the centuries, the castle has undergone numerous renovations and expansions, each era leaving its indelible mark on the structure's architectural style and grandeur. One of the most notable features of Lowther Castle is its striking neoclassical exterior, which was commissioned in the early 19th century by the 5th Earl of Lonsdale. This impressive design, with its stately columns, ornate windows, and elegant symmetry, has become an iconic symbol of the castle, drawing visitors from near and far.

The Fascinating History of Lowther Castle

The Lowther family's roots in the Cumbrian region can be traced back to the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century. It was during this tumultuous period that Sir Hugh de Lowther, a noble knight, was granted a substantial parcel of land in the Lake District by William the Conqueror himself. This initial foothold would pave the way for the Lowther dynasty to establish itself as one of the most influential and prosperous families in the north of England. Over the ensuing centuries, the Lowther family steadily expanded their holdings and consolidated their power in the region. They constructed the original Lowther Castle in the 13th century, transforming it into their ancestral seat and the centrepiece of their vast estate. From this strategic location, the Lowthers exerted their influence, forging political alliances, amassing wealth, and leaving an indelible mark on the history of Cumbria.


The 17th century proved to be a particularly prosperous era for the Lowther family. During this time, they undertook a significant renovation of the castle, adding a grand Baroque-style facade and lavishly expanding the estate's ornamental gardens. This transformation coincided with the family's ascension to the peerage, as they were elevated to the rank of Earl of Lonsdale, further solidifying their status as one of the most prominent noble dynasties in the north. The Lowthers were not mere passive custodians of their estate; they were active participants in the social and political affairs of the region. The castle played host to a dazzling array of royal visits, lavish social gatherings, and important political negotiations over the centuries. Luminaries such as King James I, Oliver Cromwell, and Queen Victoria graced Lowther Castle's halls, adding to the estate's storied legacy.


In the 19th century, he witnessed perhaps the most dramatic transformation of Lowther Castle, as the 5th Earl of Lonsdale commissioned a complete redesign of the castle's exterior in the neoclassical style. This ambitious project, overseen by the renowned architect Sir Robert Smirke, resulted in the striking and majestic facade that dominates the estate today. The new design, with its imposing columns, ornate windows, and elegant symmetry, became an iconic symbol of the Lowther family's wealth, power, and refined aesthetic sensibilities. Throughout its long and illustrious history, Lowther Castle has played a pivotal role in the cultural and political fabric of the region. It has served as a military hospital during the World Wars, a hub for artistic and intellectual pursuits, and a testament to the enduring legacy of one of Cumbria's most influential families. 

Lowther Castle
Lowther Castle

Architectural Marvels of Lowther Castle

The striking neoclassical exterior, with its towering columns, ornate windows, and symmetrical design, is a testament to the skill and vision of the 19th-century architects who transformed the castle into the iconic landmark it is today. The castle's main facade, with its central portico and flanking wings, creates a sense of grandeur and power that has captivated generations of visitors. The imposing structure, standing proud against the backdrop of the Lake District's rolling hills, exudes a regal presence that invites exploration and awe. Step through the grand entrance and the architectural marvels of Lowther Castle only continue to unfold. The opulent interiors showcase the Lowther family's refined tastes and sophisticated lifestyle, with a wealth of ornate and well-preserved rooms and halls that transport visitors back in time.


The castle's state rooms are particularly impressive, with intricate plasterwork, painted ceilings, and elaborate furnishings that reflect the height of 19th-century design. Visitors can run their fingers along the delicate mouldings, marvel at the intricate tapestries, and imagine the lavish social gatherings and political negotiations that once took place within these lavishly appointed chambers. One of the most remarkable features of Lowther Castle is the grand staircase that sweeps up from the main entrance hall. This majestic architectural centrepiece is a true masterpiece of design and craftsmanship, with its ornate ironwork, carved stone balustrades, and soaring scale that commands the attention of all who enter.


But the architectural marvels of Lowther Castle extend far beyond the grand staircase and staterooms. Throughout the estate, visitors can discover a treasure trove of historical artefacts and stunning works of art, each one offering a glimpse into the refined tastes and cultural pursuits of the Lowther family. The architectural splendour of Lowther Castle is a true feast for the senses, a captivating blend of grandeur, elegance, and historic significance that leaves a lasting impression on all who witness it. Whether marvelling at the ornate details of the neoclassical facade or exploring the opulent interiors, visitors are sure to be swept away by the sheer majesty of this enduring Cumbrian landmark.

Lowther Castle
Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle & Gardens — A Harmonious Fusion of History and Nature

Complementing the architectural splendour of Lowther Castle is its breathtaking Lowther Castle & Gardens, which have been meticulously maintained and restored over the years. The gardens, spanning over 130 acres, offer a serene and enchanting escape, featuring a diverse array of botanical wonders.

The Enchanting Lowther Castle & Gardens

Visitors to the Lowther Castle & Gardens can immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the estate's many distinct areas, each with its unique charm and character. From the formal terraced gardens, with their symmetrical designs and vibrant flower beds, to the tranquil woodland walks and the captivating ceramic daffodils of Lowther Castle, the grounds of Lowther Castle provide a harmonious fusion of nature and human artistry. One of the most renowned features of the Lowther Castle & Gardens is the annual daffodil display, which has become a beloved tradition in the local community and a major draw for visitors from around the world. During the spring months, the gardens come alive with a sea of golden Lowther castle daffodils, creating a stunning visual spectacle that has earned the estate a reputation as a premier destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. The Lowther Castle & Gardens also boast a range of other attractions, including a historic walled garden, a restored 18th-century greenhouse, and a variety of walking trails that offer stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore these enchanting spaces at their own pace, soaking in the serene atmosphere and the rich history that permeates every corner of the estate.

Guided Tours

Visitors can embark on guided tours of the castle, learning about its architectural features, the stories of its former inhabitants, and the significant role it has played in the region's history. The guided tours offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the opulent rooms, corridors, and staterooms that once housed the Lowther family and their esteemed guests. During the tours, visitors can admire the intricate detailing and craftsmanship that adorn the castle's interiors, from the ornate plasterwork to the exquisite furnishings and artwork. The guides provide fascinating insights into the daily lives and experiences of the Lowther family, allowing visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for the castle's rich history and the cultural significance of the estate. 

  • Classic Castle Tour — This comprehensive tour takes visitors on a journey through the grand interiors of Lowther Castle, exploring the opulent staterooms, magnificent staircase, and the fascinating history of the Lowther family.

  • Architectural Highlights Tour — For those particularly interested in the castle's stunning neoclassical design, this tour delves into the architectural features and the renowned 19th-century renovation led by Sir Robert Smirke.

  • Lowther Family History Tour — Offering a deep dive into the Lowther dynasty, this tour sheds light on the family's influential role in the region, their lavish entertainment, and the significant events that unfolded within the castle's walls.

  • Daffodil Discovery Tour — Coinciding with the estate's annual springtime daffodil display, this specialized tour explores the captivating ceramic daffodils lower castle and the dedicated efforts to preserve this enchanting horticultural feature.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour — For a truly exclusive experience, visitors can join this tour that grants access to the castle's off-limits areas, providing a rare glimpse into the inner workings and preservation efforts of this historic landmark.

  • Twilight Castle Tour — Offering a unique perspective, this evening tour invites guests to explore the castle's grand interiors and atmospheric grounds under the enchanting glow of dusk, evoking a sense of timelessness.

  • Family-Friendly Tour — Designed with younger visitors in mind, this engaging tour incorporates interactive elements and storytelling to bring the castle's history to life in a fun and accessible way.

  • Accessible Tour — Ensuring that all visitors can fully experience the grandeur of Lowther Castle, this specialised tour is tailored to the needs of guests with mobility challenges or other accessibility requirements.

Lowther Castle

Celebrating the Cultural Heritage of Lowther Castle and Gardens

Beyond the breathtaking natural beauty of the Lowther Castle & Gardens, the estate also serves as a vibrant hub for celebrating the region's rich cultural heritage. Throughout the year, the team at Lowther Castle curates a diverse array of events and exhibitions, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the captivating history and artistic traditions of this remarkable estate. At the heart of these cultural celebrations is the annual Lowther Castle Daffodils Festival, a much-anticipated springtime event that draws visitors from near and far. During this vibrant celebration, the gardens come alive with a stunning display of golden daffodils, transforming the estate into a veritable floral wonderland. Visitors can participate in guided walks, learn about the history and cultivation of these beloved blooms, and enjoy a range of family-friendly activities and local food and drink offerings.


But the cultural programming at Lowther Castle and Gardens extends far beyond the daffodil festival, with a rich tapestry of events and exhibitions that showcase the estate's enduring legacy. From art displays that highlight the works of local and regional artists to captivating performances that bring the castle's history to life, there is always something new to discover at this cultural epicentre. One particularly noteworthy event is the annual Summer Concerts series, which transforms the castle's grounds into an open-air performance venue. Visitors can bask in the warm summer evenings, enjoying live music that ranges from classical recitals to contemporary folk and jazz performances. These enchanting evenings not only provide world-class entertainment but also offer a unique opportunity to experience the castle's grandeur in a truly immersive and atmospheric setting.


The team at Lowther Castle and Gardens also curates a series of educational workshops and lectures throughout the year, delving into the estate's architectural history, the Lowther family's legacy, and the ongoing conservation and restoration efforts that ensure the preservation of this remarkable landmark. These enlightening programs invite visitors to deepen their understanding of the castle's significance and the enduring cultural traditions that define the Cumbrian region. Whether you're drawn to the estate's artistic offerings, its captivating historical narratives, or its family-friendly festivities, Lowther Castle and Gardens consistently delivers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences that cater to every interest and sensibility. By hosting these diverse programs and events, the team at Lowther Castle ensures that the estate's legacy remains a vital and vibrant part of the region's cultural fabric, inspiring and delighting visitors from near and far.

Events and Exhibitions

  • Lowther Castle Daffodils Festival — A springtime celebration of the estate's renowned daffodil displays, featuring guided walks, family activities, and local food and drink.

  • Summer Concerts Series —  An enchanting outdoor performance program showcasing a variety of classical, folk, and jazz musicians on the castle's picturesque grounds.

  • Art Exhibits —  Rotating displays featuring the works of local and regional artists, highlighting the artistic traditions of the Cumbrian region.

  • Architectural History Lectures —  Educational programs that delve into the fascinating evolution of Lowther Castle's architectural style and the estate's legacy.

  • Family-Friendly Workshops —  Interactive programs that engage visitors of all ages in hands-on activities, storytelling, and exploration of the castle's rich history.

  • Harvest Festival —  An autumnal celebration of the estate's bountiful gardens and the region's agricultural heritage, featuring local produce, live music, and family entertainment.

  • Holiday Celebrations —  Festive events that transform the castle and gardens into an enchanting winter wonderland, complete with seasonal decorations, mulled wine, and Christmas markets.

  • Conservation Demonstrations —  Informative programs that showcase the ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain the castle's historic structures and the estate's natural landscapes.

Lowther Castle
Lowther Castle

Exploring the Charming Town of Penrith

Penrith, situated just a short distance from the estate, is a charming market town with a rich history and a thriving local community. Visitors can explore the town's historic centre, with its well-preserved medieval buildings, quaint shops, and a bustling weekly market that showcases the region's finest local produce and crafts. The town's architectural heritage is a testament to its long and storied past, with landmarks such as the imposing Penrith Castle and the picturesque St. Andrew's Church providing glimpses into the town's illustrious history. Visitors can wander the charming streets, admiring the well-preserved buildings and soaking in the lively atmosphere of this quintessential Cumbrian market town. 

  • St. Andrew's Church — This picturesque parish church, dating back to the 12th century, features beautiful stained-glass windows and well-preserved architectural details, providing a tranquil respite for visitors exploring Penrith.

  • Penrith's Historic Market — The town's bustling weekly market, held in the town centre, is a long-standing tradition that showcases the finest local produce, crafts, and artisanal goods from the Cumbrian region.

  • Penrith Museum — Located in a charming 18th-century building, this museum offers a fascinating exploration of the town's history, with exhibits covering everything from Roman artefacts to the legacy of the Lowther family.

  • Beacon Hill —  A short drive from Penrith, this scenic hilltop offers panoramic views of the Lake District, providing visitors with the perfect vantage point to appreciate the area's natural beauty.

  • Rheged Discovery Center — This state-of-the-art cultural hub, just a few miles from Lowther Castle, features interactive exhibits, a giant cinema screen, and a variety of shops and eateries showcasing the best of Cumbria.

  • Brougham Castle — The impressive ruins of this 13th-century stronghold, situated on the outskirts of Penrith, offer a captivating glimpse into the region's medieval past and strategic importance.

  • Devoke Water — This serene lake, nestled within the Lake District's rolling hills, is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, and appreciating the area's natural splendour, accessible from Penrith.

Connecting with the Breathtaking Lake District

But Penrith's charm extends far beyond its historic town centre, as it serves as a gateway to the breathtaking natural wonders of the Lake District National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its rolling hills, serene lakes, and ancient woodlands, is a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From Penrith, visitors can easily access a network of hiking trails and scenic routes that wind through the Lake District's magnificent landscapes. Whether you're seeking a stroll along the shores of a picturesque lake or a more challenging trek to a panoramic viewpoint, the region offers an endless array of opportunities to connect with the great outdoors. For those looking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Lake District, the charming villages that dot the landscape provide a delightful respite. Quaint settlements like Grasmere, Ambleside, and Windermere offer a chance to explore historic buildings, browse local artisan shops, and savour the flavours of Cumbrian cuisine in cosy pubs and cafes. The natural beauty of the Lake District has long inspired artists, writers, and thinkers, and a visit to this enchanting region is sure to ignite your creative spirit. Follow in the footsteps of literary giants like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, or simply lose yourself in the serene landscapes that have captivated visitors for generations.

George Hotel
Lake District

Accommodations in Penrith

For those looking to extend their stay in the area, the Lower Castle Inn and other nearby accommodation options provide comfortable and convenient lodging, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the region.

  • The Lowther Castle Inn — Located just a stone's throw from the castle grounds, this charming inn offers comfortable lodgings and a cosy atmosphere for visitors looking to extend their stay.

  • The George Hotel —  This historic hotel, situated in the heart of Penrith's bustling town centre, provides easy access to the castle and the surrounding attractions.

  • Roundthorn Country House — Set amidst the stunning Lake District countryside, this luxurious hotel is just a short drive from Lowther Castle, offering guests a tranquil retreat.

  • The Daffodil Hotel — Conveniently located along the main road leading to Lowther Castle, this modern hotel provides a comfortable base for exploring the estate and the wider Cumbrian region

Lowther Castle Tickets: Planning Your Visit

Visiting Lowther Castle and its enchanting gardens is a truly unforgettable experience, and planning your trip is an essential part of ensuring a seamless and enjoyable visit.


Purchasing Lowther Castle Tickets — Lowther Castle tickets can be purchased online or at the estate's entrance, and discounted tickets are often available for children, seniors, and students. Visitors are encouraged to check the castle's website or contact the estate directly to stay informed about any special events or seasonal variations in opening hours and ticket prices.


Best Time To Visit — When planning your visit, it's worth considering the best time of year to experience the estate's unique features. The lower castle daffodils bloom in the spring, creating a stunning floral display that is a must-see for many visitors. During the summer months, the gardens are in full bloom, offering a serene and peaceful escape, while the autumn and winter seasons bring their charm, with the estate's architectural grandeur taking centre stage.

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