The Terrace Cafe at Brantwood, John Ruskin's Home

New quality café at John Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood

Brantwood, the historic home of Victorian writer and critic John Ruskin, has just opened a brand new café and restaurant called The Terrace, and we highly recommend stopping by to try it out.

This quality café and restaurant offers visitors a beautifully designed eating space, magnificent views over Coniston to the Old Man and a brand new menu – from brunch to lunch. Brantwood’s Director Howard Hull, explains that the cafe has been designed ‘to ensure that visitors get that same sense of inspiration, excitement and renewal when eating with us as they do when visiting the Brantwood, its special exhibitions or gardens’.

A trip to a café is an important part of a day out to an historic attraction and the team at Brantwood are determined to enhance this experience as well as make the cafe a destination in its own right. With a creative menu and quality locally sourced dishes. The Terrace aims to be a place where people can enjoy great food whether visiting the house, an exhibition, or just passing by.

The atmosphere and interior decor conveys an emphasis on authenticity and integrity through a sympathetic use of materials and fabrics – including seat covered in fabric sourced from the The Laxey Woollen Mills, (established in the Isle of Man in 1881 by a Lancashire silk weaver Egbert Rydings, with the support of John Ruskin and his Guild of St George). The mills are known for their high quality ‘homespun’ cloth and, along with a contemporary wood-burner, adds a homely warmth to the interiors – the once horse and carriage stables.

The Terrace is open daily from 10am – 5pm are there are also plans for it to evolve into an evening venue for theatre, music and poetry events with food, so watch this space for more developments.

Brantwood itself offers a fascinating insight into the world of John Ruskin and the last 28 years of his life spent at Coniston. Filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and Ruskin’s personal treasures, the house retains the character of its famous resident. For more information please go to

Julian Cooper

Lake District & Cumbrian ‘Muse Cruise’ Offers the Finest Vintage This May Bank Holiday

Enjoy a bottled vintage experience full of corking things to see and do this Whitsun, by taking a Cumbrian ‘Muse Cruise’ – the staycationer’s alternative to a booze cruise.

Here at Cumbria’s Living Heritage our 36 amazing attractions are offering everything from monumental paintings by Julian Cooper at Abbot Hall Art Gallery (Kendal), to an exhibition tracking the story of walking and climbing at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry (Kendal) and a fusion of glass-making and digital technology enriched by video and sound recordings made in and around Blackwell – Britain’s finest arts and crafts house, in Bowness-on-Windermere.

Kids can enjoy a ‘Muse Cruise’ of their own, with painting workshops exploring texture, perspective and scale at Abbot Hall, and light, colour and reflection experimentation at Blackwell. Who can resist manipulating projections on to walls and ceilings, whilst learning how lenses and light together produce images?

Admirers of overseas artists can revel in an exhibition by Fu Zi at Brantwood – even cruising on Coniston to reach it – whilst poetry lovers can explore Wordsworth’s Duddon Valley sonnets in ways including walking on stepping stones and feeling a touch wall that plays the sound of water (Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere).

If that’s not enough, you could cook in a 17th century kitchen, trying out period recipes (NT Townend,
Troutbeck) or tour Beatrix Potter’s former home at Hill Top (Near Sawrey) and learn how it, and the landscape inspired the Peter Rabbit author. That will be particularly sweet for booze Cruisers turned ‘Muse Cruisers’, as it includes a free glass of wine within the ticket price of £25.

A Taste of Townend Shows

A Taste of Townend shows a collection of recipes written by Elizabeth Birkett in 1699.
Emma Wright, Townend Manager – Costume dressed cooking at Townend in Troutbeck, Cumbria


You can get on the trail of a host of quirky facets, features and fittings that distinguish each of our attractions, by downloading a Cumbria’s Living Heritage fact-filled Heritage Past-Port. We hope to see you here soon!

What’s on offer:

1. At Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Muse Cruisers can drink in 30 monumental paintings by internationally celebrated Cumbrian artist, Julian Cooper. With works from the 1970s to the present day, the exhibition reflects the artist’s travels across the fells and mountains of the Lake District, and also to far-flung places such as South America, Tasmania and the Himalayas, and closer-to-home locations, Italy and the Alps.

Painting workshops form a ‘Muse Cruise Lite’ experience for children, who can explore texture, perspective and scale, inspired by Cooper’s paintings. Drop-in sessions run on May 27 and from May 29 to June 3, between 10.30am and 1.30pm. Children aged over 3 can take part, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Abbot Hall is open Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 5pm (plus Sundays in July and August, 12-4pm). Admission costs £7.70 with a donation and £7 without. Kids and full-time students enter for free.

2. In the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, on the same site, Muse Cruisers can enjoy a ‘Fun on the Fells’ exhibition tracing the story of walking and climbing. Naturally, the Lake District is the focus, as the exhibition considers early aristocratic climbers and working-class ramblers and incorporates artefacts on loan from the Fell and Rock Climbing Club. MOLLI is open Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 5pm) and Sunday in July and August (from 12-4pm). Entrance costs £5.50 with a donation and £5 without. Kids and full-time students enter for free.

3. At Blackwell – Britain’s leading Arts and Crafts House, located in Windermere – a site-responsive glass, sound and video installation shimmers and shines for Muse Cruisers. ‘The Light Within’ installation, by up-and- coming artists, Beyaert and Miller, is inspired by Baillie Scott’s use of light in the architecture of the arts and crafts movement. Blackwell is open every day from 10.30am to 5pm. Entrance costs £8.80 with a donation and £8 without. Kids and full-time students enter for free.

Family workshops, which engage through light, colour and reflection experimentation, are the Muse Cruise Lite experience here. Sessions run from 10.30am to 5pm on Blackwell’s May half term schedule and are for accompanied children aged over three.

4. At John Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston, there’s a chance to see the work of Chinese artist Fu Zi in an exhibition that is the artist’s first outside of his native China. The images draw on the traditions of Chinese landscape painting and depict shared spaced, and the fleeting moments enjoyed by passing strangers, in what is a fusion of photography and print. The exhibition runs to June 11. Brantwood is open from 10.30am to 5pm. Entrance to house and gardens costs £7.70 for an adult (children enter for free) and gardens-only adult admission costs £5.35.

5. At Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere, a small exhibition on the Duddon Valley and Wordsworth’s sonnets will feature original manuscripts, as well as stepping stones and ‘magic’ touch wall. This is a chance to discover, or look anew, at this charming Lakeland valley. Admission costs £8.65 for adults and children enter for free, if accompanied by an adult. Dove Cottage is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

6. At National Trust Townend, there’s a chance to cook recipes from the 17th century recipe book of the Browne family, who lived in this incredible farmhouse. Recipes range from meaty mince pies and macaroons, to medicines. Cooking will be between 1.30pm and 4pm on May 25, June 1 and June 8. Townend is open Wednesday to Sunday 1pm to 5pm and house tours take place from 11am to noon. Gift aid prices are £6.80 for an adult, £3.40 for a child and £17 for a family.

7. A showcase tour of Beatrix Potter’s former home at Hill Top and the Beatrix Potter Gallery, is on offer from the National Trust on June 3 between 7pm and 9pm. It will open up Potter’s world to visitors, but also include a complimentary glass of wine – all for just £25. The large and varied collection at Hill Top and the Gallery provide insights into Beatrix Potter’s mind. Some objects are over 400 years old, including antique furniture and original paintings, but there are also many more modern items, from across the world, which Beatrix acquired and brought to the Lake District. Book this tour in advance.

Those visiting Hill Top can tour the garden (on days when Hill Top is open) between 10am and 4.30pm on a weekday and house and garden from 10am to 5.30pm at weekends. Entrance costs £11.50 for an adult, £5.75 for a child and £28.75 for a family ticket, at Gift Aid prices.

Golden Daffodils, Lake District

A host of Golden Daffodils

This April, visitors to the Lake District can take a special guided walk to visit the site of the daffodils that inspired Wordsworth’s most famous poem, exactly 215 years to the day since he first saw them.

It was while walking to Grasmere from Pooley Bridge on 15 April 1802 that William and Dorothy Wordsworth first saw the daffodils along the shore of Ullswater which inspired his most famous poem. On April 15th 2017, you can follow in their footsteps and see them for yourself, over 200 years later.

The tour starts by taking the historic steamer from Glenridding to the legendary Aira Force waterfall. Once here, your Lake District National Park Authority guide will show you the site of the golden daffodils and you will return along the lake shore.

This walk is graded easy and is 3.7 miles (6km), which should take approximately 4 hours. You are advised to wear appropriate footwear and bring a packed lunch and dogs are welcome too. The tour is FREE but parking and boat charges do apply. Meet your Lake District National Park Authority guide at Ullswater Information Centre, Glenridding by 9.40am.

To book your place or find out more information click here

Family playing amongst daffodils

Family Friendly days out this Easter in the Lake District and Cumbria

The Easter holidays are nearly here and across Cumbria and the Lake District, our members have a whole host of fascinating activities taking place. Here is our top 12 ‘egg-citing’ family-friendly things to do this Easter holidays:
1. Steam weekends at Stott Park Bobbin Mill
At English Heritage’s Stott Park Bobbin Mill, near Newby Bridge, families can see the steam engine being fired up and experience the mill performing at full power over Easter weekend. Here you can gain a fascinating insight into working life in a mill that made millions of bobbins for the weaving and spinning industries. The Steam Weekend runs 15 – 17 April from 10.30am to 3.30pm and for more details click here.

2. Teddy Bears and kids go FREE at Muncaster Castle, Gardens, Hawk & Owl Centre
Teddies rule the roost at Muncaster over Easter weekend with free entry for every child with a teddy from 14 – 17 April inclusive. There will be children’s crafts, bouncy castles and trails to follow as well as the famous Muncaster Giant Easter Egg Hunt at 12.30 on Easter Sunday and Monday. Find out more here.

3. Go on an Easter Egg Hunt with the National Trust
Over Easter weekend families are encouraged to hunt for Cadbury Easter Eggs around various National Trust properties including Acorn Bank, Allan Bank, Hill Top, Sizergh, Townend and Wordsworth House. Taking place from 14-17 April there is small charge, plenty of family friendly activities and lots of chocolate to be found. Find out more here.

4. Explore the outdoors and get crafty at Brantwood
Get outside and enjoy the Spring sunshine by taking part in a fun trail to find hidden animals around the beautiful gardens at John Ruskin’s former home Brantwood, overlooking Coniston. There are also craft activities over Easter weekend using natural materials and inspired by the gardens. Admission included in the House or Garden ticket, find out more here.

5. Follow family friendly trail at Holehird Gardens
At Holehird Gardens near Windermere kids of all ages can take part in trails around the extensive gardens. There are 3 family trails to choose from and each child gets an attractive colour booklet (free of charge) with ideas for things to look for and spaces to record their findings. At the end, they can keep the booklet and can choose from a variety of stickers to record their visit. Admission to the gardens is free, but a donations suggested. Find out more here.

6. Skip the Light Fantastic at Blackwell House
From Sat 1 – Sat 22 April, Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Windermere will offer a host of family activities inspired by their Light Within exhibition. There will be a hands-on interactive space for families to experiment with light, colour and reflection. Visitors will be have the chance to manipulate projections on the walls and ceiling to gain an understanding of how lenses and light combine to produce images – from 19th century magic lanterns to today’s digital technology. Drop in any time between 10.30am and 5pm and the sessions are FREE with a paying adult. Find out more here.

7. Try archery or spot Herdy sheep at Brockhole – the Lake District Visitor Centre
Families can have a go at archery between 8th and 23 April, at Brockhole – the Lake District Visitor Centre, on Windermere. Children and adults alike can learn the ancient art of archery, having a go with their bow in one-hour sessions running five times a day. To book or get more information, click here.

Families can also enjoy hunting for Easter Herdys around the beautiful gardens of Brockhole to win a prize. Operating between 1-23 April, just pop into the Brockhole shop and pick up a trail sheet for £3 and start hunting, but remember they are very cheeky so will be hiding!

8. Take a guided walk at Dove Cottage
On the 11th April between 2 and 3pm, families with children under 12 are warmly invited to explore the area around Dove Cottage and visit places the Wordsworth family knew and wrote about. During the walk, children are encouraged to talk, draw and write about the plants and wildlife and the dramatic landscape of the Lake District. For more information click here.

9. Travel back in time at Carlisle Castle
This Easter weekend at Carlisle Castle, families can travel back in time and meet a character from the past as they crack clues around the castle. There’s a chocolate reward for successful adventurers and the mission is included in normal entry. Find out more here.

10 Win an Easter egg at Mirehouse & Gardens
There are 100 Easter eggs to be won from Easter Saturday onwards at Mirehouse and Gardens, near Keswick. To win an egg, families need to hunt around the Bee Gardens and woods to find clues to complete a secret Easter message. The Easter Egg quiz and hunt is included in the price of a gardens’ ticket and for more information click here.

11. Fly a kite at Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall
From 15 -17 April, families can get to grips with the art of kite flying at Birdoswald Roman on Hadrian’s Wall. Expert kite flyers will dazzle with their skills as they create a spectacle in the grounds of this ancient Roman Fort, with gigantic kites in flight and synchronised demonstrations to musi. There is also the chance to have a go at making your very own kite and try it out in the family flying area where there will be top tips on making it soar. The Kite Festival is included in normal admission and find out more here.

12. Get cooking at Townend, Troutbeck
On 6, 13 and 20 April families can go back in time for dinner and see what people used to eat in the 17th century. Using the The Brownes’ family recipe book, the kitchen at Townend Troutbeck, near Ambleside will be cooking up different dishes from meaty mince pies and macaroons to medicines. This demonstration is included in admission and find out more here.

Gruffalo Spotter

Gruffalo spotters trails at Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests

Spot characters from the Gruffalo at Grizedale & Whinlatter Forests with brand new augmented reality app.

Getting children to be enthusiastic about going for a walk isn’t always easy but a brand new augmented reality app based on hit children’s book, The Gruffalo is set to take family forest walks to new heights by encouraging children to get exploring.

In the first development of its kind, the Forestry Commission England and Magic Light Pictures’ Gruffalo Spotter app will enable families to follow clues on an interactive trail and track signs of their favourite characters from Julian Donaldson’s book in 26 forests across England. Here in Cumbria, visitors can join the adventure through the deep dark wood at Grizedale Forest from 24 February and Whinlatter Forest from 22 February 2017.

If you are looking for something to entertain the children this half term and beyond, this self-led trail is ideal with fun facts about forest animals with fantastic activities along the way. Once you have spotted the characters, you can use the app to bring the 3D character animation to life and take photos with them. Photos are automatically added to the device’s gallery, from where they can be shared via social media with the hashtag #GruffaloSpotters.

The Gruffalo Spotter app is available for free with no in-app purchases from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon. A Gruffalo Spotters kit is also available to buy on site at Grizedale Forest and Whinlatter Forest which includes animal facts, tips for tracking wildlife, an evidence collection bag, a magnifying glass and a pencil to make a note of your forest finds.

Find out more:

Dalemain Marmalade Awards

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and Festival at Dalemain Mansion

Did you know that Dalemain Mansion and historic gardens, near Ullswater and Penrith is also the centre of the world for Marmalade?

Current owner, Jane Hasell-McCosh founded the World’s Original Marmalade Awards to celebrate her love for this orange preserve 12 years ago, and since then it has spread internationally, attracting entries all over the world including Japan, Australia, South Korea, India and the Czech Republic. If you visit Dalemain’s shop, you can taste a selection of marmalades that have been officially named the finest in the world, as well as Dalemain’s own range, which includes a 17th century recipe from the Dalemain archives.

This year’s competition is now open for entries and the organisers are calling on the nation’s best marmalade makers to take advantage of the season; to roll up their sleeves, get their pans out and send their entries in. January is a special time for marmalade makers, as it marks the height of the Seville orange’s winter season. For a few short months, the fruit can be found in shops all over the country and indeed the world. The competition deadline is 10th February, with the festival and awards taking place on 18th & 19th March 2017.

The Seville orange is commonly considered the King of Oranges when it comes to marmalade, owing to its distinct bitter flavour and complex fragrance. Sevilles are shipped all over the world to allow everyone to make the most of this window and enjoy the art of marmalade making.

Although the ‘Mackays Seville Orange’ category is consistently the most popular, The Awards have a whole host of other categories for those who prefer a different type of marmalade. The ‘Any Citrus’ gives lovers of Grapefruit, Kumquat, Lemon, Clementine and more their chance to shine, whilst there are a number of exciting new categories for 2017 including ‘Gardener’s Marmalade’ for the green fingered and ‘Octogenarian’s Marmalade’ for the over-80s experts.

Both the Artisan and Homemade Award competitions are now open and Dalemain hopes to receive record entry numbers, encouraging all marmalade makers, from expert to first timer, to have a go.

For those who do not want to post their marmalade, collection points are being created up and down the country, including Mackays factory in Scotland, Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly and the Carlisle Cathedral shop.

The Awards & Festival have raised over £200,000 for Hospice care, and hope to significantly add to this amount in 2017, with the full donation for every homemade entry going directly to charity.

For the full list of categories and collection points, visit

Lakeland Motor Museum Drive It Day

See classic cars this Boxing Day at Lakeland Motor Museum

If you are looking for something different to do over the festive season this year, why not take a break from the turkey and tinsel and visit the Lakeland Motor Museum, Newby Bridge on Boxing Day for a special gathering of vintage vehicles and modern classic cars.

This will be the third annual ‘Drive and Ride In Day’ on Boxing Day after a surge in interest from classic car owners wanting to make the most of their time off between Christmas and New Year.

The event takes place on Monday 26 December 2016 (9am – 4.00pm) and is open to anyone. If you own a classic car, motorbike, truck or van, you can display them just outside the museum for other visitors to view. As well as vintage marques spanning much of the 20th century, a selection of modern classics and high-performance cars from the last decade are also expected to participate. There will be free parking for all visitors, as well as participating drivers and their passengers, with no need to book.

The museum is also open on Boxing Day and offers a great opportunity for both drivers and passengers to look at the Museum’s ever-changing exhibits at a reduced admission price. With recent arrivals including a rare 100 Jaguar SS and a futuristic electric superbike, there is plenty for returning visitors to enjoy. Find out more here:

Children looking at Christmas Lights

Celebrate Christmas in the Lake District at Cumbria’s Living Heritage

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Cumbria’s Living Heritage and if you are heading to Cumbria and the Lake District this December there are plenty of festive events and activities to get you in the Christmas mood. Here is our pick of the best:

Acorn Bank, nr Penrith Christmas choirs, 3 December 2.30pm and 4 December 2pm

Enjoy hot Christmas punch and mince pies in the drawing room while you listen to a festive Christmas Choir. Normal admission applies and there is a small charge for refreshments Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness, Tour and Late Night Christmas Shopping November & December.

Tour this spectacular Arts & Crafts holiday-home and discover why it’s considered to be one of Britain’s best historic houses. Tours take place on 25 November and 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 December and is included in normal house admission. There are also two late night shopping events on 24 November and 8 December between 5.30 and 7.30pm. Here you can find unique Christmas gifts crafted by skilled makers. Bring a friend and enjoy a luxurious shopping experience with a complimentary glass of mulled wine and free gift wrapping.

Dove Cottage, Grasmere A Wordsworthian Christmas 3rd December, 10.30am – 1pm. £5

Although Christmas was not celebrated to the same extent as today in Georgian times, we know from William’s poetry and Dorothy’s journals that the Wordsworth family marked the occasion by decorating Dove Cottage with greenery, baking Christmas pies and dancing to festive tunes from travelling fiddlers. In this hands-on workshop John Crouch, local food historian, will demonstrate how to make some traditional Lakeland recipes and Georgian-style decorations to bring this history to life.

Allan Bank, Grasmere Live Festive Music 3, 10 and 18 December. Carols around the Tree 17 December.

There are a host of local musicians lined up to perform at Allan Bank this festive season. From winter folk tunes on the guitar to the magic sound of Christmas bells from the Bell Ringers of St Michael’s Church in Beetham. You can also sing along with Grasmere Glee around the tree at their carol concert on 17 December. These events are included in normal admission prices.

Brockhole, The Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere, Handmade Christmas 3 & 4 December 11am – 4pm

Make a stunning Christmas decoration for your tree and sit back and enjoy Lakeland storytelling. Drop in anytime and there is a small charge for some activities. Suitable for all the family.


Askham Hall, Penrith, Winter Market 4 December 11am – 4pm Free entry

Christmas Market in CumbriaAskham’s newly refurbished medieval ‘banquet hall’ will be just one of the locations to come alive with the sights and sounds of a traditional Christmas market. Around 45 stalls will be taking residence selling an array of festive produce, crafts and giftware from local Cumbrian businesses and suppliers. The café will be open for lunch, mulled wine and mince pies and Father Christmas will be welcoming people into his grotto.

Muncaster Castle, nr Ravenglass Christmas Tea in the Castle 4, 11 and 18 December 2016 £29.50/£23

A lovely festive afternoon tea to get you in the mood for Christmas. You will meet by a roaring fire in the Great Hall decorated for Christmas for a warming glass of mulled wine or hot spiced apple. Then enjoy a special afternoon tea at your private table in one of the Castle’s elegant state rooms decked out in their festive finery. Also, included in the price is general entry for the day to Muncaster’s Gardens and Hawk and Owl Centre with the fantastic ‘Sky Hunters’ bird of prey display.

Holker Hall, nr Cartmel Food Market 11th December 10.30am – 3pm, Free entry and Christmas Cello Concert 1.30pm £25/£12.50

Holker Hall Santa's CabinBrowse a wide selection of stalls and sample a variety of fresh, local and regional food and drink including fine cheeses, artisanal breads and handmade cakes. Little ones to visit Santa in his Christmas cabin in the Courtyard (£3 per child.) Creating a festive atmosphere whilst you browse – the Holborn Hill Royal Brass Band Juniors will be playing during the morning.

The Ulverston International Music Festival & Holker Hall will then present a special Christmas Cello Concert with Thomas Carroll on Cello and Anthony Hewitt on the piano. Festive refreshments will be served in The Ilex after the concert. Tickets on sale from Holker Hall Box Office 015395 58328.

Museum of Lakeland Life, Kendal, A Lakeland Christmas, 14 December 2pm

Meet in the Victorian Parlour to hear how the Victorians celebrated Christmas. Read the old Christmas cards and learn how to celebrate in style. This event is free with usual admission to the museum.

Sizergh Castle, nr Kendal throughout December

Sizergh is all about traditions, so come and enjoy a traditional Christmas with twinkling lights, the smell of pine needles and mulled wine, the taste of Christmas pudding and the excitement of seeing Father Christmas. The shop has a great selection of seasonal gifts and Christmas decorations, but if you prefer something a bit more special, there are wreath making workshops too.

Holker Hall at Halloween

Spooky Fun this Half term at Cumbria’s Living Heritage

This Halloween at Cumbria’s Living Heritage things are getting quite literally GHOSTLY, with wonderful spooky goings on to entertain the whole family. With a wealth of ghoulish themed activities, we promise you will monster fun across Cumbria this half term.

G is for Gruesome as this October you can take a tour of Carlisle Castle after hours and hear the creepy and gruesome tales of the most besieged castle in the country. Explore the dungeons, licking stones and hear about the walled up skeletons, discovered by workmen in the Captain’s Tower in 1819. The event content is suitable for children over the age of 14 years old. Booking essential and hot drinks are included. Find our more:

H is for Haunted. Dare you spend Halloween at one of Britain’s most haunted castles, Muncaster, near Ravenglass? There are ghostly castle tours, scary mazes and a beautiful twilight owl display. For younger guests (and the faint of heart!) there are also plenty of not so scary Halloween themed fun with Muncaster Monster Cabaret, spooky crafts, face-painting and archery. Tickets need to be pre-booked for the castle tours and twilight owl shows, with popular times selling out early, so advance booking is recommended. Find out more:

White Faced OwlO is for Owls. Harry Potter fans won’t want to miss a change to meet Dumbledore, the white
faced owl, Tassle and Ivy, the barn owls and Eggnog, the little owl at Brockhole, The Lake District Visitor Centre on Windermere. There are also other frightfully fun activities including a ghoulish scavenger Hunt, spooky story-telling and Halloween crafts sessions. Find out more:

S is for Spooky
and there are lots of spooky goings on at Holker Hall, near Grange over Sands this half term. There is a guided wicked walk and special Halloween trail through the award winning gardens – but visitors are warned to beware of the spooky shadows! Alternatively, families are invited to bring their carved lanterns to enter into the loathsome lantern Competition or join in the drop-in craft sessions, both of which are to be held daily. There is also a fabulous Halloween party with Heather the witch for children aged 3-10 years. Find out more:

T is for Trails and there are plenty of ghostly themed trails to follow this October at the National Trust. At Allan Bank in Grasmere there are spooky pumpkins to find in the woodland, including inside spine-tingling tunnel, with prizes for spotting 6 or more. Whilst over at Acorn Bank near Penrith, families can follow a special set of treacherous trails. At Sizergh Castle, near Kendal, visitors are encouraged to find clues in a Halloween themed garden trail to earn a tasty treat, or try their hand at Pumpkin carving in the Great Barn. Find out more:

L is for Lightfest a family fun happy alternative to Halloween taking place on 31 October at Carlisle Cathedral with games, crafts and worship followed by refreshments. For anyone wanting to explore their inner Quasimodo, visitors to the 900-year-old Cathedral can take a rare opportunity to see inside the tower and see its bells on Saturday 29 October only. Find out more:

Y is for Yarns. There is nothing like a spooky yarn to get you in the mood of Halloween and families can enjoy ‘Twilight Tales’ at Wordsworth’s home Dove Cottage on 27 October between 5 and 6pm. When the wind whistles through the shutters and the candles flicker on a dark autumn night, Dove Cottage can be an eerie place to be. On this dark pre-Halloween night visitors can discover spooky stories and hidden histories of the house and what it was like to live here over 200 years ago without modern comforts. There will be Grasmere Gingerbread and hot chocolate to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to dress up in Georgian clothes.

Download our Free Guide

Download the Past Port

Newsletter sign-up

Find out the latest news from all of our great houses, gardens and cultural attractions…