Christopher Holliday’s 2011 book, Houses of the Lake District, is surely a “must” for anyone either interested in the Lake District and its history or planning to incoporate historic house visits into a Lakeland holiday. Equally it will provide a splendid reminder of places visited in the past and an encouragement to return.
In just over two hundred pages the author looks at twenty one houses, dividing them into three groups – Historic Houses, Writers’ Houses and Victorian Houses – although I must say that the split seems a bit arbitrary as several of them could fit well into more than one category.
Geographically the houses are spread from Sizergh, Levens and Swarthmoor in the south to Muncaster in the west and Hutton-in-the-Forest to the northeast. Some are now hotels, but most are open as tourist attractions, and tastefully so. Two examples are:
Muncaster Castle, Cumbria: Muncaster has been home to the Penningtons since the 13th century. For decades now they have welcomed visitors . Set in seventy acres of gardens framed against the Lakeland mountains Muncaster Castle is popular with people visiting the western coast of Lakeland and is home to the World Owl Centre. A short way along the road is the village of Ravenglass, from where you can travel on the scenic Ravenglass & Eskdale narrow gauge railway which climbs up into the mountains in the direction of Scafell Pike.
“Houses of the Lake District” will make an excellent gift as well providing several hours of informative enjoyment to yourself.
Anyone who enjoys this book might also like: Gardens of the Lake District