The Lake District: taking the western route

Beatrix Potter’s house

When we travel up to Keswick, Windermere and Grasmere, we’ve always previously travelled up the eastern side of Lake Windermere.  Last October, however, we decided to travel up the western side, calling into some NT places on the way.

First, we went to Beatrix Potter’s house, Hill Top.  It was damp and I had to stand there in the rain for over 10 minutes to get an empty shot of the façade, but I enjoyed this house.  However, it’s not somewhere I’d return to as it’s just a typical early 19th century interior.  I’d rather cherish the memories of Mrs Tiggy Winkles from childhood.  To see some original drawings we stopped in Hawkshead, where the NT have the Beatrix Potter Gallery.

Second, we called into the brutal and ugly Wray Castle.  D actually walked out and went to sit in the car, claiming the house was “creepy”.   That was a first!   My last “walk out” was Belvoir Castle; my first was Waddesdon Manor.  So we’re on 2:1.

I can see how this house would be great on a rainy day for families, but it is in reality a Victorian harsh mess filled with Youth Hostel-style activities inside.  The house was a naval building for a long time, hence the institutional feeling inside.

The view from Wray Castle is nicer, but D refused to walk down to the shoreline.  Good job I made up for it afterwards will Allan Bank!

So, I’m not sure we’ll be taking this “alternative route” in future.  I’m glad we did it but I think D prefers Levens Hall and Sizergh.

When visited: October 2014

Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wray-castle/

Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top/

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