Not making it to the Lake District – Gawthorpe Castle & Lytham Hall (Lancashire)

You might start to joke that this diary should be renamed “Visiting Gardens & Houses”, as of late I have only really posted about my visits to gardens.

That said, I have been to houses too, including Carlyle’s House in Central London, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Belmont House in Kent.  I hope to find time to write about them one day soon…

But for now, two different houses.

When visiting Yorkshire, we decided to drive up to the Lake District for the day.  All was going well, until we reached near Preston and the Sat Nav started to become quite persistent about delays up ahead.  It turned out that a HGV lorry had hit a bridge on the motorway, which was now closed in both directions as the bridge was deemed unsafe.  And so we sat in traffic for nearly an hour, while time ticked by.

I had been all for leaving at 8am, to arrive in the Lakes by 10am at the latest.  On our current schedule, we wouldn’t arrive there before midday.

What do to?

We diverted left, heading towards Lytham St Anne’s and Blackpool, only a twenty minute drive away (allegedly) from the next motorway junction that we could leave off.

After another 45 minute delay (as we sat in the traffic that had also left at our junction, in search of escape), we pulled up at the crazy golf in Lytham and played a couple of rounds.  All the time the sun was pounding down and I had a brainwave, remembering Lytham Hall that we’d visited some years ago (see here).  It was a short drive away, entry is free to the grounds, the wooded gardens offer plenty of share, and there is a cafe.

Having said on my last visit to Lytham Hall that it was one to visit again in the future, I was pleased to say that many changes have been happening.  While we were there, the exterior was being repainted and repaired.  Gone is the white in favour of a Jersey cream colour.  The old cafe has also been much improved, with seating added around the courtyard. Beyond the house, a new kitchen garden has been built.


Next, I thought we could fit in Gawthorpe Hall, which according to GoogleMaps wasn’t too far away, and could be said to be “on the way home”.  Pugin and Charles Barry played their hand in changing some of the interior and exterior of this building.  It was 4.30pm when we arrived and I spent 5 minutes inside while D and my niece ate cornetto ice creams in the cafe.

And then it was back home – an unexpected diversion and not a lake or a mountain did we see!

When visited: July 2018

Lytham Hall website:

Gawthorpe Hall website:

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