It’s been over two years since we visited Wray Castle in the Lake District, but as the summer holidays are coming up and lots of people visit Cumbria (including my sisters, I’m not jealous), I thought this could be useful.
Wray Castle is a mock-gothic castle that sits next to Lake Windermere. It’s so picture perfect it’s almost as if someone made it up for an Arthurian fantasy adventure. It was built in 1860 by a Liverpudlian surgeon using his wife’s inheritance from a gin fortune and has been a holiday home for Beatrix Potter, a naval communications training centre and is now owned by the National Trust. The Natural History Museum even used Wray Castle to house its exhibits during World War II. This isn’t your usual National Trust property and it is so family friendly. Every room is completely different to the other. There are some that are closer to the traditional NT property with period furniture and upholstery and others that totally surprise you, like the room that only contains a draughts board. You get to explore the entire house with no restrictions and it has a feel of a playground. We loved it.
The car park is tiny so the best, and most pleasurable, way to get to Wray is by taking a ferry from Ambleside. It’s always lovely travelling across Windermere, and the jetty where you get off is quiet and wooded and feels like nothing has been changed to this since it was built.
Then it’s about a ten minute walk to the house itself taking in some gorgeous views.
The entrance hall is pretty special.
And then there are all the rooms and corridors to explore.
The biggest hit of all was the room full of building blocks so you can build your own castle.
I miss Cumbria so much and one day we’ll be back, and we’ll definitely be visiting Wray Castle again, it’s going to be really interesting to see how it’s changed and to see what Betsy really enjoys this time round.
National Trust Wray Castle is open all year round and costs £9 for an adult and £4 for a child. The facilities are excellent – you need to check out the ladies loo on the 1st floor! It’s part of an old dressing room – and there’s a cafe there, but I don’t know what that’s like as we didn’t use it, also baby changing facilities. It’s brilliant.