Bonnets and boots at the ready! A visit to north west England’s most beautiful and impressive stately home and gardens is the perfect addition to your list of things to do in Cumbria.
If, like most of the nation, you have been captivated by BBC drama Downton Abbey’s marvellous period costumes and elegant setting, you’re sure to be enchanted by the historic Dalemain House near Penrith. From the moment you catch your first glimpse of its blush pink Georgian facade, the majestic mansion will succeed in capturing every inch of your imagination.
Hidden behind the wonderful Palladian exterior is a treasure trove of memories, stories and history. But what sets this country house apart from the rest? Well, as the Hasell-McCosh family still live here, Dalemain House feels more homely and inviting than almost any other stately home you will come across.
A Guided Tour of Dalemain House
A guided tour of the house will take you through a selection of the rooms, starting at the main entrance. You’ll then visit the Chinese Room – with its original hand-painted wallpaper and furniture still intact – and the dining room, before stepping into the old servants quarters. A spiral stone staircase will lead you upstairs to rooms which have been left untouched since the 1800’s.
The grandeur of the house also overflows into the garden, where you’ll find many rare plants and over 100 beautifully scented roses. A Greek Fir stands near the fountain, the biggest of its kind in the UK, and there are also mature Walnut trees, fine Spanish Chestnuts and a 200 year old Tulip tree.
After exploring the house and garden, cake and tea await you in the Medieval stone walled tearoom. The perfect end to a delightful and informative day.
The World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain House
Another thing that sets this country house in Cumbria apart from any other is that each March, Dalemain House hosts one of the most unique events in the world: The Original Marmalade Awards! If you’re in the area during the month and looking for things to do in Cumbria, make sure to head over to the charming house where hundreds of Artisan marmalades will be available to taste.
Tips / Hints: The house has been in the Hasell family since 1680 and the current owners are delightful. Ask to meet them if they are around!
Why we love it: Easily accessible from Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, a great thing about Dalemain House is that you can choose to spend all day or just a few hours here. There’s plenty to see and do and once you’ve settled in the charming stone walled tearoom – we think that you’ll find it rather difficult to leave.