Things to see and do
Askham Hall is situated in the heart of the Cumbrian countryside, in a beautiful lesser known part of the Lake District. The surrounding mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife and history make this an idyllic spot to visit. Askham Hall is the perfect base for walking, running, cycling and other outdoor activities and sports. Routes starting off at the house take you through woodland, along rivers and up fells.
We can provide you with a map of suggested walks. Our personal highlights are:
1. Walking / running / biking along the River Lowther to Whale and then back along the other side. Estimated time 1½ – 2 hours walking, 30 – 40 minutes running.
2. Through the woods to Low Gardens Bridge and then back up the old drive to the castle and back down ‘the rash’. Estimated time 1 – 1½ hours walking or 20 – 30 minutes running. You could stop at the Castle and have a wander round and make a day of it.
3. Going up Askham Fell to Hugh’s Scar lookout over Ullswater. Estimated walking time to the top – 40 minutes. Estimated running time to the top – 17 minutes if you are pushing it! One of the best views in the lakes, a very popular route.
4. Then the world is your oyster – you can go on down across Askham Fell to Helton, down a pretty little lane to the river Lowther and back along it to Askham. Or if you are feeling adventurous on up onto High Street and along and down to Hawswater. Or along and down to Howtown on the shores of Lake Ullswater and get a steamer ride back to Pooley Bridge and then back up over Askham Fell.
This really is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and a variation on some of the routes above will last you a full week. There is no real need to go into the central lakes, but if you want to, the main centres of Keswick and Ambleside are 30 minutes and 50 minutes away by car respectively.
If you are looking for a nice drive the route down along Ullswater and then up Kirkstone pass and down ‘The Struggle’ into Ambleside is really special. You can then stop off there for the day and head back via St Johns in the Vale and Thirlmere.
- (If you would like a packed lunch to take with you on your day out, please ask café staff the day before.)
The Lowther family has five miles of private salmon and trout fishing along the idyllic River Eden. The family also has a beautiful stretch on the River Lowther, famous for its dry fly upstream brown trout. For a fishing permit, enquire. If you catch a lot, we’ll buy them off you to serve in our restaurant or at our sister establishment, the George and Dragon, Clifton.
If you would like to take a trip out with the family’s Estate deer stalker or go shooting for wild duck, teal or woodcock when in season, please enquire.
Lowther Castle and Gardens and the history of the family and area:
In the stone room and front hall we have left out some very special albums showing how Lowther Castle used to be when the last member of the family lived there up until 1935. The Yellow Earl was an infamous character and most of the photography was commissioned by him in the early 1900s. No-one else has ever seen these albums and they are total one offs so please treat them with respect and care.
Visit the original home of the Lowther family at Lowther Castle. Within an easy walk or short drive from Askham Hall. www.lowthercastle.org is a magical place where you can let your imagination run wild. There is so much history and amazing landscape gardening to take in. The highlights for me are Jack’s Croft pond and the amazing terrace and Yew shelter belt which were created in the 1500s we think to give the garden structure and shelter.
Askham Hall itself:
As part of the conversion of Askham Hall from a family home into guest accommodation, a huge amount of work was undertaken as part of a Heritage Impact Study so that this unique Grade 1 listed building could be better understood. It is a complicated building with layer upon layer of gradual morphosis and the Heritage Impact Study undertaken by the conservation architects Feilden Clegg Bradley helps explain this change and the reasons for it.
Explore the wonderful Grade 2 listed gardens and talk to the gardeners and chefs about what is being grown and why. There is lots to see up around the farm. We have 4 sows currently, a Gloucester Old Spot called Mavis, a Tamworth called Ruby and two Saddlebacks called Whinifred and Maisie. They are very friendly though Mavis is a little greedy so don’t offer her your fingers, she may try to eat them! Make sure you explore the polytunnel and vegetable garden. You’ll see lots of the things from there incorporated into Richard’s food.
Askham Village shops:
You may notice when you are eating that the plates are pretty unique. They have been made by Stuart Broadhurst who we are very lucky to have as our resident potter in the village. He is world famous for his exquisite tea pots in particular and they are sold and displayed all over the world. Visit his workshop up at the cross roads. He used local materials such as local oak ash and feldspar in his glazes and also has a secret place where he goes to get excellent clay to use in his earthenware range.
There is also an excellent village shop in Askham. Turn right out of the main entrance and walk up the hill to the cross roads. The shop is on the right.