The National Trust looks after this beautiful medieval house, which lies just four miles south of Kendal, and is within the extended Lake District National Park.
The Grade 1 listed building is a ‘lived in’ home, which can affect opening times. The earliest part of the building is a tower of 14th or 15th Century origin.
Oak-panelled interiors include the Inlaid Chamber, which was sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the 1890s, but has been returned on long-term loan to its original setting.
Paintings include portraits of the Royal Stuart family, along with works by local artist George Romney. Catherine Parr, one of Henry VIII’s six wives, is thought to have stayed here after her first husband died in 1533. Her second husband was related to the Strickland family, whose home it remains to this day.
Sizergh’s rich and beautiful gardens includes a pond, lake, a fine collection of hardy ferns and the National Trust’s largest limestone rock garden. Dogs are not permitted in the house or main gardens but there are dog-friendly walks on the wider estate to enjoy and explore. The 647-hectare (1,600-acre) estate includes limestone pasture, orchards and semi-natural woodland. There’s also plenty for children to do, including a wild play trail.
It’s only a few minutes’ drive to Low Sizergh Barn, a working farm with 17th Century farm shop, craft and gift galleries and where you can watch cows being milked from observation windows as you enjoy a meal or a snack.
The farm dates from the 13th Century when it provided food for the castle across the fields. But the family-run farm has an eye to the future. The social enterprise, Growing Well, provides organic vegetables and salads through a crop share scheme which are available in the shop or in the tea room.
Whatever you buy from the shop will ensure that when you get home, you can enjoy a genuine taste of Cumbria.