Wray Castle in Ambleside is a remarkable neo-Gothic masterpiece from the 19th century, offering a unique architectural contrast to the Lake District’s scenic landscapes.
Conceived by architect J. Hubert Smith, the edifice mesmerises visitors with its intricate woodwork, finely-crafted stone details, and exquisite window designs. While not a castle in the historical sense, its grandeur captivates the imagination, making it a must-see in the Lake District.
A Castle for Imagination
While it may not have the historical battle scars or royal residents usually associated with castles, Wray Castle offers a different kind of magic. The castle is a paradise for young visitors, featuring rooms dedicated to various forms of imaginative play.
From mock sword-fighting to dressing up as princesses or knights, children find a haven for creative exploration.
A Stroll Through Time and Nature
The castle’s grounds are as captivating as its interiors. Spanning several acres, the meticulously maintained gardens offer walking paths that meander through the estate.
Each trail provides its own set of unique vantage points of Lake Windermere and the surrounding hills. For those interested in botany, the grounds house various plant species that are native to the Lake District.
A Touch of Literary Magic
One of the lesser-known facts about Wray Castle is its connection with famed author Beatrix Potter. She spent a summer at the castle, a stay that had a profound impact on her love for the Lake District.
A room within the castle serves as a small tribute to her, featuring first editions and personal artefacts that Potter fans will find fascinating.
In the Lap of Comfort
Visitors looking to prolong their experience can take advantage of the café on-site, which offers an assortment of locally-sourced snacks and beverages. For those interested in taking home a memento, the gift shop has an array of souvenirs related to the castle and the Lake District.
Accessibility and Convenience
The castle is equipped to welcome visitors of all ages and physical abilities. Wheelchair-friendly pathways and facilities ensure that everyone can enjoy what Wray Castle has to offer. Ample parking and proximity to public transport also make it a convenient destination.
Throughout the year, Wray Castle hosts various events, from historical re-enactments to seasonal garden tours, enhancing the visitor experience. These events often feature local experts and performers, adding an authentic touch to the castle’s already captivating atmosphere.
Wray Castle serves as a distinctive landmark in the Lake District, seamlessly marrying its architectural magnificence with the surrounding natural splendour.
Address – Low Wray, Ambleside, LA22 0JA
Telephone – 015394 33250
Website – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lake-district/wray-castle