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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lowther Castle and Askham Hall

Whenever I go past Lowther Castle near Penrith, I think...what a great restoration job this would make. Abandoned in the 1930s, it’s now a skeletal monument to a glorious past, only the gardens now being restored in a huge project. But think of the stonemasons, the carpenters, gilders, painters and architectural blacksmiths who could turn it back to the kind of place that Kaiser Wilhelm visited in the 1890s. Think of the visitors who would love to watch such craftsmen at work. Then think of the cost and forget the idea. In leaving the castle, the Lowther family headed down the road to Askham Hall, now a 15 bedroom hotel run by Charles Lowther, youngest son of the 7th Earl of Lonsdale, and his wife Juno. The couple had already picked up some form at the George and Dragon at Clifton before they started on Askham Hall. And what a job they’ve done here. The Daily Telegraph reckons it’s ‘one of the most romantic hotels in the UK’, The Independent called it one of ‘Britain’s best country house hotels’ and the 2016 Good Hotel Guide has it as Editor’s Choice (Country House Hotels). What those publications don’t mention is that there’s a Dymond Guide to the Lake District and Cumbria in every bedroom, 15 new copies delivered this morning.

The ideal Lake District and Cumbria travel guide for just £8.99Buy now