Friday, 1 August 2008

Great Gardens- Family Fun!

August brings with it the school holidays for many, and hopefully some sunshine for us all. Many of the Lakes most beautiful gardens are looking at their best now, and for those taking their well earned breaks in Cumbria, here are a few of our family favourites.

You see, if like me you are limited by the moans of “not another garden” by your children, try topping up your holiday horticultural input with these sneaky fun and floral destinations...

Tops for me has to be Brockhole, now the National Park Visitor Centre but a century ago a wealthy family’s new home on the shores of Windermere. Great garden designer of the time, Thomas Mawson, was brought in to lay out terrace after terrace of Victorian  splendour. It has had time now to mature beautifully and you can spend a happy hour or so looking out its gems. (Don’t miss the super vinery, or the lakeside walk). Best of all, the kids will be happy too, as Brockhole sports one of the biggest and best adventure playgrounds in the county!

Next on our list, and further down the lake, you will find Fell Foot Country Park. The ‘Big House’ went years ago, but the extensive garden-parkland remains- lovingly looked after by the National Trust. Its a great place for young families- to picnic by the lake, play ball on the lawns, or splash about in the shallows. For the more adventurous, there is a great new zip wire in the playground, and you can even hire out rowing boats if you’re looking for a new angle on Lake views.

Third in our trio of gardens to get away with, with the family in tow, is Mirehouse near Keswick. Here you’ll find a relaxed garden with not just one, but four adventure playgrounds to amuse the kids, and even a maze to lose them in! If you are very lucky  you may even catch a glimpse of one of Lakeland’s spectacular Ospreys out fishing over nearby Bassenthwaite Lake!

So, you see, here in Lakeland you can combine family fun with good gardens....

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