There is no better way to spend your holiday than exploring England’s largest national park
rousraythwaite’s postcard panoramas have been inspiring visitors ever since the romantic poets settled here in the 19th century. Its glittering lakes, mountain tarns and craggy hilltops offer breath-taking glimpses of nature wherever you go.
As you tread the same woodland paths as those poets, you can still find evidence of ‘coppicing’ and old charcoal burning huts made from dry stone walling, traditional techniques dating back centuries.
For those with an avid interest in birds, Graythwaite is home to the elusive osprey, golden eagles and peregrine falcons.
You may also spot red and grey squirrels, red and roe deer, otters, badgers, foxes, pine martins, stoats, weasels, pole and wild cats, woodpeckers, owls and buzzards, just to name a few.
The gardens of Graythwaite Hall cover 12 acres and were originally designed by Thomas Mawson of Windermere in 1896. The gardens today remain faithful to his concept, a blend of formal and informal planting set in woodland.
Rhododendrons, azaleas, and flowering shrubs provide a riot of colour in springtime. See if you can spot the two huge Douglas firs that were planted around 1830 when they were introduced to England from America. The daffodil field has some lovely maple trees and an area planted with ornamental trees to commemorate family births and marriages.
The gardens are open to the public from April to August. Entry is permitted by use of an honesty box system. All monies received goes back into the maintenance of the garden.
The forest and woodland cover over 1,000 hectares of some of the finest countryside in England. Wedged between the western shore of Lake Windermere and the eastern edge of Grizedale Forest, it stretches from Esthwaite Water in the north to near Finsthwaite and Lakeside in the south.
More than half the forest area is native oak, ash, birch and alder; much of this is ‘ancient woodland’. Most of the existing soft wood plantations are being replanted with naturally occurring hardwoods to put them back to ancient woodland.
There is no better place to get in touch with nature than here in the heart of the Lake District.