Sizergh castle has been on my to do list for the longest time, after a lovely friend of mine mentioned it to me. It sounded like the perfect day trip for the kids.
Brief History of Sizergh Castle
So, this castle and its tower have been a much debated location for historians. No one could seem to agree on whether the four storey tower was a Peele or Solar Tower.
I won’t pretend I knew what either meant, but apparently a Peel Tower is a small fortified tower, with defence being its prime consideration in design normally found on the borders of Scotland.
A Solar tower is a tower built adjacent to an earlier Hall, to provide accommodation for the family. So, after some researching to the point where I could not make head nor tails of a lot of it, and several conflicting articles, I found that it is in fact a Solar Tower. Learn something new every day, right?!
Sizergh Castle has been the home of the Strickland Family, for 760 years. They have a decorated family history, and an example of this is that a Strickland held the English banner in the battle of Agincourt.
The families gradual decline in funds during the 14th century in part due to their support of the Jacobite cause, meant that the family were unable to renovate the castle with the latest fashions, which in turn means the castle is virtually untouched, which is a beautiful blessing in itself, with a lot of heritage buildings being transformed it’s nice to find one that is pretty much as it was.
I love the idea of the walls having stories to tell. The Finest room in the castle is, the Inlaid Chamber which contains panels with English Poplar and ‘bog’ Oak. Again when family’s finances were low the entire room of panelling was sold off to the Victoria & Albert Museum, for £1000.
In recent years the Victoria & Albert museum have returned the panelling on loan to the family so that it can be displayed in its original setting, which I think is beautiful. The castle and gardens are now run by the National Trust since they were gifted by Gerald Strickland in the 1950s.
The castle itself was closed due to the pandemic, when we went, however, there wasn’t a shortage of things to keep us entertained. The immaculate gardens, rock gardens, mirror pond, beehives, and different viewpoints across the estate, has my family and I in awe of it stunning landscape.
The gardens are nothing shy of jaw dropping beauty, all has been perfectly landscaped with the pristinely shaped evergreens. Felt like I should have been staring in Downton abbey walking through those gardens.
A stunning pond can be seen from the driveway up to the castle, showcasing a beautiful reflection of the front of the heritage building with steps cascading down to the water’s edge and topped off beautifully with a couple of swans. I’m setting a good scene right?!
It was stunning, and tranquil in equal measures. It wasn’t the only pond on the estate, on the approach to the courtyard, was the mirror pond, my kids took great pleasure and it soon became my worst nightmare, a whole bunch of tadpoles, frogs spawn and actual frogs – good for the kids, for me it was abit of a gross moment, if it hasn’t got fluff I’m not interested. Just nope.
However the kids made the most of it, gave me a minute to wander round at my own leisure, and get a few pictures of this beautiful building in all its glory.
The lime stone rock garden that have been added and landscaped by the nation trust is simply stunning. It is a hive for a national collection of ferns, many pretty little wildflowers and lots of lovely water lilies. It just adds more to this already enchanting estate.
On the grounds of this large cumbrian estate there is also a lovely woodland nature walk, where you can see squirrels, bats, birds of prey, and regular garden birds.
They have also installed a wild play trail with places for the kids to explore, test their balance and their stamina.
A real hive of activity for the kids to enjoy, and a wonderful addition to the day out. I didn’t realise this until after but at the main kiosk, you can ask for a quiz for the kids to do as they go round the trail. Had I have known I would have done this with my two mud gremlins.
There is a lovely little café that currently is providing takeaway sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and of course the odd bit of cake and ice cream.
If you’re unsure of what you want to do this weekend, Sizergh castle should definitely should be on your to do list. It has something for all the family, it truly is enchanting.
There is a café and visitors centre located in the car park.
Café – 10am – 4pm
Garden – 10am – 4pm
Park – dawn till dusk
Shop – 10am – 4pm
Adults – £4.00
Group adult £3.80
Group Child £1.90
Sizergh Castle and Gardens