Lowther Castle Circular Walk

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
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1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
5.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
132 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Lowther Castle Circular Walk is a perfect family-friendly adventure in the Lake District that will allow you to explore the grounds surrounding this historic country house. The trail sets out from the castle and passes through the picturesque countryside to arrive at the relaxing edge of the River Lowther. Made up of easy to navigate walkways through fairly flat terrain, this trail is perfectly suited for walkers of every skill level, particularly those with historical interests.

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Route Description

Although the Lowther Castle Circular is only a short walking route, the trail can become quite busy with all of the visitors and outdoor enthusiasts looking to walk the route. If you want a bit of solitude along the trail, try arriving early to avoid the crowds and secure parking. Additionally, make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes in order to stay comfortable on the trail.

Even with the large volumes of visitors, the Lowther Castle Circular offers a great chance to experience the beautiful Cumbria countryside and learn a bit about local history. The trail begins next to the extravagant structure of Lowther Castle, a grand country house that began construction in 1806 and was formerly the seat of the Earl of Lonsdale. From here, you will make your way through the countryside along tree-lined lanes to pass by the historic church of St. Michael on the way to the edge of the River Lowther. This route offers a great mix of natural beauty and history that is sure to be enjoyed by all.

Setting out from the trailhead at the Castle Cafe, follow the track east through the forest and around the building to get to the road. From here, head right and follow the road for 0.2 mi to arrive at an intersection. Turn left and continue along the road to pass by the buildings on the right and a tree-lined field on your left. Keep left for 0.2 mi and you will eventually arrive at the edge of Askham Road. Head left once again and follow along the road as it winds through the picturesque countryside for the next 0.45mi to arrive at the grounds of the Church of St. Michael.

Turn right here to pass by the historic church and traverse the open field in front of you, keeping a northern direction for 0.3 mi until you meet up with Earl Henry’s Drive. Follow this for 0.1 mi to eventually arrive at the forested banks of the River Lowther, where you will find a beautiful stone packhorse bridge. After exploring this wonderfully atmospheric riverside setting, head back across the bridge and turn right to follow the trail alongside the river.

After walking the edge of the river for 0.2mi, leave the track behind to once again cut across the open farmland terrain, charting a course in between the line of mature trees that will bring you back to the road beside the church. Once there, turn left to follow the same route back towards the trailhead.

When you have made your way through the countryside to get back to the grand structure of Lowther Castle, take some time to explore the grounds via the foot paths that spread across the estate. There is also a bike rental shop near the cafe if you are looking to further explore the area.

Trail Highlights

Lowther Castle

Located in the county of Cumbria, Lowther Castle was a grand country house that was formerly the seat of the Earl of Lonsdale. Although the site of Lowther Castle has been in use since the time of Edward I, the current building began construction in 1806 for the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, Sir Hugh Lowther. The castle and grounds have since fallen out of use with the contents and roof being removed, leaving only the exterior shell of the building. Visitors can explore the estate grounds by means of a network of walking paths.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Lowther Castle Demolished?

The grand scale of the castle and its furnishings were considered to be too extravagant for the 20th Century and now only the exterior shell of the castle remains.

How far is Lowther Castle from Penrith?

The distance between Penrith and Lowther Castle is 4.0 mi.

Does anyone live in Lowther Castle?

Although Lowther Castle is no longer inhabited, the grand building was formerly the seat of the Earl of Lonsdale.

Insider Hints

  • Arrive early to secure parking.
  • Head to the nearby Arragons Cycle Hire to rent a bike and explore the area.
  • Pop into the Castle Cafe for some post-walk refreshments and visit the gift shop to bring home a souvenir.

Getting There

To reach the car park for the Lowther Castle Circular Walk from the village of Hackthorpe, drive northwest on the A6 for 0.9 mi and turn left to continue on for another 0.7 mi. Make a left turn here and follow the road for 0.1 mi, before making a right at the next fork. In 0.2 mi, you will find the car park on the right.

Route Details

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

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