You haven't really seen the Lake District until you have traveled back in history and seen one of the historic houses located there. Travel in the same way that the wealthy Victorians from the 19th century did using boat and steam train. Then visit the stunning, medieval Sizergh Castle and Gardens. Highlights: • Boat trip on Lake Windermere • Steam train trip • Visit to Sizergh Castle
Visit: English Lake District Tours, Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria, EnglandFollow the route taken by wealthy Victorians to come and go from the their expansive holiday properties in the Lake District. Take the Steamer boat from Bowness to Lakeside at the southern end of Lake Windermere. Your guide will be waiting for you at Lakeside to guide you onto the historic steam train that takes you to Haverthwaite. We then travel by minivan to Sizergh Castle. Sizergh Castle is an imposing house standing proud at the gateway to the Lake District. It has many tales to tell and certainly feels lived in, with centuries-old portraits and fine furniture sitting alongside modern family photographs. The Strickland family have been associated with Sizergh since 1239 and in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt, the banner of St George was carried by Sir Thomas Strykeland. During the seventeenth century, the Strickland's were at their most prosperous marrying favourably into the influential Parr and Neville families thereby increasing their land, estates and influence considerably.In 1688, the staunchly Catholic and royalist family went into exile to St-Germain in France with James II returning to reclaim Sizergh and its land in the 1700's. By the nineteenth century, the Strickland heirs had married Frenchwomen and so began an effective second exile to France. A later heir of the Strickland family married into an important Maltese family in 1858 adding the title Count della Catena to the family which was handed down via the female line. In 1928, Gerald Strickland became Baron Strickland of Sizergh and it was his daughter Mary who donated the property to the National Trust in 1950. More family stories are just waiting for you to discover them while you spend the afternoon exploring the house. Your afternoon will let you relax, unwind and enjoy discovering over 700 years of rich history, reflected in every nook and cranny of this much-loved family home.Later, you can enjoy a delicious snack or lunch in the licensed, contemporary café and then head out into the rich and beautiful gardens. The gardens are extensive so take a leisurely stroll through the small orchard, the herbaceous border, the rock garden, the wildflower bank, past the lake to the terrace and onto the main lawn. From there you can head off to the Dutch garden or the south garden finishing off with a quick look at the great barn built in the 1560's and the earliest example of a two storey "bank barn" in the Lake District.If you still have the urge to explore, take a walk in the Sizergh Estate. Here you will enjoy rare and unique wildlife, such as the 18th century chestnut trees grown from seeds brought back from pre-Revolution Versailles in 1780.