Wray Castle

Top choice in The Lake District

An impressive sight with its turrets and battlements, this mock-Gothic castle was built in 1840 for James Dawson, a retired doctor from Liverpool, but it has been owned by the National Trust since 1929. Though the interior is largely empty, the lakeside grounds are glorious. It was once used as a holiday home by Beatrix Potter's family. The best way to arrive is by boat from Bowness; there's limited parking and preference is given to non-driving visitors on busy days.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Lake District attractions

1. Windermere & the Islands

1.24 MILES

Windermere gets its name from the old Norse, Vinandr mere (Vinandr's lake; so 'Lake Windermere' is actually tautologous). Encompassing 5.7 sq miles…

2. World of Beatrix Potter

1.51 MILES

This themed attraction brings to life various scenes from Beatrix Potter's books, including Peter Rabbit's garden, Mr McGregor's greenhouse, Mrs Tiggy…

3. Hawkshead Grammar School

2.25 MILES

In centuries past, promising young gentlemen were sent to Hawkshead's village school for their educational foundation. Among the former pupils was a…

4. Beatrix Potter Gallery

2.25 MILES

As well as being a children's author, Beatrix Potter was also a talented botanical painter and amateur naturalist. This small gallery, housed in what were…

5. Hill Top

2.32 MILES

Two miles south of Hawkshead, in the tiny village of Near Sawrey, this idyllic farmhouse was purchased in 1905 by Beatrix Potter and was used as…

6. Townend

2.44 MILES

This fascinating farmhouse offers an insight into Lakeland life c 1700. It once belonged to farmer Ben Browne and his family, who made a living by…

7. Blackwell House

2.79 MILES

Two miles south of Bowness on the B5360, Blackwell House is a glorious example of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement, which championed handmade…

8. Galava Roman Fort

2.91 MILES

The foundations of Ambleside's ruined roman fort, built c AD 79, can be seen just west of the Waterhead jetties. The land is now owned by the National…