Holker Hall is the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish and it's open to visitors of all ages: the home has proved very popular as a destination for a day out in the Southern Lake District over the years, for it offers many different activities and attractions - there is something for everyone at Holker, not to mention its proximity to the fantastic scenery and attractions of the English Lake District.
Holker's popularity might also have something to do with the fact that the Hall is located only a short distance from Grange-over-Sands and the beautiful expanse of Morecambe Bay. Indeed, this area of the Lakes is made up of exceptionally beautiful countryside, and the gardens of the Hall merge into parkland framed by the Lakeland Hills.
Holker is a Norse word, meaning a hilly area in marshy land. This quality must have made the site a popular choice for habitation for centuries: and indeed, the records show there was a house here by the start of the 16th century. From then, the Estate has never been sold; it has passed, by inheritance, through the family line right up till the present day.
Holker is on a grand scale. But it is a family home, and the comfort of the Hall is obvious the moment you step inside. Superficially, it now could be described as a neo-Elizabethan mansion, with extensive landscaped gardens. These gardens offer a relaxed counterpoint to the rugged fells in the Lakeland countryside to the north.
There is much to see in the house. To take one example, the long gallery (very much a feature of great Elizabethan houses) was adapted by the Victorian architects and craftsmen who worked on the house in this period. Amongst the furniture in the gallery you'll find some high quality pieces: a Regency mahogany and satinwood desk; an octagonal Derbyshire inlaid black polished table made of limestone; a display table containing a purse belonging to Georgiana, wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire (whose life was recently the subject of a feature film); and a nineteenth-century English table with an Italian top made up from over 100 different squares of marble; and a walnut cabinet with marquetry from early in the nineteenth century.
This area is also a haven for wildlife. The parkland offers homes for red squirrels, endangered in much of England, and the bird life will provide even the most avid bird-watcher with an exciting day's spotting.
Nearby you can find the attractions of the Holker Festival, Cartmel Racecourse, and some of the most beautiful walking in the Southern Lakes. In addition, you're only a stone's throw away from the attractions based at Lakeside on Windermere: the old "steamers", elegant motor yachts in which you can cruise the Lake, the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway, on which you can enjoy a trip by steam train, and the Aquarium of the Lakes, featuring marine life from around the world.
So, whether you want to visit historic Holker Hall, its famous and fascinating gardens, or you fancy a flutter at Cartmel races, or you'd like to try some other entertainment a little further afield, this area of the Lakes offers many opportunities for an entertainment-packed day out which will amuse all the family.
The Lake District Guide contains hundreds of pages of information on Lakes hotels and other accommodation, as well as restaurants, walks, places to go and things to do. In fact, we have all the information you'll need for a great holiday in the Lakes. Find us at The Lake District Guide
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