All the National Trust sites in the Lake District as cuts announced

The National Trust (NT) currently cares for more than 20 percent of the Lake District National Park, including 90 farms and places such as Hill Top and Wray Castle.

Last month, bosses at the trust revealed the charity had lost almost £200 million due to the Covid-19 crisis, which shut all of its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes, and stopped holidays and events.

To combat this, it has proposed £100 million in annual savings, through changes to operations and cuts to staff and budgets, including plans to potentially make 1,200 staff redundant.

With Cumbria home to the Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site and many other sites of historic, cultural and ecological significance, we asked the NT what this could mean for the sites in region.

Regional director, Mike Innerdale said: “We currently care for over 20% of the Lake District National Park, including 90 farms and places such as Hill Top and Wray Castle.

“The figure is organisation-wide and reflects the whole National Trust. Our plans have been drawn up by looking across the organisation, not at individual areas in isolation.

“As the proposals are subject to a 45-day consultation process, were unable to comment on specific areas at this stage.”

The trust said it had already saved millions of pounds through furloughing staff, drawing on reserves, borrowing, and stopping or deferring projects, but still needs to make savings to keep it sustainable in the long term.

So while little detail has been given at this time, we thought it would be useful to take stock of the sites currently looked after by the NT.

The below it not a definitive list, and there are a number of other sites, buildings, businesses, countryside, walking paths and waterways under the care of the NT, but it offers an insight into number and types of places currently looked after by the charity.

It’s important to note that due to the current Covid-19 crisis, many of the NT’s car parks, cafes or buildings may remain closed.

Here Cumbria Live has listed 24 of the sites and spaces owned by the National Trust in Cumbria and the Lake District:

1. Hill Top

Author Beatrix Potter’s Ambleside home attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Fans of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck, travel to the house with hopes of gaining an insight into the author’s life and what sparked her creativity.

Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse is described as “a time-capsule of her life.”

For more information, click here.

2. Sizergh

Described as a “beautiful medieval house, with rich gardens and estate,” the house and estate near Kendal is owned by the NT.

The grounds provide a base to explore the ancient woodland, traditional farms and abundance of wildlife.

Visitors can take in the views across the from the viewpoint at Helsington Barrows, or look out for wetland birds from the hide at Park End Moss.

For more information, click here.

3. Fell Foot

Described as a “lakeshore park with stunning mountain views,” Fell Foot was formerly the grounds of a Victorian villa.

Situated beside Windermere, it now offers visitors the chance to explore impressive gardens, or jump on a boat ride around the Lake District’s largest lake.

The site is also home to a series of Grade II listed boathouses, described as “arguably the most significant examples of their Gothic style in the Lake District.”

For more information, click here.

4. Wray Castle

Wray Castle sits on the shores of Lake Windermere with its towering turrets, tall towers and exaggerated Gothic architecture.

The NT owns this neo-gothic castle which is really quite the spectacle, and so too are the gardens, thanks to the 20,000 spring bulbs planted in the grounds in 2018.

It was recently discovered that Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the National Trust’s founders, spent time as a vicar at Wray Church, and it was at the castle in 1882, when a young Beatrix Potter holidayed in the Lake District for the first time.

For more information, click here.

5. Allan Bank and Grasmere

Described as “a real Georgian gem,” Allan Bank sits proudly with stunning views over Grasmere and beyond.

The house has a “rich history of notable tenants” including William Wordsworth.

For more information, click here.

6. Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead

Beatrix Potter’s original artwork is on display in this 17th-century house turned gallery.

The trust has also worked on a new path between Hawkshead and Near Sawrey, “giving visitors and locals the opportunity to explore the area on foot or bike, just as Beatrix Potter would have done.”

For more information, click here.

7. Bridge House

The iconic Bridge House, stands over Stock Beck, right in the heart of Ambleside.

The 17th-century house, which is also bridge, is described as a quirky reminder of town’s past.

The structure has taken on many guises over the years – a tea-room, a weaving shop and apparently at one time, home to a family of eight.

For more information, click here.

8. Claife viewing station and Windermere West Shore

The viewing station at Claife is described as a “colourful viewing station with endless lake views and waterside paths.”

It’s said the Windermere west shore is area is best explored on foot or by bike, and “the place to go for lakeside strolls, great views and picnics by the water.”

For more information, click here.

9. Acorn Bank

Described as a “delightful garden renowned for its herbs and fruit orchards,” Acorn Bank has a long history dating back to the 13th century.

It’s said the first owners were the Knights Templar in 1228, and Acorn Bank, with its 180 acres of park and woodland, went through a whole host of owners before it was given to the NT in 1950.

For more information, click here.

10. Wordsworth House and Garden

The site is the childhood home of revered poet William Wordsworth and his siblings.

It’s said that spending time playing in the gardens, is what fist inspired the then little Wordsworth to become one of the world’s best-loved nature poets.

For more information, click here.

11. Coniston and Little Langdale

The Coniston and Little Langdale ranger team looks after nearly 4200 hectares of valleys, lakes and fells.

This summer the trust started work on the Greenburn Hydro Project, a “significant hydropower project nestled in the heart of this valley.”

For more information, click here.

12. Aira Force and Ullswater

The impressive Aira Force is described as “a showcase for the power and beauty of nature” and a place to escape the ordinary.

The water fall drops 65ft and offers a picturesque view point and popular photo opportunity.

For more information, click here.

13. Keld Chapel

A remote, medieval chapel, thought to have been the chantry for Shap Abbey originally.

The picturesque and rustic stone chapel was built around the sixteenth-century and has been used in a variety of ways during its long history.

For more information, click here.

14. Townend

A traditional Lake District stone and slate farmhouse, “full of quirky objects and fascinating stories.”

The house is brimming with character and was home to the Browne family, local farmers, for 400 hundreds years.

The house sits in the Troutbeck Valley and was donated to the Trust in 1948.

For more information, click here.

15. Footprint

The first building in Cumbria to be constructed with straw bale walls, and the first of its kind built anywhere by the NT.

The building was constructed in 2006 and is used as an educational base near Winderemere.

For more information, click here.

16. Borrowdale and Derwent water

The area of Borrowdale has a 4,500 year history and is home to a whole host of wildlife habitats.

The NT care for over 29,000 acres in the valley, carrying out conservation and looking after the “spectacular and varied lakeland landscape around Derwent Water.”

Places popular with visitors include the Castlerigg Stone Circle and the Castle Crag memorial given to the NT after the First World War.

Derwent Water is also home to four permanent islands cared for by the NT, plus according to the trust’s website, one floating island, which “sporadically appears towards the end of summer consisting of a mass of vegetable matter that rises to the surface on a cushion of methane gas!”

For more information, click here.

17. Stickle Barn and the Langdales

The area around Stickle Barn and the Langdales is described on the NT website as an “adventure playground of rugged slopes, craggy summits and a cracking pint.”

The Langdales, home to the majestic Langdale Pikes and mountain tarns, are a natural playground for lovers of the outdoors.

There are many walk and activies to do around Langdale and Elterwater, but most end up with visit to the pub at Sticklebarn, nestled in the Langdale valley – where it is noted that well-behaved dogs are more than welcome at Sticklebarn, even muddy ones too.

For more information, click here.

18. Tarn Hows and Coniston

A project to restore and protect habitats on Tarn Hows is ongoing, as NT teams work to protect the area’s majestic views and peaceful walks.

According to the website, in 1930, thanks to fund raising and significant donations, the NT purchased and took management of a large part of the Monk Coniston estate from the Marshall family, as did Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis.

A fan of the Lake District and NT, Potter later sold more of her share to the trust, and left the remainder to the charity in her will.

For more information, click here.

19. Arnside and Silverdale

Arnside and Silverdale is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), which boasts miles of coastal countryside, clifftops, woodland, and wildflower meadows.

It has been an AONB since 1972 and straddles the boundary of Cumbria and Lancashire.

The NT website reads: “Look to the Lakeland fells and Morecambe Bay as you continue to climb and enjoy views of the Yorkshire Dales and back down into Lancashire.”

Walks in the area offer spectacular views and the chance to spot some rare butterflies.

For more information, click here.

20. Stagshaw Garden

Stagshaw Garden is a short walk from the town of Ambleside and is described as “a welcome sanctuary from the hustle and bustle below.”

The woodland garden offers rambling paths and an unusual combination of shrubs, trees and plants, that give the garden an enchanted feel.

The garden is described as having “a different delight around each corner.”

For more information, click here.

21. Steam yacht gondola

A rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht on Coniston Water.

Visitors can take a cruise on the Gondola, or even book the boat for a wedding reception, anniversary, birthday, or other special occasion.

For more information, click here.

22. Eskdale and Duddon Valley

The Eskdale and Duddon Valley descends from high mountains down to beautiful beaches on Cumbria’s western coast.

Visitors can go for a ramble along the River Esk, take in the scenery and travel along one of Cumbria’s “favourite and most memorable steam railways.”

There are a number of walks, facilities and things to do in the area, for more information click here.

23. Crummock Water

Described as “one of the most jaw-dropping beach-side views in the Lakes,” this part of the Buttermere Valley offers woodland with rare red squirrels, panoramic views of Grassmoor, Rannerdale Knotts, Red Pike and Mellbreak, and even a waterfall.

There are a number of walks visitors can do, and there’s also a sheltered shingle beach by a slate boat house, which is a popular spot for wild swimming.

For more information, click here.

24. Force Crag Mine

According to the NT, for more than 200 years men worked at the Force Crag Mine, first digging for lead, then later for barites and zinc.

Each year the trust opens the mine for a couple of days, and invites visitors to learn about the area’s mining history.

To access the mine you must walk, or cycle the mine track from just outside Braithwaite village, or book a place on a Landrover shuttle.

The mine was the focus of a special project to protect and care for its nationally important collection of mining machinery in 2016 and 2017.

For more information, click here.

Lancs Live – Cumbria