Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle

Route: Muncaster Castle 

Area: Southern Lake District 

Date of walk: 15th May 2024

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.5 miles

Ascent: 250 feet

Weather: Cloudy 

Muncaster Castle is privately owned and occupies a wonderful position above the River Esk, just a mile from the west coast. The castle gardens extend to 77 acres and are best seen in May, when the rhododendrons and azaleas are ablaze with colour. There’s enough interest here to occupy a full day, including flying displays featuring owls and birds of prey

We parked in the main car park and followed Main Drive towards the castle, diverting after a while to walk along the Enchanted Trail.  The huge rhododedrons and azaleas were at their peak and were a dazzling sight

After passing by Muncaster Castle we set off along the Long Terrace Walk, which stretches for half a mile and was described by John Ruskin as the ‘Gateway to Paradise’. The terrace was laid out by the 1st Lord Muncaster in the 1780’s and offers views of the Scafells and many of the western fells. We returned to the castle via the Japanese garden and made our way over to the Bluebell Wood. We expected that we’d be too late to see the flowers at their best and we were right, but we enjoyed a good woodland ramble along Top Ride and back via Middle Ride (known as the Waberthwaite Crag Walk)

The next highlight was the Sino-Himalayan Trail, so called because the climate at Muncaster is equivalent to that found at 11,000 feet in the Himalayan area, so that plants from the high mountains flourish here, including camellia and rhododendron. This ended another visit to these wonderful gardens

For other walks here, visit my Find Walks page and enter the name in the ‘Search site’ box

I haven’t included the usual route map, as a map of the grounds is given out at the entrance. This is a place to wander around at will rather than following a set route. Click on the icon below icon for a map showing the location of Muncaster Castle

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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