Need help with your booking call 01280 733 482
In the early 20th century, the rush of the Manchester mill owners to build weekend homes resulted in a rich mix of Arts & Crafts houses and gardens on the shores of the Cumbrian Lakes, where they combined cutting edge architecture and ornate craft traditions with the dramatic beauty of the English Lake District. Look out on England’s highest mountains as they plunge into deep lakes and watch the shimmer of light on the waters as you enjoy our carefully curated tour. **Please note:** This tour will start at 10:15 at the hotel for those wishing to leave cars at the hotel, with a 11:15 pick-up at Lancaster railway station.
After giving up the ‘safe’ job to train as a garden designer, Marion cut her horticultural teeth at the fabulous Special Plants nursery run by Derry Watkins. Following this she completed an MA in Garden History at the University of Bristol with Professor Tim Mowl. The historical, architectural and garden knowledge gained from this course has informed, shaped and enriched Marion's work ever since.
As all of Marion's gardens are a work in progress, her learning and development continues and is enhanced by the people she meets through research, tours, talks and design work.
Born in The Netherlands and based in the Cotswolds, our expert Sophie Piebenga has lived most of her life in the UK. Trained with the National Trust and qualified at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, all whilst working as head gardener of a private estate, Sophie quickly developed a particular interest in the conservation of historic gardens. This eventually led to a doctoral study at the University of York, researching the work of the early Victorian landscape gardener, William Sawrey Gilpin. Sophie has since worked freelance, mostly in the field of historic landscape conservation, and, for the last 25 years, has regularly led Boxwood tours around the UK and to Ireland, France, Spain and The Netherlands.
To use our NEW itinerary, simply click a day below and a detailed overview will appear.
After the pick-up at Lancaster Station, we enjoy a light lunch in a local inn before heading on to the rare and wonderful garden at Gresgarth Hall. This is the country home of Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, an Italian born garden designer with an international reputation who espouses Arts & Crafts principles in her garden creations. Every detail is carefully thought through with much to see at all times of the year, including the productive kitchen garden. We travel on to the Lakeside Hotel with time to settle in before an evening meal together. This is our base for the next three nights.
We begin the day with an exclusive visit to Blackwell, where Mackay Baille Scott created a beautifully decorated home with simply terraced gardens that overlook the views. After coffee, we travel on to Broad Leys, one of the area’s finest examples of Charles Voysey’s work, demonstrating his method of designing a total work of art both inside and outside. Now the home of the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, we shall be served lunch here overlooking the 7 acre lakeside gardens. After lunch we travel the short distance to Brockhole, designed by local architects Dan Gibson and Thomas Mawson for the Gaddum family. The Dutch style house is surrounded by tightly geometric gardens, leading to more naturalistic planting near the shore. We shall tour the gardens focussing on both the historic and richly planted elements. Our return journey to the hotel will be via a private launch, allowing us to view these and other secluded gardens from the lakeside.
Today we head north to High Moss, an important Arts & Crafts house featured in Laurence Weaver’s ‘Small Country Houses’. A diamond pattern theme runs throughout the house and garden, and the present owners have continued this motif in their additions to the vegetable and cut flower gardens. They have also added greatly to the variety of woodland shrubs and trees. We will then take a short visit to the twelfth century church of St Kentigern to learn the story of Canon Rawnsley, one of the Lake District’s greatest proponents of land preservation and a founder member of the National Trust. Afterwards we enjoy time at leisure in the market town of Keswick, where there will be an opportunity to discover more about the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Our afternoon visit takes us to Rydal Hall. This garden combines elements of the eighteenth-century savage picturesque with the Arts & Crafts gardens of Thomas Mawson. These contrast with the surrounding woodland and exemplify the formality of Italianate influences, characteristic of Mawson’s style. We return to the Lakeside Hotel for our final dinner together.
Our final day takes us to Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin, which overlooks Coniston Water. It was here that Ruskin sought solace from the pressures of fame and set about creating a ‘paradise of terraces’, heavily influenced by Dante Alighieri. We will be given a tour of parts of the house as well as exploring the intricate gardens intended by Ruskin for the close observation of nature and philosophical reflection. We end our tour as we began, with a visit to a modern garden influenced by the Arts & Crafts principles. At Yewbarrow House, owner Jonathan Denby has created richly planted south-facing terraces with glorious exotic species. Personal mementos of family mix with Italianate, Japanese and English elements, all overlooking the sensational panorama of Morecambe Bay: miles of tidal sands and glinting sea. Lunch will be served here. Return to Lancaster Railway Station for 16:00 and for those who have left cars, to the Lakeside Hotel for 17:00.
Single Room Supplement from £240.00 (4 days).
This 4-star Superior Hotel rests exclusively on the southern shore of Lake Windermere - part of the Lake District World Heritage site - in the most beautiful corner of England. With restful bedrooms, delicious fine dining inspired by fresh local produce and indulgent treatments in the luxury spa and pool, Lakeside is the perfect place to escape. A seamless blend of country-house character and contemporary four star luxury will make you feel completely at home – whether taking tea in the conservatory, relaxing in the pool or enjoying a glass of Champagne on the lake terrace.
Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can