Hubby and I met up with two younger members of our family to go on a hard hat tour at Wray Castle. We had time to explore the public parts of the castle and to go for a short walk before the tour we had booked. (There are only a few days a year, when the hard hat tour is available.)
It was a beautiful sunny day and there was a special quality to the light. As the trees had shed their leaves there were views, which are obscured by foliage in other seasons of the year.
Trees in autumn sunshine
From the front of the castle
A mature tree
Spot the castle!
Spot the castle again!
Sunshine on stonework
I had been a little concerned that my enjoyment of the tour might be marred by vertigo, but the guide set everyone’s mind at rest on that score. Even on the roof we were unable to look down as there were high parapets. It was a very enjoyable outing.
I wrote about our first visit to this National Trust property here.
Dad was a keen photographer and one of the things he used to say was that we should always look up, especially when visiting a building. My first photo is from Wray Castle. The second is from a garden which was open to the public in April under the National Garden Scheme. The third is not particularly beautiful, but it amused me. In fact I took it with this challenge in mind. The scrolling overhead display on the train usually states the destination and lists all the places en route. On this train the words displayed at various times were, On maintenance, Special and Depot.
Finding that we had some time to spare on the way home from Ambleside, we consulted an out-of-date National Trust Handbook and decided to make a detour to Wray Castle.
Go Herdwick sheep, Ambleside
We were glad that we did. It is in a beautiful location, reminiscent of Muncaster Castle with panoramic views from the front. Inside there are over 50 rooms, not all of which are open to the public. The servants’ quarters are only open to guided tours. We arrived in time for one of these. The story of Wray Castle is one where truth is stranger than fiction. Or as the saying goes, “You couldn’t make it up!”
Part of the view
A little bit of architecture
Like Allan Bank at Grasmere, Wray Castle a property, where visitors may make themselves at home. There are surprises in many of the rooms to delight children of all ages and the young at heart.
Much of the original oak-panelling was removed before the National Trust acquired the castle, leaving bare walls, which lend themselves to murals of various kinds. The bottom centre photo (captioned Illusion) shows examples.
Outside the grounds are huge, including a five-mile stretch of the shore of Windermere. We did not have time to explore the grounds at all and intend to return at the earliest opportunity to do some walking there.