Muncaster Castle – a Gem of a Place to Visit in Cumbria

July 8, 2020
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I have enjoyed visiting Muncaster Castle on various occasions over the last 15 years. We’ve been to weddings, I’ve taken my daughter and her friends many times to enjoy Festival of Fools, , Hawk & Owl Centre, Meadowvole Maze, Halloween events….. but my visit in June was even more wonderful than ever as the Castle grounds were really quiet and we almost felt like it was ours for a few hours!

The first thing I must say is that of course we all want Muncaster to be buzzing with happy people again, hosting regular events and thriving again after the extraordinary challenges of Coronavirus and this time of lockdown. So I hope the Frost-Penningtons will forgive my joy in finding a quiet oasis there on this occasion, but I encourage everyone to visit again, become a Friend of Muncaster (ridiculously good value) and spread the word about this beautiful, historic place. We need to support our local tourism and heritage by visiting and using the wonderful facilities (which are now opening up again within the government guidelines).

But for a brief moment let me just reminisce about the day I felt like Queen of the Castle…..

We visited to give a close friend a “socially distanced” afternoon tea treat in the grounds, and ended up being able to do this in front of the castle. We’d had to cancel original plans due to #lockdown and thought that this was a perfect alternative. We each packed up a picnic, ensured we could all be self-sufficient on our own rugs, but could enjoy company and a little celebration. We were thrilled with the time we had. It was just a joy from start to finish, and was topped off with a lovely talk with Peter Frost-Pennington who was out tending to the estate.

We were so lucky as the sun shone, and we enjoyed about 4 hours with our picnic, a good giggle and a leisurely wander in the grounds. Every inch of the Castle grounds are a joy. Despite having been so many times, I hadn’t explored along the terrace. We didn’t even get as far as we wanted to on this occasion BUT we have all joined as Friends of Muncaster so that we can return throughout the summer. Next time we’re going to explore further and go to Twiggy Wood in the hope of catching a glimpse of Twiggy herself!

Whether you join as an individual or as a family, it is such good value.

For those with younger children there is the maze and acres of grounds to explore. There are wonderful birds of prey and much more…. This is what the website says about opening up more facilities:

From the 8th July the Hawk & Owl centre & maze will also be included in your online tickets! Please buy your tickets online before arriving (limited numbers available) to enjoy the gardens, maze and say hello to the birds once again in their centre!

Not sure when the fabulous outside playground complete with mini zipwire will re-open but of course it will as soon as safe to do so.

I really just wanted to share that this wonderful place opens up again more fully from today, and that whether you are buying local produce, using local services or visiting local gems like Muncaster Castle, it really makes a difference to Cumbria and all that this area has to offer. I think Muncaster is exceptional, and as part of Pennington history since 1208 (I think!) something to treasure and support

#shoplocal #theplacetobe #cumbria #onourdoorstep