|Levens Hall, billed as one of the "best topiary gardens in the world"|
Start at Levens Hall (top), billed as one of the best topiary gardens in the world and deservedly so. You'll be amazed by the surreal and immaculately scissored shapes and the magnificent underplanting. Click the link to see more of this wonderful garden!
|Italianate water cascade at Holker Hall|
|Your first view of Sizergh Castle gives you no indication of the wonderful gardens!|
But make sure you don't miss out on Sizergh Castle, just a short drive from Levens Hall. The castle was originally built to protect the local inhabitants from invading marauders, but today is a peaceful haven with stunning gardens, including a Rock Garden added in the 1920s, an immaculately maintained Dutch garden, vegetable gardens and the chance to walk in verdant countryside. I was amazed to see this garden gets little more than a cursory mention in "The Good Gardens Guide". But rest assured, it's well worth visiting!
And if you're looking for somewhere to stay in the area, my recommendation is Austwick Hall at nearby Settle - a delightful house with its own stunning garden and rooms and food to die for! You'll find fantastic bluebell displays in springtime; glorious borders throughout the summer; lovely views over the surrounding countryside and hospitality that's hard to beat. I enjoyed my stay here so much that I'm planning to use this charming hotel as my base for all future visits to the Lake District.
|Austwick Hall - charming country hotel with wonderful garden|