The market town of Penrith lies in the Eden Valley just north of the River Eamont. The Thacka Beck, a man made watercourse, flows through the middle of town and connects the Petteril and Eamont Rivers. It is home to several landmarks that make for great stops for visitors in the area.
The ruins of Penrith Castle are one of the first stops for many visitors. Originally built between 1300s to 1500s the castle ruins are located adjacent to the railway station. The castle was started as just a stone wall that was added to an already existing Pele tower. Over the next seventy years the castle was added to and improved upon to become the royal fortress for the Duke of Gloucester. The castle is now owned by the English Heritage and is popular stop for tourists.
Penrith Castle is not the only castle for visitors to visit. Located on the River Eamont, the 13th Century castle is still mostly intact, the keep mainly. There is also a reinforced double gate house. The castle is a popular stop with its carved stones that have been proven to be from the nearby Roman fort. While there are wheel chair paths that allow those with disabilities to view a majority of the grounds, the keep itself is not really wheelchair accessible.
Another historic home that is available for visitors to tour is the Hutton-in-the Forest historic house. This house is based on the Pele tower. The contents are collections of tapestry, ceramics, portraits and furniture. Hutton-in-the-Forest is still a private residence but there are many areas of the house that is open for visitors. The gardens are absolutely breathtaking and are surrounded by a medieval forest.
The Dalemain Historic House and Gardens are a mixture of Tudor and Georgian architecture. The facade is the thing that is noticed by guests first. The cobbled courtyard is another breathtaking site. The house is home to many a collection of furniture, family portraits and china. You can visit a nursery, housekeeper's room, and drawing rooms. There is also a Fell Pony Museum and Mrs. Mouse's house. The gardens are located on five acres and include a rose walk with nearly two hundred roses. There are also wild flowers, flower shrubs and Tudor Knot Garden.
For families there is the Eden Ostrich World. This attraction is located just east of Penrith and is home to a variety of animals for visitors to see and enjoy. There are rare breeds of cattle, pigs and sheep as well as the African black ostrich for which the park is named. Along with the animals there are play areas, mazes and picnic areas. There is also a gift shop and tea room.
There are more animal lover stops in the Penrith area as well. The Alpaca Center is located close to Ullswater Lake. Visitors can walk through the center and view the alpacas either from the paddocks or the tearoom. Entry into the center is free and is only £ 1 per person for the field walk.
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