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Wray Castle, Ambleside
(2.9/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
Visit Wray Castle, a mock-Gothic castle sitting on the shores of Lake Windermere. Join a free tour to learn about the history of the 1840s castle, now mostly devoid of the paintings, antiques, and furniture typical of other castles. Let your kids have fun in the dress-up and castle-building areas. In the gardens and grounds, hop on a rope swing or walk along one of the trails. Take in the views of Lake Windermere and the nearby fells. Tree-lovers can enjoy the selection of Wellingtonia, redwood, Ginkgo Biloba, weeping lime, and beech trees. With our online itinerary creator, Ambleside attractions like Wray Castle can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fantastic place with nice views, bit too crowded due to bus tours of people turning up but can't complain 
  • Visited on day of our departure so didn't venture into the castle itself as the kids were more than entertained for nearly a couple of hours in the excellent grounds. Will definitely return next time ...  more »
  • We visited Wray Castle and were amazed and interested in the history of the place which at first appears to be a castle of sorts but turns out to be a " folly ". I do remember years ago this being use...  more »
Google
  • Great for families since there is a lot for kids to do. We've been here many times and always enjoy it. It's also worth checking out the grounds since the scenery is (unsurprisingly) superb if you stroll down to the water. Dont come expecting anything amazing in the cafe, it's fairly limited buy perfectly adequate.
  • Not a typical National Trust house. This was left to the Trust more or less empty and they've chosen to convert it into an extended indoor activity or play area, primarily aimed at children. If you've got kids it's great: lots of things to do in the rooms - build a foam brick castle, play billiards on a full size table, explore Peter Rabbit's den, or dress up as knights and princesses. What's more, activities appear to be regularly changed. I was last here a few months ago and they added a Beatrix Potter room and archery room. It's cheap and cheerful, but that never seems to bother our kids. There's also an outdoor adventure play area if the weather's better. All in all, a full day's worth of fun. If you haven't got kids, or if you'd like a more sedate stroll around a historic house and gardens then you might not find what you're looking for here.
  • Really nice place to visit especially when its not school holidays and probably midweek. The grounds are great with superb walks along the Lake shore and the Castle itself has a nice Cafe and is worthy of a walk around. Most of the poor reviews on here appear to be written by people who think the place has to conform with what they think of as an NT property, whereas this doesn't - If you're a non member and have to pay I'd seriously consider not coming if you're intolerant of kids or are expecting a spectacular interior - those who ARE members and hence won't need to pay when entering should go. Its a good example of how the NT are TRYING to keep their buildings and grounds open with small budgets and ARE trying to engage with younger members and visitors who might not be as snooty as a lot of ppl who've reviewed here obviously are.
  • Not your typical National Trust location. The castle is not a true castle as it was built in the 19th century and left to the trust bereft of internal fixtures and furnishings. There is refurbishment taking place and the rooms have become child friendly spaces where they can dress up as knights and princesses or build their own castle with soft play bricks. Very much orientated towards families with children and if you want a real castle in the traditional sense of the word you won't find it here. Not so much as a suit of armour! Outside there are stunning grounds to explore with fantastic views across Lake Windermere along with an adventure playground in the woods. Parking rates are reasonable and parking is free if you are member of the National Trust. There is a small cafĂ© serving a selection of cold sandwiches and snacks plus hot and cold drinks. No hot food available but you can bring your own and eat outdoors. The National Trust also make mention of the car park filling quickly, it isn't big and I can see high season or events making it an issue. Overall an excellent place to visit and we had a great time staying much longer than we originally anticipated.
  • Kids loved it, but watch out for ogre at the GateHouse! After a lovely day, leaving by the gatehouse we were tempted by a selection of Jams for sale by the owner. Falling for this trick, after having a look we were promptly chased away by the owner of the gatehouse who insisted the road from Low Wray to High Wray is in fact a private road and we shouldn't be standing there! No jam for us! I feel he didn't like the children, which is a strange offset to Wrey Castle.