We’ve had our National Trust membership for over a year now and like to use it as often as we can. We’ve been to Sizergh Castle near Kendal in Cumbria a few times now but I’ve never written about it so I thought it was about time I did.
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Sizergh is very easy to get to. It’s only about 5 minutes drive from junction 36 of the M6 or 10 minutes from Kendal (and it’s about 15 minutes from my in-laws house which is why we’ve been there a few times). There is plenty of parking on site right at the entrance to the property, which is free for National Trust members. You can find full details of how to get to Sizergh here.
Things to see and do at Sizergh
Sizergh Castle is a little unusual as far as National Trust properties go – the beautiful Medieval house is still lived in by the Strickland family. We haven’t actually been in the house itself yet so I can’t tell you too much about it. I will update this post next time we go though.
The first time we visited we didn’t go in the house because we were with Barry’s mum and dad. His mum has some mobility issues so she was using her electric tricycle to get around. (It’s like these from Jorvik Tricycles). This was great for getting around the grounds but unfortunately meant she couldn’t get in the house. It’s worth noting though that the ground floor of the house is wheelchair accessible, and there are wheelchairs and a powered mobility vehicle available at Sizergh for visitors to use if they need them.
The second time we visited was in winter when the house is closed to the public. It reopens on 21st March and you can check opening hours here.
There’s a lot to explore in the grounds of Sizergh Castle with plenty of space for children to run around. At the rear of the castle is the mirror pond, and to the right you can find the topiary garden.
There’s a large rock garden to the left, with lots of winding paths for little ones to explore. A bit further along is the kitchen garden which provides fresh produce for the café, and a gate at the end of the kitchen garden takes you through to the orchard complete with bees and chickens.
On our first visit to Sizergh there was an activity trail for the children to complete where they could learn all about different herbal remedies and medicines. The boys loved following the clues and finding the glass jars along the way. There are often different activities taking place so it’s worth checking the website or asking when you arrive.
Wild Play Trail
I think the boys’ favourite part of visiting Sizergh has to the be the Wild Play Trail. This is open all year round and as it is accessed from the car park it is free, even for non-NT members.
The trail winds through Chapel Wood with things to climb, logs to balance on, tunnels to crawl through, natural animal sculptures to spot and a fantastic tree swing to finish with.
We were there during the summer and the ground was dry but it can be muddy during wet weather so wellies or boots might be useful.
Food and Drink
The café and shop are at the entrance to Sizergh so if you aren’t a member of the National Trust you can visit the café without paying to go into the house and grounds. We did have lunch in the café on our first visit and it was very nice with the usual National Trust café offerings.
Low Sizergh Barn
However, if you are planning on eating at Sizergh I would thoroughly recommend Low Sizergh Barn, which is a few minutes away. It’s not part of the National Trust property – to get there you turn right instead of heading up the drive towards Sizergh Castle and follow the signs.
Low Sizergh Barn has a tearoom, farm shop and craft and gift shop, and is also a working dairy farm. You can watch the cows being milked from the tearoom and then even buy raw milk from the milk vending machine!
If you want to do some more exploring outdoors there is also a farm trail at Low Sizergh Barn, complete with Fairy Doors to discover. We last went on the trail in 2017 when we took this family Me & Mine picture so I think we’re probably due another visit soon!
Have you been to Sizergh Castle? I’d love to hear what your favourite parts are. Or perhaps you have another National Trust property that you love to visit – why not let me know where it is in the comments?