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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
All year; 11am - 4pm, or dusk if earlier in winter. From 25th Mar; 10.30am - 6pm
Late opening for special events with Darkest Muncaster Illuminations on selected dates, see our website for details.
Pre booking required
25th Mar - 4th Nov; Sun - Fri; 12noon - 4.30pm From 9th Dec every Sunday and other dates to be announced, see own website
April, May and June
Summer (25 Mar - 4 Nov):
Adult, gardens, Owl Centre & Maze, £10.00, Castle upgrade £3.00
Child (5-15) £6.00: Castle upgrade £1.50
Winter (1st Feb - 24 Mar and 5th Nov - 31st Dec)
Adult, gardens, Owl Centre & Maze, £6.50, Castle upgrade £3.50
Child (5-15) £3.50: Castle upgrade £2.50. Children under 5s Free
Group discounts. Season tickets available
Meet the Birds daily at 2.30pm
Heron Happy Hour 4.30pm
5th - 7th May - Feast of Flowers
3rd - 7th June - Muncaster Jubilee Festival
25th - 27th August -Medieval Muncaster
Halloween Week 27th October - 3rd November
Victorian Christmas Tours - 9, 16, 21, 23, 27 & 28 December.
Winner of the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award 2011
Coachman's Quarters B&B, Muncaster Castle Gardens. Pennington Hotel, Ravenglass
Pennington Hotel, Ravenglass
Set in the dramatic grandeur of the lakeland Fells, the wild, woodland gardens are home to an incredible collection of rare and beautiful plants. Miles of paths wind through this extraordinary scenery, which also provides cover for a varied wildlife population. Many of the plants in the gardens are now highly endangered in their native habitats. Thousands of specimens, particularly from China and the Far East, have been grown from seed collected on recent expeditions around the turn of the third Millennium. British plants too flourish in abundance, and the bluebells in the high woods should not be missed in late April and early May.
No matter what time of year you visit, there is always something in flower and new discoveries to be made. And the highlight: the view from the Castle and Terrace is truly the 'Gateway to Paradise' as described by John Ruskin, the 19th century father of the conservation movement.
The gardens are especially colourful during May and June when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom.
In the 1780's John, Lord Muncaster, planted several thousand hardwood trees, beech, chestnut, elm and oak thoughout the estate. Many of these trees remain and provide the framework for the gardens and protection from the wild.
Rhododendrons were first planted around 1840. A decade later Joseph Hooker started collecting rhododendrons in Sikkim and started a passion for these plants that lasts to this day.
Sir John Ramsden inherited Muncaster in 1917 and soon realised that the gardens provided one of the best sites in the country for growing what was to become a 'flood' of new species. Together with Lionel de Rothschild and others, he helped finance expeditions to South West China and Tibet. George Forrest and Frank Kingdom-Ward made many separate journeys into the remote mountains and made thousands of plant and seed collections. They were followed by Ludlow and Sherriff and the American Joseph Rock. Their collections, which included many dwarf species now available to gardeners today, would be much the poorer without these hard won introductions.