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Temple Sowerby House Hotel - Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Winner 2015






Cumbria has had a violent history, evidenced by the existence of many forts and, of course, Hadrian's Wall. The Eden Valley has many treasures for the Castle-enthusiast to discover and Temple Sowerby is at the heart of the Valley. A couple of days exploring the Castles of Eden enable you to discover the delights of the Eden Valley itself in an extremely rewarding way.

Starting in the south of the valley, close to where the Eden rises, this castle trail leads all the way to Carlisle itself, and the nearby Hadrian's Wall. A true voyage of historical discovery amidst some of the most scenic landscapes in the country!

The stunning location of Pendragon Castle

Pendragon Castle

Small but atmospheric, Pendragon Castle sits in the Mallerstang Valley close to the source of the River Eden on Mallerstang Edge.

Stories tell that Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, died at the castle.

Pendragon Castle on an Autumn Morning


The castle suffered several sackings over it's lifetime, the last in the late 17th century, since when it has been derelict.

The ruins can be approached from a footpath and there are wonderful views all round of Mallerstang and Wild Boar Fell. The Settle - Carlisle Railway runs through the Mallerstang Valley and it's highest point is close by.


Brough Castle

Like many castles in this border region of England, Brough Castle has a bloody history. Built in the 11th century, it was captured by the Scots, then recaptured, taken, and recaptured again!

It passed to the Clifford family in the 1300's and lived in until around 1520, when it was badly damaged by fire. In a final ignominy, some of the stone was taken in the 17th century to repair damage to other local castles.

Located just south of Brough itself, it is worth taking the time to visit.




Brough Castle in the Eden Valley




Appleby Castle

Deep in the heart of the Eden Valley, nestling alongside the meandering river Eden, stands Appleby Castle. This spectacular motte and bailey castle has been held by the Kings of England and Scotland and boasts one of the few remaining intact Norman keeps (not a ruin). Within a ten minute drive from Temple Sowerby, you can now experience this lovely castle for yourself on a guided tour available from Spring to Autumn.



Brougham Castle

Brougham Castle, just to the South-East of Penrith, is stunningly situated by the banks of the River Eamont, a tributary of the Eden. It is very impressive and a must to visit for any Castle enthusiast!

Initially suffering a similar fate to Brough, Brougham Castle was rescued by the Earl of Cumberland and lived in for over a hundred years until the roundheads destroyed it during the civil war.


Brougham Castle by the River Eamont

Brougham Castle - an impressive site



Lady Anne Clifford, one of the most important figures in local history, restored and lived in the castle until her death there in 1676.

Owned by English Heritage, the castle is open most of the year, but only at weekends during the winter.

Dacre Castle

Dacre Castle, a few miles South-West of Penrith, is one of those rare castles that are still lived in today.

Now part of the Dalemain Estate, this Pele Tower was built in the 14th century to protect against those marauding scotsmen!

When marauding died out as sport in the late 17th century, the castle was made more habitable by Lord Dacre, who added the windows, amongst other alterations.


Following his death, the castle deteriorated and it was not until the Hasell family of Dalemain bought the castle that restoration work, started in 1961, finally brought it back to life.

The castle is not open to the public but there are many walks around Dacre itself and one footpath goes right passed the castle, so viewing is easy.

Dalemain House, near Ullswater, is also well worth a visit.

Aerial View of Dacre Castle


Penrith Castle

Situated at the top of the town next to the very pleasant Castle Park, Penrith Castle has been in ruins since the late 16th century and much stone was used for other buildings in the town. However, the ruins are tall and forbidding and well worth a stroll around.

Built in the late 14th century, it was once owned by King Richard III and was also garrisoned during the civil war before falling into disrepair.


The impressive, full-height walls emphasise the strength of the castle and the well-preserved motte gives a clear understanding of the difficulties involved with any assault on the castle.

It is also worth the short stroll down the hill into Penrith to explore the local shops and visit

St Andrew's Church and the Giant's Grave in the churchyard.

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Just 15 minutes drive from Temple Sowerby, this castle stands on a site occupied by the Lowther family for over 800 years. Having been in terminal decline for some decades the castle and gardens are now undergoing restoration. The stable courtyard offers café, shop, heritage toilets, meeting room and a display area where visitors can find out more about the process of restoration. It is really worth spending an afternoon wandering around the garden and discovering all the hidden corners being worked upon and learning about the colourful history of Lowther Castle.


Carlisle Castle

An absolutely stunning castle in a wonderful state of preservation.

Carlisle Castle has defended the city for over 900 years and is the most besieged castle in the British Isles, having been besieged 10 times during the long course of its history! Right up until the 1960's, it was home to the Border Regiment and now houses their museum.

Carlisle Castle



The Castle is managed by English Heritage and is open most of the year, although lony at weekends during the winter.

It is well worth looking at the ENGLISH HERITAGE website for lots more information about Carlisle Castle.

The VISIT CUMBRIA website also has good information and photographs of the castle.

Temple Sowerby House Hotel   Temple Sowerby   Penrith   Cumbria   CA10 1RZ   t: 01768 361578