Enter a 'Gateway to Paradise' at Muncaster Castle

Ravenglass, Cumbria

Visit Muncaster Castle and experience the 'Gateway to Paradise', as described by John Ruskin, with views over to Ravenglass and over the Esk Valley towards Scafell Pike.

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The Gardens, dating back to the 18th Century, are now home to one of Europe's largest collections of Rhododendrons, created by Sir John Ramsden, the sixth Baronet. Although wonderful to explore at any time of year, spring is when Muncaster's gardens are at their best and the month of May is the peak of the flowering season.

Don't expect neat borders and regimented ranks of bedding plants; this wild, woodland garden will surprise and delight with banks of colour cascading down the hillsides and ravines. Flowering camellias, magnolias and native wild daffodils abound in March, but as April turns to May, rhododendrons and azaleas are a riot of colour throughout the 77 acres of gardens. Many of the specimens at Muncaster were gathered by the great plant hunters of yester year, such as Frank Kingdon-Ward, Frank Ludlow and George Sherriff, during expeditions to China and Tibet, bringing the far flung corners of the world to this genteel corner of Cumbria, firmly placing Muncaster on the garden enthusiasts' map of must visit gardens.

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MMuncaster Castle gardens © Cumbria Tourism
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