Lowther Castle and Gardens partially reopens for visitors

  • Video report by Kate Walby.

One of Cumbria's most popular tourist attractions has partially reopened to visitors.

Lowther Castle and Gardens, near Penrith, usually welcomes more than a hundred thousand people every year, but it has been shut since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Until now the former stately home and its impressive garden have been open to just a handful of staff, with the rest of furloughed for the time being.

Coronavirus is the third setback the estate has faced in the last six months.

Ariel footage of Lowther Castle and Gardens, near Penrith. Credit: ITV News

Martin Ogle is the general manager of Lowther Castle & Gardens, he said: "We started the year off in quite a bad way with all of the storms that hit us in the early part of the year.

"And this area was hit with problems from the burst water main, which set us back slightly as well for a couple of weeks.

"As soon as that was over the bad weather continued and then Covid-19 hit. So, we've been very unfortunate and it feels like it's been a very long winter to begin with."

Martin Ogle, general manager of Lowther Castle & Gardens. Credit: ITV News

Add to that the cancellation of Kendal Calling music festival next month which takes place in the grounds of Lowther Castle.

Martin said: "Obviously, that's a huge income for us and unfortunately that's been cancelled this year. It is a sad, sad loss because thousands were looking forward to that.

"We'll just have to keeping moving on in a positive way as much as possible and look forward to next year."

Kendal Calling is annually held on the grounds of Lowther Castle. Credit: PA

No one is more keen for the whole site to reopen than volunteers like Mike Walsh, he said: "I retied a few years ago and anyone who's retired will tell you sometimes you don't know what to do with yourself.

"I'm desperate to get back in and help Martin and the gardening team crack on with the project - there's so much to catch up with."

The Lowther show is no longer held here - the British weather saw to that.

But there is a sense of hope that this historic tourist attraction can and will recover from the impact of coronavirus