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The picturesque county of Cumbria attracts huge numbers of tourists each and every year. Known to be one of England's most naturally beautiful counties, Cumbria boasts welcoming villages, glistening lakes and dizzying peaks. It's not all about the countryside, though. The north-western county is also home to a number of fascinating historical attractions. One such attraction is Dalemain, a country house located a short way south of Penrith. The stunning property is within easy reach of numerous Cumbria hotels.
The original building at Dalemain was not a mansion at all, but a defensive tower, constructed in the 12th Century. A while later the great hall was built, with several wings added in the 16th Century. In the years since then the mansion has served as the home to a wealthy family, before being opened to the public in 1977.
The pink stone Georgian building looks its best on sunny days, as the colour comes through in the light. On even a grey day, though, admirers of architecture will appreciate the Palladian symmetry of this substantial Grade I listed property.
Alongside the mansion lies some five acres of stunning gardens. The delightful and dynamic gardens were awarded Garden of the Year in 2013, and for good reason. The variety of plants ranged from the rugged and wild to the carefully sculptured. Whether you're enchanted by the autumn shades or the summer lawns, the garden is sure to make for a memorable day out during your stay in Cumbria.
To complete the package, visitors can enjoy a tearoom and restaurant, a gift shop and several museums.
Many of the best hotels in Cumbria are located in the Lake District, meaning visitors to Dalemain are spoilt for choice. The Queens Head Inn offers traditional accommodation within minutes of the country house. With free parking, guests can freely enjoy the nearby delights of Ullswater or the town of Penrith.
Those who prefer a waterside location can head south to the Brackenrigg Inn, which overlooks the popular Ullswater. The three-star guest house offers free WiFi and a tasty breakfast.