It’s one of the Lake District’s newest attractions, and since it opened last summer it has enjoyed great success, despite being hidden away from most of the tourist hotspots. The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden can be found in a hidden corner of Derwent Water, and has been quietly making a name for itself for providing good food amongst beautiful surroundings. We popped along to see what all the fuss was about.

The Lingholm Estate

The Lingholm Walled Garden & Kitchen Entrance

The Lingholm Walled Garden & Kitchen Entrance

The Lingholm Kitchen is located on the Lingholm Estate, which is a small country estate that sits on the western shore of Derwent Water, looking across to Derwent Island and Keswick. The Grade II listed building was built in 1873, and it is at the back of this grand mansion that you will find the newly opened Kitchen.

Today, the main house remains a private property, however, part of it is let out for short term holiday lets. In addition, there are a number of buildings on the estate that are also used as holiday cottages.

Beatrix Potter at Lingholm

Sir Nutkin the Squirrel

Sir Nutkin the Squirrel guards the Lingholm Walled Gardens

Beatrix Potter spent many family holidays at the Lingholm Estate, and it is here that she found inspiration for her beloved story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, writing:

“If the vegetable garden and wicket gate were anywhere it was at Lingholm near Keswick; but it would be vain to go and look for it there as a firm of landscape gardeners did away with it, and laid it out anew with paved walks etc.” 

This was written by Beatrix Potter in a letter to Mr Arthur Stephens of Frederick Warne (Publisher) in February 1942, as published in “A History of the Writings of Beatrix Potter” by Leslie Linder. It is understood that Potter also wrote The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and the first draft of The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle during one of her stays at the estate.

The Lingholm Kitchen

Avocado Toast at The Lingholm Kitchen

Avocado Toast at The Lingholm Kitchen

The Lingholm Kitchen sits at the back of the estate’s main house, in a purpose built building with a vast terrace overlooking the walled garden. Inside you will find a large, open plan space with a mixture of tables and benches, all lit by vast windows looking out to the terrace and beyond. The walls are adorned with artwork by local artists that is available to buy. The counter displays a tempting array of cakes, and at one end of the counter you will find a bread table. Here you can choose a loaf of bread that has been baked on site, to purchase and take away, which you will probably want to do once you have sampled some from your sandwich.

Food is served until 3.30pm. In the mornings, between 9am and 12noon, you can opt for breakfast. The Huntsman breakfast with its Cumberland sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and more will certainly set you up for the day, and there is a vegetarian Gardener Breakfast that includes falafel and grilled halloumi. Alternatively, why not opt for brunch, served until 3.30pm with a selection of egg based dishes. We can heartily recommend the Avocado Toast, served with toasted sourdough bread and poached eggs. Lunch includes a selection of sandwiches or you can go for something heavier, such as the enormous Lingholm Burger. Afternoon Tea is available, but you must book this in advance.

The Kitchen is very child friendly. We found that there were plenty of high chairs to go around, and a children’s menu that has a good selection for even the fussiest of eaters. Menu items include simple sandwiches, pizza, or toast with cheese, beans, or jam. For picky eaters, we loved the Peter Rabbit’s Picnic, a plate of nibbles that included slices of bread, cucumber and carrot sticks with hummus, cheese cubes and ham. At one of the of the Kitchen, there are a couple of children’s tables with crayons and paper for colouring, and baby changing facilities are available.

The Kitchen Shop

Lingholm Shop

Peter Rabbit memorabilia at the Lingholm Shop

At the far end of the dining area, you will find the gift shop. Peter Rabbit memorabilia takes centre stage, unsurprisingly, but you will also find a lovely selection of gifts here that are beautifully designed. You can pick up various books with local walking guides, and if you fancy a tipple, the shop has an extensive selection of craft beers from the local area to buy. If you are visiting with children, the shop also has a small selection of pocket money toys that won’t break the piggy bank.

The La’al Hut

The La'al Hut

Lingholm's La'al Hut

Outside the Kitchen, there is a large terrace area with plenty of seating for when the weather permits it. Here you will also find The La’al Hut, where you can purchase sandwiches, ice creams, and hot drinks.

The Walled Garden

The Lingholm Walled Garden

The Lingholm Walled Garden

The walled garden might not have been in place when Beatrix Potter was inspired to create Peter Rabbit, but it has been designed with her works in mind. The garden sits below the Kitchen’s terrace, and it is just a short walk down to the entrance, where a wooden carving of Squirrel Nutkin is there to greet visitors. Inside the octagonal garden, you will find various herbs growing around the outside, with vegetables planted in the middle. These are used in the kitchen, but at certain times of the year, you may find some available to take away by the greenhouse, with a small donation requested.

There is an outdoor gallery around the garden that informs visitors about the Lingholm Estate, and the life of Beatrix Potter. From the garden, you can take a stroll down to the lake shore, where the old boat house lies sadly in ruin, and where a new jetty has been built. From here, you can catch the Keswick Launch and cruise around Derwent Water.

Getting To Lingholm

Lingholm Jetty

You can drive or even catch a scenic steamer from Keswick

You can drive to Lingholm and there is plenty of free parking available at the site. However, its remote location means that access is via a narrow country lane that can be surprisingly busy during peak months with traffic heading towards Cat Bells. Save yourself the hassle of having to avoid driving in hedges and reversing to let other cars pass, and come by boat instead. You can climb aboard a steamer in Keswick that will take you to the jetty with boats leaving every hour or so.

Alternatively, the Cumbria Way passes along the edge of the estate, and it will take you around 40-minutes to walk from Keswick. You could even call in on your way back from ascending Cat Bells, and reward yourself with a slice of cake and a hot chocolate.