Mirehouse & Gardens

A591, Nr Keswick, CA12 4QE

Mirehouse (Ian Cunliffe / geograph.org.uk)

Offering a warm welcome to visitors of all ages, the Spedding family have opened up their 17th century home and gardens for all to enjoy.

Overlooked by the spectacular Derwent fells, Mirehouse is located on the eastern side of Bassenthwaite and its relative isolation means that it is often overlooked by visitors but the gardens in particular are certainly worth the drive.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01768 772 287 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
April - October


Mirehouse was built in 1666 by the Earl of Derby. It was passed to the Spedding family in 1802 and has remained in their ownership since. The house has undergone significant restoration works in more recent times and today it is occupied by several families.

Within the grounds of Mirehouse the church of St Bega pre-dates the house by around 600 years and it is believed to have inspired Alfred, Lord Tennyson when he stayed at Mirehouse in 1835 and wrote his poem, "Morte D’Arthur". Several other notable poets stayed at the property and this is celebrated by the displays in the house and by the poetry that can be found within the gardens.

Things To See

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Only the ground floor of the house is open to the public, the rest of the building being privately occupied. Here you are entertained by live piano music as you explore collections of manuscripts and artefacts relating to the various poets that have had connections to Mirehouse. The Victorian nursery with its elaborate crib, desk with slate, and mini organ, may intrigue children. There are usually family members and staff available for questions if you require.

Outside, the large gardens have plenty to see and do. You can admire the flowers in the Bee Garden, navigate through the heather maze, or simply enjoy a picnic on the lawn with views of Skiddaw and Dodd. There are four woodland play areas for children that include an obstacle course, tyre swings, and a mock wooden castle.

From the gardens you can walk down through farm fields to the pretty Norman-era St Bega’s church, and onto the lakeshore of Bassenthwaite. If that doesn’t wear you out, you can cross the road from the house and attempt to walk up to the summit of Dodd through woodland occupied by red squirrels and osprey.

Useful Information

Car parking is available across the road from Mirehouse in the forestry commission car park at Dodd Wood. Here you will find public toilets, trails up through Dodd Wood, and the Old Sawmill Tea Room. The tea room is open daily serving light lunches and cakes, including Cumbrian specialities such as Cumberland sausage and gingerbread with rum butter.

Most of the routes through the grounds are wheelchair accessible.


Tickets must be purchased from the Old Sawmill Tea Room.


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