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Glenridding House History

Glenridding House Hotel Ullswater, Lake District Cumbria UKGlenridding House just classic Regency elegance. This magnificent Grade two Listed  villa was originally built in around 1815 with its unique fine cast iron latticed arched balcony in a truly stunning location. It was built for  Reverend Askew who married a Storrs lady. Documents show the house was used as a guest house by Mrs Dalton and Robert Bownass and it continued in this guide for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Dolly steamboat was recovered in the 1960s  moored in front of Glenridding House, it sank ther in a storm, this first historic steamboat is now in the Windermere steam boat museum.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin stayed at Glenridding House and came with members of his family for a five week holiday in June 1881. Thanks to some surviving letters from Darwin’s daughters, as well as a letter he himself wrote it is clear that he gained much enjoyment from his time by Ullswater. As his daughter Henrietta wrote of the holiday:

“it was an especial happiness to my mother for the rest of her life to remember her little strolls with my father to the side of the lake. I have a vivid picture in my mind of the two often setting off alone together for a certain favourite walk by the edge of some fine rocks going sheer down into the lake”

Glenridding House Hotel Ullswater, Lake District Cumbria UKThe crag referred to above is almost certainly Cannon Crag, and the views which inspired Darwin can still be enjoyed today. Darwin himself wrote of the holiday

“This place is magnificently beautiful, and I enjoy the scenery”

For more information on Charles Darwin’s time at Glenridding House please see the excellent work by Professor H.P.Moon, Charles Darwin at Glenridding House, Ullswater, Cumbria. Professor Moon describes Glenridding House poetically:

“The house with its blue door and window edgings and corners, the green of the grass strip sloping to the lake, which is so blue in the sunshine, is reminiscent of the type of house to be seen beside Swiss or north Italian lakes”

A fitting description for this stunning building on the shores of England’s most beautiful lake.

Further information can be read in Darwin in the archives written for Charles Darwin’s 200th anniversary in 2009


After seven years of careful restoration by the owners, the house returns it to its former glory of classical unsurpassed elegance and reaffirms it as one of the most iconic houses in the whole of the Lake District. No expense has been spared to restore the glorious Regency villa to ensure that in its current incarnation as a luxurious boutique country house B&B and wedding venue, it offers guests a truly unique and unforgettable destination.

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