Hidden treasures in around Troutbeck and Staveley

It could be argued that the real hidden gems of Troutbeck and Staveley are the villages themselves. Easily overlooked in favour of tourist big hitters like Windermere, Bowness and Ambleside, both places have their own attractions and are well worth a detour to. 

Home > Lake District Guide > Hidden treasures in around Troutbeck and Staveley 

Troutbeck and Staveley

If you’re staying in one of our Cottages in Troutbeck

Find yourself in a quaint collection of tiny hamlets along a road in the stunning Troutbeck Valley

Home to the Mortal Man, a traditional 17th-century inn with views to die for from the beer garden, and plenty of walks from its doorstep (pick up a guide from the pub).

Look out for the three stone drinking troughs on the road into the village. Each one bears the name of a saint and they were put there for the horses that used to undertake the tough climb over the Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale.

If you’re in our Staveley accommodation

Find a thriving village with its heart in its Mill Yard

The Mill Yard is home to several small independent business ventures and places to eat and drink – so if it’s beer (Hawkshed Brewery), bikes (Wheelbase) or baking (More? Artisan Bakery) that floats your boat, Staveley is the place to go.

You can also find the legendary Wilf’s Café, the Eagle and Child pub, and Mr Duffins Coffee Roasters in the village, and it has the stunning Kentmere Valley on its doorstep, too.

So! Here are a few of the lesser-known delights you can find close to this charming pair of Lake District villages

1. A church called Jesus 

One of only two Anglican churches in the UK called Jesus (the other one is in Enfield), Jesus Church in Troutbeck was rebuilt in around 1736 on the site of an earlier building dating from the 16th century, and further restored in the 19th century.

It’s worth visiting because its large and colourful stained-glass window (which was added in in 1873) was mostly designed by Edward Burne Jones – an acclaimed painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement – and made by William Morris & Co.

William Morris was also responsible for designing the window’s greenery, ably assisted by Ford Madox Brown, another member of the Pre-Raphaelites.

2.  Everything in the garden is lovely 

Ten acres of loveliness await you at Holehird Gardens near Troutbeck – with gorgeous views over the fells and Lake Windermere to boot. Looked after entirely by volunteers, this floral haven of tranquillity, and home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society, rewards a visit at any time of the year.

Heaving with hydrangeas (around 200 different species), awash with alpines, and bursting with bee-friendly buddleia during the summer months, careful seasonal planting means there is something to delight the eyes and the nostrils all year round. 

Holehird is also home to several national plant collections, including astilbe, daboecia, meconopsis and polystichum.

3.  How we used to live  

The Browne family lived at grade I listed Townend, a cosy, rustic, slate and stone farmhouse at the southern end of Troutbeck, for 400 years.

Now owned by the National Trust, the 17th-century house is brimful of interesting objects and oak furniture (much of it carved by George Browne – one of the later occupants and a contemporary of Beatrix Potter, who described him as ‘tiresome’) and houses a library full of rare books – some of which are the only copies still in existence.

Offering a fascinating glimpse of an ordinary but well-to-do farming family’s life through the years, the house has been kept much as it was when the Browne family lived there, and kids will love exploring all the nooks and crannies.

4. Visit a secret garden

If you’re a plant lover, a must-visit (phone ahead to check opening times) when you’re in Staveley is Inglefield Nursery. Tucked away down a private driveway, it’s a real hidden gem of a place.

Family run, it’s a magical little nursery selling everything you’d expect a nursery to sell but specialising in architectural plants and larger trees and shrubs that they import from all over the world. 

Need a stone Buddha for your backyard? Or a reclining lion or two for your patio? You can find it here – they have a huge selection of pots, containers and statuary in all shapes and sizes. Need a specific plant sourcing? They can help with that too.

5. A thing of the past 

If you don’t fancy taking on the challenging 12-mile Kentmere Round, you can definitely tackle the short Staveley riverside walk with ease – it’s only 1.25km and takes you alongside the River Kent with lovely views towards the Kentmere Valley.

Starting and finishing in Mill Yard, it’s accessible to all, the only difficult bit is choosing where you want to eat or have a drink in Staveley after all that exertion – you’re spoilt for choice.

Before you leave the village, don’t forget to check out St Margaret’s Tower (the church is long gone), the oldest building in Staveley.

6. Small but perfectly (per)formed 

Why is the Staveley Roundhouse round? Because the current building follows the outline of a gasholder that used to stand on the site. 

An intimate theatre – there are only fifty seats – it puts on four or five plays a year and hosts concerts and film screenings, as well as hosting an annual affordable art exhibition.

Attracting a wide range of musical artists from the jazz, classical and folk worlds, it’s a great place to while away an evening when you’re staying nearby.

Where to stay? 

Find your perfect retreat in Troutbeck and Staveley

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