Days Out: Brougham Hall, Penrith, Cumbria

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What a delightful little place. This Medieval fortified house is in the process of being renovated and given a new lease of life.

Venture beyond its historic castellated walls and past the slightly annoying recorded welcome message which triggers every time some invisible beam is crossed and you will be surprise and pleased (more probably than not) to discovery what lies within.

There’s a cafe here and, even more exciting for non-T-totallers, a working brewery, Eden Brewery to be precise, from which can be bought a number of interesting ales.

The owners of Eden Brewery have decided to name all their brews based on the film Withnail & I, meaning they have some pretty odd names but the beer is, mostly, very good, although you may want to steer clear of some of the stronger bottles if you are driving. Or want to wake up without a hangover in the morning.

Having covered adult-based activities, there’s also plenty to entertain the children, not least of which is French bowls and giant badminton, there’s even a swingball away in one of the far corners of the grounds, which are themselves, well worth exploring, not least for the slightly scary spiral stone staircase which leads up onto the fortified walls.

One other point of note is the 12th century doorknocker, one of only four like it in the world. The original graced Durham Cathedral from 1172-1977. Sanctuary inside the cathedral was granted to any fugitive who could grasp the ring. It’s an easy driver from Penrith.

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FACTFILE

Address: Brougham Hall, Penrith, Cumbria

Telephone: 01768 868 184

Open: 7 days, 9am-dusk. The cafe is open Easter until end of September from 10am-5pm and from October to East from 10am-4pm.

DOGS: Welcome

ENTRY: Free but donations welcome

SATNAV: CA10 2DE

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