The Festival Town on the Edge of the Lake District
Conishead Priory is a well known visitor attraction in south Cumbria and each year welcomes thousands of visitors who appreciate the historic building and peaceful atmosphere. Described by English Heritage as ‘a very important Gothic revival country house with few peers in the north west’ the distinctive two towers of the front elevation are an important local landmark.
The Priory has played an important role in the life of the local community; formerly as a hydropathic spa and a convalescent home for miners and for the past twenty five years it has been home to an international college for Buddhist studies. When the Buddhist community moved into Conishead Priory it had lain empty for 4 years and was entirely derelict and close to collapse. Over the past three decades Manjushri Buddhist Centre has raised almost £1,000,000 and invested thousands of hours of voluntary labour to eradicate dry rot, and bring the building back into use.
There are 70 acres of gardens and woodland in all. The part of the woodland leading down to the beach is open to the public during daylight hours. On the left at the bottom of the main woodland steps there is a small arboretum. There are many fine specimen trees in the woods including Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood, Cedar, Beech and Oak. In the Spring the giant Rhododendrons are spectacular. There is also a wildlife garden beside the river near the lake, on the left towards the bottom car park.
The woodlands & gardens are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, with a spectacular show of snowdrops in winter. Visitors are welcome to wander along the many woodland paths and enjoy this natural tranquillity. At the beach the scenery alters dramatically – the ever-changing seascape, the fells of the Lake District way to the north, and Chapel Island.
Address: Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 9QQ
Call: 01229 584029