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A pathway between trees leading into a dark and misty forest. Photo Composite.

Cumbria’s ancient roots and rich history mean there are naturally lots of myths & legends associated with the area. Read on to find out some of the spookiest places in the Lake District & uncover the local ghost stories…if you dare!

1. Long Meg & Her Daughters

Long Meg & Her Daughters is a Bronze Age stone circle located close to Penrith. The story goes that the stones were once a witch and her daughters who were turned to stone by a curse while they were dancing across the moors. Legend has it that it’s impossible to count the correct number of stones twice. If you do, the spell will be broken and the girls will dance once more.

Find somewhere to stay close to Penrith to discover the interesting history of this area.

Sunset light on Long Meg and Her Daughters, a Bronze Age stone circle near Penrith in Cumbria, North West England.

2. Muncaster Castle

One of Britain’s most haunted castles, Muncaster sits in the Western Lake District close to the coastal village of Ravenglass. The Tapestry Room is home to many of the hauntings, from hearing footsteps in the corridors to doors opening on their own! Stories revolve around Thomas Skelton (a powerful spirit residing in the castle) & the ghost of Mary Bragg, a young girl murdered at the castle in the 1800’s. You can experience the hauntings first hand with one of their ghost vigils, or if you’re brave enough you can even spend the night in the Tapestry Room.

Don’t fancy spending the night in a haunted castle? Take a look at our nearby cottages instead.

Muncaster Castle - one of Britains most haunted castles in Cumbria

3. Lake Windermere

According to legend, when the villages around Lake Windermere are about to come under harm, a white horse can be seen walking across the lake to warn residents. Keep your eyes peeled for this ghostly figure when exploring Windermere’s shoreline, or stay cosy in your Windermere holiday cottage if you’d prefer to keep away from the spooky goings-on!

Boat on Lake Windermere with mountains in the background

4. Claife Heights

There are stories surrounding Claife Heights, on the shore of Lake Windermere, about the mysterious sounds of someone calling across the water. Centuries ago, men were too afraid to take their boats across to find out who was calling. One night a young man faced his fears and rowed across the lake. On his return he didn’t say what he experienced but was clearly afraid, dying unexpectedly the following day. Still to this day there are stories of people being followed by a mysterious hooded figure around Claife Heights. Do you dare go for walk along this spooky shoreline?

Check out our cottages along the shore of Lake Windermere and discover your own safe haven from the spirits.

Boats on Lake Windermere from Claife Heights

5. Rydal to Grasmere Coffin Route

Starting at Rydal Hall, take the footpath into the neighbouring village of Grasmere known as the Coffin Route. The path gets its name as historically it was the main route to carry coffins from St Mary’s Church in Rydal to their final resting place at St Oslwalds Church in Grasmere. Along the route you’ll see large stone slabs at regular intervals. This is where the coffin bearers would place the coffin for a rest during the walk.

Take a rest yourself in one our our cosy cottages in Grasmere.

St Mary's Church in Rydal

6. Kirkstone Pass Inn

The Kirkstone Pass Inn has a long history, with records for the building dating back to the 1400’s. Sitting high up at the top of Kirkstone Pass, there are many ghost stories relating to this Cumbrian pub. Tales include the story of a lady who sadly died on a perilous journey over the pass when heavy snow fell. Her spirit is said to haunt the inn, warning visitors when the weather is turning bad & the dangers of travelling over the pass. There are also stories of poltergeist activity in the pub with many of the rooms creating an uneasy feeling in visitors. Ghostly figures have reportedly been seen around the pub too, believed to be the spirits of hikers who have perished in the surrounding mountains.

Why not stay in one of our Ambleside cottages, and take a drive up to the inn for a drink – don’t hang around too long or the ghosts might come out!

Country pub sitting on a quiet mountain pass in the Lake District


Image credits: Alexander P Kapp (CC BY-SA 2.0), Alice Wills Photography, Gary Rodgers (CC BY-SA 2.0)