Askham is an attractive village in the north-eastern corner of the Lake District, rising up from the River Lowther.
The village stretches west from the River Lowther, climbing up a slope alongside Askham Beck (hidden underground through most of the village). The village feels more like something from the Yorkshire Dales than Lakes, with a long line of attractive stone cottages lining a long narrow sloping village green. Most of these cottages date to the eighteenth century.
The village contains two pubs - the Queens Head and the Punchbowl, both housed in historical buildings.
The village has been somewhat dominated by the Lowther family. The ruins of Lowther Castle face the village across the River Lowther. Askham Hall, at the eastern end of the village, has been the home of the Earl of Lonsdale (the head of the Lowther family), although the current earl lives elsewhere and the hall is (2012) in the process of being turned into a hotel. It is currently screened from the village by a wall, but the last 14th and late 17th century house can be glimpsed from a bridleway that leaves the main street heading north just above the house.
The vicarage and church can be found at the bottom of the village down by the river. The Church of St Peter dates back to the thirteenth century, but was largely rebuilt in the Neo-Norman style by Robert Smirke, the designer of the British Museum.
Directions: Askham sits on country roads in the area south of Penrith. If using the A6 turn off at Lowther. From the north look for a turn at Yanwath on the B 5320 Pooley Bridge to Penrith road. The road south heads on to Bampton and then Haweswater and Shap.
Grid Reference: NY 512 236