Augill Castle

On New Year’s Eve we headed out for a few days of relaxation and exploring in the Lake District in England. We rented an E-car, loaded everyone and the dog up, and headed south. On the way through the Scottish region of Lanarkshire we made a quick pitstop. As we pulled out of the rest stop I spotted this:

Note the rest stop dumpster beyond the archway.

Yes, even the rest stops in Scotland have castles.

We made a quick stop for lunch in the town of Moffat and ate at the dog-friendly Jack and Rachel’s Tearoom, where quite a few families and dogs were lunching.

Sheep get a monument in Moffat.

By late afternoon we reached our lodgings at Augill Castle, near the town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. The owners bought it when it was in disrepair and have renovated it to be a relaxed, family-friendly hotel. When would we ever have another chance to spend New Year’s Eve in a castle?

Augill Castle, New Year’s Eve

Augill Castle has a dining room and adding an evening meal is optional. These are advertised as “simple evening suppers” but on New Year’s Eve the place looked like this:

A “simple supper” at the castle

Lovely as it was, having seen the castle’s price for New Year’s Eve dinner (I forgot that every place triples the price on New Year’s Eve) we had made alternate dinner plans at the King’s Head Inn in nearby Ravenstonedale.

The kids thought that Ravenstonedale was an outlandishly literary-poetic name for a town. Ravenstone or Ravendale, but not both, please. A good editor would not allow this.

First glass of champagne

The vibe at the King’s Head was much more our style. Everyone in the village, young and old, seemed to be there. The fire was roaring, the prices were good and there was free champagne. Later on, there was even an entertaining lounge singer doing hits of the seventies and eighties. I half wished we had booked New Year’s Eve lodging there so we could stay for the fireworks at midnight, but not wanting to be driving on extremely narrow, pitch-black, unfamiliar roads after midnight on New Year’s Eve, we headed back to the castle. We made it in time to ring in the new year with all the other guests.

Ringing in the new year.

The parents and the dog had a ground-floor room and the kids had an upper room complete with turret.

View from kids’ room


Enjoying the view


The grounds were very peaceful.


View towards the castle

My favorite thing about the castle was the common areas with fireplaces. We spent a lot of time curled up near fireplaces reading and journaling. I know someone else in the family wants to give her own review of her favorite rooms, so I’ll stop there for now.

Working on her Year in Review
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  1. Julianne Mehegan | | Reply

    Wonderful! Wonderful! We’ve been longing for stories, so this is a delightful treat. How does Jesse avoid being in any pictures? Jesse, we’re clamoring for your witty perspectives and photos.

  2. Granddaddy | | Reply

    Were there any ghosts in the castle? Every castle needs a ghost. But maybe he had the holiday off…

  3. Mary Ella | | Reply

    In my opinion, there was a ghost, as the drawing room was always cold, empty, and dark, but I could be overreacting. 😉

  4. Mary Pat Dixon | | Reply

    A wonderful story. I love the photographs to illustrate the narrative.

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