9 places to see beautiful wood sculptures around the Lake District

Eagle in Upper Fitz Park, Keswick, by chainsaw artist Rolande Urwin

To say that time goes quickly is an understatement! I intended to start posting on the blog again around this time last year, but for one reason and another it just didn’t happen. For too long now though, I’ve had several sets of photos and drafts in various stages of development, so I thought it’s about time I got writing again! I hope good intentions turn into actions this time round. 🙂

One of the posts I’ve been really keen to share with you is a small collection of photos I’ve gathered of wood carvings spotted around the Lakes in recent years.

You may know of many more wooden sculptures than I’ve been able to include – some are in private gardens, so I’m not able to include those in this post – but here are a few to be looking out for when you’re out and about. How many have you spotted already?

1. Grasmere Garden Village

Stag at Grasmere Garden Village by local wood sculptor Andy Levy

You can’t miss this wonderful stag and his friends by local wood sculptor Andy Levy, which you come across as you pass the front entrance to the garden centre in Grasmere.

2. Holker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel

Armchair by Andy Levy in the gardens at Holker Hall

I spotted this lovely armchair a few years ago now, while photographing the gardens in springtime at Holker Hall.

3. The River Brathay close to Clappersgate, near Ambleside

Described by its sculptor, Andy Levy, as a ‘feminine water spirit’, this beautiful piece can be seen from a small lay-by overlooking the river Brathay, which can be found just a short distance from the entrance to Brathay Hall at Clappersgate, near Ambleside. On his Facebook page, Andy describes the sculpture as having two faces, reflecting the power of the river in one direction and the calm in the other. Scroll back through his posts from 2016, and you can see photographs of how this unusual sculpture was created.

4. Brathay Hall, near Ambleside

I saw this creation in the grounds of the Brathay Trust several years ago when I was at an event there. Although not publicly accessible if you’re not at Brathay Hall for a reason, I hope it’s still there, as it was one of the first wood sculptures I came across and photographed.

5. Silverdale Holiday Park (formerly at the Langdale Chase Hotel, near Windermere)

Mawson the squirrel, by Andy Levy, pictured here at his previous home outside the Langdale Chase Hotel

If you’ve been visiting the Lake District for a number of years, you may remember that there was once a large wooden squirrel at the entrance to the Langdale Chase Hotel on the A591 between Windermere and Ambleside. Although he’s not there now, Mawson, as he is known, was auctioned to raise funds for St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston, and found a new home in 2018 at Silverdale Holiday Park near Arnside.

6. Orrest Head, Windermere

‘The Gruffalo’ on the way up to Orrest Head, by Andy Levy

Children, in particular, will be delighted by what they find on the walk to Orrest Head above Windermere, with this super sculpture of the Gruffalo situated on the wooded section of the route.

7. Brandelhow Park, on the south-western shore of Derwentwater

‘Entrust’ by John Merrill at Brandelhow Park – photograph kindly provided by Keswick Tourism

Even though I’ve not been able to make it to Brandelhow Park myself, I couldn’t miss out this iconic sculpture called ‘Entrust’, which was commissioned by the National Trust and created by sculptor John Merrill to commemorate the centenary of Brandelhow Park, the first piece of land to be purchased in the Lake District by the trust. Thank you to Keswick Tourism for providing a photograph for me to share with you.

8. Fitz Park, Keswick

Eagle with a fish in its talons in Upper Fitz Park, Keswick, by chainsaw artist Rolande Urwin

When I spoke to Keswick Tourism, they also recommended these other wonderful sculptures in the town’s Fitz Park, including this incredible recently-created eagle which looks over the river.

9. Hope Park, Keswick

I spotted this cute little squirrel on a walk round the gardens at Hope Park, near the Theatre by the Lake, in Keswick

I’d also highly recommend a stroll through Hope Park on a walk around Keswick. It’s situated between the town and Theatre by the Lake, so you can take a walk through it on your way down to the lakeside. The spring flowers there were lovely when I visited, and had clearly been planned with a great deal of care.

I’ve not been able to get out around the Lake District much recently, so do you know of any other wood carvings that should be entered into the Lake District Gems wood-carving ‘hall of fame’? As always, I’d love you to share your knowledge of the Lakes with other readers, and I’ll maybe add some further photos if I find any more!

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