Rydal Hall, situated near Ambleside, has enjoyed a strong relationship with LCTP over the past years. We are Carlisle Diocese’s Conference and Retreat Centre, and we host the LCTP’s residential weekends, as well as other occasional meetings and tutorials. We have just celebrated our fiftieth birthday as a Christian retreat centre, when we also marked thirty years of the (largely live-in) community, which serves our guests. All this is very recent history, though, since we can trace our origins back to 1409, when Sir Thomas le Fleming and his family built the first hall just outside Ambleside.
We have thirty bedrooms with en-suite or private facilities, and have a range of conference and meeting rooms accommodating up to 85 people. Rydal Hall has beautiful grounds of thirty-four acres, which include the famous Thomas Mawson-designed Italianate formal gardens, woodlands, the waterfall and ‘Grot’ (Great Britain’s first bespoke viewing point dating from 1689), and natural open spaces. We have a Quiet Garden, a sculpture walk and a prayer walk under development. Over by our camping pitches and eco-pods, you can find a 500-year-old sweet chestnut tree measuring 36 feet in diameter! Our award-winning tea shop is open year-round, and is kept very busy by walkers enjoying the ‘Coffin Trail’ or an amble round the gardens.
Rydal Hall is staffed by a community drawn from across the world. At any time of the year, there will be at least ten nations represented at Rydal. We also enjoy hosting a very diverse range of guests – from church groups to primary school trips; advanced photographers to icon-painters; nonagenarians to babies.
In addition to the hall, there is a refurbished youth centre (serving anyone young at heart). Its facilities include fully adapted wet room, drying room, common room, and fully equipped kitchen.
Each year, we have a programme of activities and themed breaks, which anyone can book onto. (One of our most popular retreats, Celtic Saints, is hosted by LCTP tutor and Rydal rector, Cameron Butland.) We also regularly host quiet days (group or individual), which are popular with those seeking some time out. We regularly have great special offers available – so do give us a ring or check our website if you would like to come and stay as a private guest (or student, polishing up an essay).
For more information, you can find us at: www.rydalhall.org.