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Fantasy performance in the grounds at Rydal

All the Alice actors
All the Alice actors

Alice has peered through her looking glass and found Wonderland – at Rydal Hall in the heart of the Lake District.

A company of travelling actors are bringing an interactive show, Alice in Wonderland Magical Experience, and invite visitors to follow them around the gardens and grounds at Rydal, with a surprise around every corner.

The story of Alice in Wonderland will be retold as you have never heard it before at the end of this month (May 28 and 29) when performances will be staged regularly throughout each day.

It’s an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s story of the young girl who falls into the weird and wonderful enchanted world with giant mushrooms, eat-me cakes, Mad Hatters and insects bigger than humans.

Alice with mouse and hatter
Alice with mouse and hatter

Characters will perform the story of Alice as the audience walks through the enchanted garden. “Dare you take a trip down the rabbit hole and drink the magical shrinking potion? Would you like an invitation to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, or how about challenging the life sized chess pieces to a real life game? This will be a really spectacular interactive performance,” said Rydal Hall head gardener Kate Jackson.

Kate and her team have been working on planting designs which will mirror the Alice experience throughout the grounds, and there is also an installation of collaborative art and craft on the Alice theme from Lakes Collective.

Rydal Hall near Ambleside, with its 34 acres of gardens and woodland, was built by the Le Fleming family and is now the Diocese of Carlisle conference, holiday and retreat centre. One of the most magnificent buildings in the Lakes, it overlooks the formal Edwardian gardens designed by the garden designer, landscape architect and town planner Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) in 1911. The Italianate terracing includes herbaceous borders and lawns set against the imposing architecture of the Hall.

The gardens include an informal woodland garden with ponds leading to the Grot, a grade II listed building which became famous as part of the Picturesque movement as an example of a wild and rugged scene to inspire dramatic landscape painting.

Admission to the gardens is free but there will be a small fee to enter the enclosed garden during weekend while the theatre group is in residence. Tickets are just £3 with no charge for children under two and can be bought online at

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