Over 80 Teddy Bears have successfully stormed Muncaster Castle and are now enjoying living there along with the slightly bearwildered Pennington Family, who have previously held the Castle on their own for well over 800 years.
To celebrate their (mostly amicable) joint occupation of the Castle, the Bears and Pennington family have launched a BearGanza to highlight how they aim to live harmoniously together in the future.
BearGanza was officially opened by the Fool of Muncaster with the help of the pupils of Waberthwaite School on 2nd July in front of a crowd of eagerly waiting Teddy Bear fans!
“It is a genuine honour to be cutting the ribbon for this wonderful display” Gary ‘Gacko’ Bridgens, Fool of Muncaster

BearGanza shows the Bears enjoying their luxurious new accommodation as they lounge around the ornate Drawing Room in Muncaster Castle for the month of July. No doubt in the future the Bears will decide they wish to use more of the posh rooms as well, exiling the Pennington family, as far as possible, to be contained “Below Stairs” where they now belong…….!
The Muncaster Teddy Bears are a collection of 80+ Lakeland Bears that were lovingly created by husband and wife John and Wendy Phillips in the 1980s and 1990s. Each fully jointed bear has its own personality and are dressed in their own unique handmade outfit.

Muncaster was home to real life Himalayan Moon Bears in the 1970 and 80s. The Lakeland Bears could not wait to move to Muncaster and in April 2019 they became the Castle’s newest residents.
Peter Frost-Pennington, who has lived at Muncaster quite happily for the last 25 years without a teddy bear said:
“We are thrilled to have bears at Muncaster once again, but glad that this time they are a bit smaller and are mostly Castle trained! Mind you it is a bit disconcerting to find them popping up all over the house and often in places where you least expect them. Quite a takeover bid, I must say!”

The BearGanza will be open for the whole of July 2019 with special Teddy Bear themed events running alongside it.
For further information contact or call 01229 717614

Notes for Editors:

  1. The BearGanza will run from the 1st – 31st July 2019 inclusive.
  2. In addition, there will be a Teddy Talk with our Teddy Bear Doctor on 17th July in the Castle. Tickets available from
  3. Furthermore, there will be some Pop Up Teddy Bear Market Stalls in the Castle on the 14th and 28th July 2019.
  4. The Muncaster Bears will be helping to raise funds for the ongoing conservation & care of the important textile collections currently housed at Muncaster.
  5. Muncaster Castle has been the ancestral home to the Pennington Family since at least 1208 when ownership of the land was confirmed through a Charter from King John.
  6. The Castle sits majestically in 77 acres of wild, woodland gardens with breathtaking views of the Lake District Fells, including Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Reputedly haunted, the Castle is home to fabulous collections of art, antique furniture & textiles.
  7. Muncaster is home to the Hawk & Owl Centre which offers two flying displays daily during the main season at 11.30am, 2pm and a wild heron feed at 4pm. Owls, falcons, eagles kites and even vultures swoop low over the audience as the expert bird staff enthral visitors with how they can help conserve these amazing birds of prey in the wild
  8. Openings times for the Bearganza will be 12noon – 4pm.
  9. General Muncaster opening times can be found at
  10. High Resolution images available on request,

Directions to Muncaster

Follow signs for Western Lake District from the motorway

From the South

  • Leave the M6 motorway at junction 36. Follow the signs for Barrow-in-Furness on the A590, but before you get to Barrow, turn right at Greenodd onto the A5092 and follow this road for Workington and Whitehaven. This road joins the A595 which will bring you to Muncaster.
  • The journey from junction 36 to the Castle will take you approximately an hour and a quarter.

From the North or East

  • From Carlisle (M6 Junction 44) follow the A595 for Cockermouth and then Whitehaven and Barrow. From Penrith (M6 Junction 40) take the A66 to Cockermouth then follow signs for Whitehaven A595. This road bypasses Ravenglass and goes straight through to Muncaster. The journey from Carlisle should take about an hour and a half.
  • The Main Gate and carpark is on the A595.
  • For visitors to invited functions, coach groups, B&B guests or any visitor with mobility issues, please use the Church Gate Entrance which is near the top of the hill on the left (if coming from the south) and ¼ mile past the Main Carpark up the hill & round the corner if coming from the north.

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