Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Castle in the Clouds

The estate. Photo courtesy of Castle in the Clouds

Most museums you’ll visit this year will have a sleek design, an eye-catching display, and some wonderful art. At the Castle In the Clouds estate, the museum is the art.

Built in 1913, the mansion, once known as "Lucknow," sits on the rolling hills of the Ossipee Mountain Range in New Hampshire, where its creators (and owners until the 1940s) Thomas and Olive Plant explored the forests and walked the trails of the 5,500-acre property. And now you can, too.

Outside the estate, horseback riding, hiking, and nature walks are available on a weekly basis. You can have lunch on the patio and look over the mountains and lakes. On summer evenings, there is live music that ranges from acoustic contemporary to classic jazz.

The estate. Photo courtesy of Castle in the Clouds

The interior though is just as impressive. Thomas Plant, who made his millions from the shoe manufacturing business, felt free to decorate his mansion luxuriously. With sprawling rooms and detailed early 20th-century architecture, it’s easy to get lost in the majesty. All tours are self-guided at the Castle, which means you get to set the pace for your tour, and are able to explore freely. Have a question? There are docents stationed all over the mansion---they know everything about the estate, past and present.

The museum, which first opened its doors to the public in 1959, officially opened for the season on May 12th, and is now open daily. Make a whole day of it---spend the morning touring the stone and wood turrets and the painted glass rooms, break for lunch at the café and patio, and leave the afternoon for exploring the mountains! Families with small children will be pleased to learn of Shannon Pond, where kids can feed the giant trout that live and swim in the clear lake. There are hikes that range from 20 minutes to three hours, so it will be easy to find something that everyone will enjoy. Happy trails!


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