Holker is a 17,000 acre estate in south-west Cumbria, with a grand house and garden built on land once owned by Cartmel Priory. Holker Hall was built in the 16th century by George Preston, passing by inheritance to the Lowthers and then, in 1756, to the Cavendish family - who still own it. The house is much altered, particularly following a devastating fire in 1871. The restored Victorian wing, including its wonderful library, is open to the public. But the joy of Holker is its gorgeous garden, which includes many rare plants, walks and the Holker Great Lime - one of Britain's 50 Great Trees, thought to be 400 years old. Holker also plays host to several events.