A Lake District castle is opening for visitors to have a last peek before it is developed into a hotel.

The doors to Wray Castle – where Beatrix Potter stayed in 1882 – will be open throughout the summer before work to make it into a top-class hotel get under way.

The castle has been in the care of the National Trust since 1929, when it was given to the trust by Sir Noton Barclay to celebrate his year of office as Lord Mayor of Manchester.

But now the National Trust has leased the castle, which was built in the 1840s, to Wray Castle Hotels.

John Moffat, the trust’s general manager for the South Lakes, said: “For the past few years we’ve been looking for a new tenant for this unique place and we are now working with him to convert Wray Castle into a top quality hotel – with limited public access inside.

“While the project is moving forward, it’s taking longer than we had originally hoped.

"At the same time we’ve been carrying out lots of work to restore the grounds to James Dawson’s original design, looking at the footpaths, the boundaries and the views.”

The castle will be open from 10.30am – 4pm daily until September 11.