Grasmere In Cumbria
Set within the heart of the Lake District, Grasmere is a very popular Lakeland village, whilst famous for being home to one of England’s best known romantic poet William Wordsworth, who described Grasmere as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. Today Grasmere is totally given over to the tourist industry, whilst probably Cumbria’s most popular village, with plenty of gift shops, places to eat and stay.
Wordsworth lived at Dove Cottage from 1799 to 1808 with his sister Dorothy. Her journals record their life together in Grasmere. Dove Cottage and gardens are open to the public and there is also an award winning museum with one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.
In nearby Rydal you can visit Wordsworth’s later home, the beautiful Rydal Mount and Gardens, where he lived for 37 years.
The main event in Grasmere is the village sports days which takes place in August and was first held in 1852. This is the premier event in the village calendar, whilst being one of the most popular traditional events in the Lake District. Participants compete in a variety of sports, including Cumberland Wrestling, Fell Running and Hound Trails.
Most of the buildings in and around Grasmere date from the 19th or early 20th Century, though the farms around Grasmere are much older. The Grasmere church of St Oswald’s dates from the 13th Century, and named after St Oswald, a 7th Century Christian King of Northumberland. It is the parish church of Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale, whilst each township has its own separate gate into the churchyard. In 1850 William Wordsworth died while out walking, having a simple tombstone in the churchyard, now one of the most visited literary shrines in the world. The church stands on the bank of the River Rothay, which is a popular novice’s river for canoeing, being grade 2 and approximately 6 kms and meandering through Wordsworth territory.
From the village of Grasmere it is only a short walk to the lake, which can be superb early on a summer’s morning, with the mist still hovering upon the water. Rowing boats are available for hire seven days a week between March and early November. There is a walk around the lake, although part of it is on the main A591 road which runs along the east side of the lake.
A number of very popular walks begin near the centre of Grasmere village, including the ascent of Helm Crag and a longer route up to Fairfield. The village is also on the route of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast To Coast Walk.
Easdale Tarn walks, Grasmere is a very popular walk for beginner fell walkers, with a great feel of being in the mountains, although the route from Far Easdale is a walk best reserved for spring, autumn or summer due to the boggy ground. This walk is approximately 4 miles.
Great How, near Grasmere is another popular short walk of only 2 miles in length.
Should you wish to see better quality photographs of Grasmere village, please visit Grasmere on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.
There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within Grasmere village and the surrounding area, with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to the village centre that was once home to William Wordsworth.
Whatever time of year you visit Grasmere you will find one of the best Lakeland villages.