Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Home To William Wordsworth

One of the main attractions within the village of Grasmere is Dove Cottage which was the home of William Wordsworth from 1799 through to 1808, paying £5 per year rent. It was at Dove Cottage that William Wordsworth wrote much of the poetry he is best remembered today, including “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, whilst his sister Dorothy kept her famous ‘Grasmere journals’.

Dove Cottage was originally constructed in the early 17th Century and like many buildings in the Lake District is made from local stone with white lime washed walls to keep out the damp. For over 170 years the building was an inn called the ’Dove and Olive’. The inn closed in 1793 and it was not until 1799 that William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came to move in.

With the marriage to William, Mary Hutchinson arrived in 1802 and their three eldest children were born at Dove Cottage, John in 1803, Dora in 1804 and Thomas in 1806. Mary’s sister Sara Hutchinson and William’s friend Thomas De Quincy also lived at the small cottage.

Dove Cottage Grasmere Village

The Wordsworth family had many visitors to Dove Cottage being family and friends such as Walter Scott, Thomas De Quincy, Charles and Mary Lamb, Robert Southey and most frequent of all Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As a result and with the Wordsworth’s growing family this meant that Dove Cottage became too small, and in the May of 1808 they moved to Allan Bank, although still within the village of Grasmere.

On leaving Dove Cottage the Wordsworth’s were succeeded at the cottage by their young friends Thomas De Quincy and Mary Wordsworth’s sister Sara Hutchinson.

The downstairs rooms of Dove Cottage you may visit are the general living room, kitchen and buttery, while upstairs you may visit Dorothy’s bedroom, William’s study and the guest bedroom and the children’s bedroom. A guide will firstly take you on a 20 minute tour of the cottage and then you are also free to wander around the cottage at your leisure.

In 1891 the Wordsworth Trust was founded to secure Dove Cottage. The Trustees have built an award winning museum, first opened in 1981, which together with the Wordsworth library houses what is one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.

The Jerwood centre was completed in 2004 as a secure, long term home for the museums great collection.

Dove Cottage Tea Rooms

The Dove Cottage tea rooms provide meals and snacks throughout the day made from good quality locally produced foods, with evening meals being available during the high season. The tea rooms and museum are a great place to commence or finish some of the great local Grasmere walks such as Alcock Tarn Walk which is situated upon the fells to the rear of Dove Cottage.

A favourite walk of William and Mary Wordsworth was Easedale Tarn walk with the spectacular Sourmilk Gill.

There is an excellent shop located close to Dove Cottage selling books, gifts and crafts relating to English literature and the Lake District.

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Grasmere Village Church

Grasmere Village Church

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.

Grasmere Village

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.

looking Down Upon Grasmere

looking Down Upon Grasmere

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.


Wordsworth's Grave Grasmere

Wordsworth's Grave Grasmere

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.