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Holidays in Grasmere

A picturesque lakeside village and the former home of William Wordsworth

Lake Grasmere

Grasmere is a popular tourist destination in the Lake District, sitting at the northern edge of one of the smaller yet best known lakes in the National Park. The lake at Grasmere gave its name to the village and the area has a strong association with the poets of the English Romantic period, most notably William Wordsworth.

As you would expect in this part of the world, the scenery around Grasmere is all-important to the village’s visitors. The village is overlooked by the rocky hill of Helm Crag, popularly known as ‘the Lion and the Lamb’ or ‘the Old Lady at the Piano’ – referring to how the hill appears depends on which side you view it from.

Grasmere village centre

The village’s association with the 18th-19th century poet William Wordsworth makes Grasmere, arguably, the most popular village with visitors in the Lake District. The majority of the area has been given over to the tourist industry, with plenty of spots to buy gifts and pleasant places to get some lunch. Whilst the church, impressively, dates back as far as the 13th century, many of the buildings originate from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

William Wordsworth lived in several houses in and around Grasmere, including Dove Cottage, Allan Bank where he lived with fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who most famously penned the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan), the Old Rectory and Rydal Mount. He died in 1850 whilst out walking and his grave can be visited at the village’s St Oswald’s Church. It is one of the most visited shrines to a writer in the world.

Pleasant walks originate from the churchyard that follow the course of the River Rothay. Also along the river and close to the church is the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden, a sanctuary and place for quiet contemplation. You can also see the small village school where Wordsworth, his wife and sister all taught the local children. It is now home to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you buy find samples made from the local recipes.

The lake at Grasmere is a picture of beauty, especially during an autumn sunrise when the mist is burning off. Between March and early November, day trippers can hire a rowing boat to enjoy the calm waters of the lake. There is a very enjoyable walk that circumnavigates the water, and part of the track is alongside the A591 road the shoulders the most easterly stretch. Walkers can also attempt the moderately challenging ascent to the peak of Helm Crag that overlooks the village and lakes.

Stocking over 8000 jigsaws at any one time, Barney’s Newsbox is the largest shop of its kind in the UK. So, jigsaw fans rejoice, you may just find something obscure enough to make your collection extra special.

“Grasmere is, famously, associated with one of the nation’s most treasured poets, William Wordsworth…”

Grasmere is a few miles north of Lake Windermere and the gorgeous towns of Ambleside and Windermere, where many of the region’s top visitor attractions are located, such as Beatrix Potter World, Windermere Jetty (re-opening spring 2017), and a horde of interesting eateries. Try out Fellini’s and Zefferelli’s, a pair of quality restaurants that also double as live music venues and upmarket cinemas, showing the best in UK film releases from all around the world.

Take a look at our collection of Grasmere cottages for even more inspiration.

While you’re there

William Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden

Relive one of the famous poet’s most famed works with a visit to this quiet sanctuary of contemplation along the banks of the River Rothay

Grasmere Gingerbread

The gingerbread shop at the corner of the churchyard of St. Oswald’s Church sells its splendid gingerbread alongside other treats such as rum butter, jams, fudge and toffee.

William Wordsworth’s grave

Pay homage to one of our national treasures. His final resting place is a simple grave in the riverside churchyard at St. Oswald's in the centre of Grasmere.

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