Grasmere – Jewel of the Lake District

Dove Cottage - Grasmere home of William Wordsworth Grasmere is at the heart of romantic Lakeland. It was here that the Lake Poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge, De Quincey, Southey) gathered in their youthful fascination with the lakes and mountains. Today Dove Cottage (which is not in the village itself but a little south, near to the lake’s eastern shore on the road to Ambleside) is the shrine toward which the feet (and wheels!) of their devotees move relentlessly throughout the year.

Although the Wordsworth family lived in three different houses in the area before eventually moving to Rydal Mount it is Dove Cottage (then known as Town End) which has captured the imagination of people down the years and it is there that the Wordsworth museum, book shop and research centre are located. In the village churchyard the graves of the Wordsworth family are visited by people from around the world.

Grasmere - The Wordsworth Graves

Grasmere Churchyard - The Wordsworth Graves

Grasmere, The Lake

A Heaton Cooper - A Glimpse of Grasmere
A Glimpse of Grasmere
by A. Heaton Cooper

The lake itself, however, and its village to the north of the water were here long before the poets. People will, of course, argue differently but I believe that it was Grasmere that made the poets, and not the poets who made Grasmere. Two hundred years later it still thrills its visitors, whether lightly clad in the summer sunshine or wrapped warmly in fleece and anorak for a walk around the lake in the January frost.

Grasmere is a small lake, only a mile long and less than half a mile across at its widest. It has one island. The road on the eastern shore is the main Ambleside to Keswick road. The one on the western side climbs high above the lake, and eventually leads to Langdale. Rowing boats can be hired, and the fishing is excellent. Permits can be bought in the village. The lake holds large shoals of roach, and good sized bream are often caught but Grasmere is especially noted for its pike and 20lb specimens are not uncommon.

Grasmere Village

Grasmere, The Village

In the village itself there are shops catering for a variety of a wide tastes, including a taste for Grasmere Gingerbread.

Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

You will also find a National Trust shop and information centre, and for those who have forgotten some item of their mountain walking gear there is an outdoor clothing store.

If you have an interest in Lake District visual art there is the Heaton Cooper Studio, visible to the right across the green in the photograph below. The work of several generations of the Heaton Cooper family can be admired, and purchased. My personal preference is for the warm tints of paintings by Alfred Heaton Cooper (1864-1929), some of which can be seen as illustrations on pages of this site (see above).

Grasmere - The Green and Heaton Cooper Studio

A variety of events take place in Grasmere each year, one being the Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition. This is worth a trip for its own sake quite apart from the Lakeland scenery.

Grasmere - Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition

Grasmere - Don't miss the Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition

Finally, as can be seen below, even the view from the car park as you leave is calculated to draw you back again.

Grasmere - View from the carpark

Grasmere - Come Back Again


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