The beautiful Dove cottage in Grasmere, was home to one of our most famous poets: William Wordsworth between 1799 – 1808.
It was in this little cottage, at times ‘crammed edge full’ with people, in the heart of the remote Lake District, that William Wordsworth wrote some of the greatest poetry in the English language – in particular the poem ‘Daffodils’ ; and his sister Dorothy kept her famous ‘Grasmere Journal’, now on display in the Wordsworth Museum.
The cottage had once been an inn – the Dove and Olive Bough, and William came across it by chance as he and his brother John walked along the lane with friend and fellow poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1799. He and his sister Dorothy moved in just a few weeks later. In 1802 William married Mary Hutchinson, and 3 of their 5 children were born here.
Now owned and managed by the Wordsworth Trust, step inside and take an entertaining guided tour, immerse yourself in the atmosphere while hearing about his day to day life and family, then take a stroll in the garden which he created with his sister. You’ll be treated to a real sense of that period in time: Stone floors, dark panelled rooms, glowing coal fires and the family’s belongings. The garden at the cottage was a place of refuge, meditation and inspiration for his poetry.
Next door is the museum where you can find more in-depth information about life at that time. Originally a converted barn opposite the cottage, there is now a state-of-the art museum and exhibition space, by presenting the largest collection in the world of Wordsworth’s books, manuscripts, paintings, watercolours and portraits – some of the greatest treasures from the age of Romanticism.
Hints & Tips: Check out their programme of special events and poetry readings – lots to choose from and they of course do school and group visits.
Why we like it: If you love literature and poetry, it’s amazing to be where the great man lived and wrote. If you like social history, its a real insight into life and times for a Cumbrian family, and of course, Grasmere is a lovely village to visit too.