Grasmere, a village in the heart of the English Lake District surrounded by fells (from the Norse word fjall meaning mountain), was described by William Wordsworth, the famous Lakeland romantic poet who lived there for nearly 50 years, as “The loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. Wooded and grassy slopes run down towards a lake fed by a river which in turn flows through a village overlooked on all sides by crags with names such as Helm Crag, Nab Scar, The Lion and the Lamb. With such a setting Grasmere sitting astride the River Rothay and at the northern end of Grasmere lake is extremely popular with tourists who flock to this traditional Lakeland village with its narrow streets and quaint stone and slate roofed buildings.
Tourists are well catered for with many small shops selling all manner of items. There are a number of excellent cafes and restaurants catering for all tastes. Those seeking accommodation are well advised to book in advance, although there is a good selection of hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, self catering and campsites to choose from. However, there is much to do and see in Grasmere for those visitors just wishing to meander through the streets and stay a short while.
Grasmere is synonymous with William Wordsworth and many flock to Dove Cottage, where he lived from 1799 to 1808, and the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery which houses nearly all his original manuscripts. Rydal Mount is where Wordsworth lived for 37 years and the house and gardens too are open to the public. Wordsworth’s tomb and family grave are in the churchyard of St Oswald’s Church, a church which in parts dates back to the thirteenth century. Nearby is a recently created ‘Wordsworth Daffodil Garden’ where you can buy an engraved stone to set into the path.
Adjacent and in the corner of the churchyard stands Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop which has been making gingerbread from a secret recipe since 1850.
The Heaton Cooper Studio is a family run gallery and art shop established in 1905 by artist Alfred Heaton Cooper. The gallery displays original paintings, Lake District landscapes, by the Heaton family.
The natural beauty of the area draws all ages and there is a wide range of outdoor activities from gentle walks on good paths around the nearby Grasmere lake and Rydal Water, to more strenuous fell walking and mountain climbing, orienteering and mountain biking, horse riding and pony trekking, canoeing and boating on the lake. The list is endless.
No visitor can fail to be delighted by a visit to Grasmere and the surrounding area.