Boasting some of Britain’s Finest Scenery
and most majestic views, it’s clear to see why so many succumb to the charms of the Lake District – and why it was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. With so many shimmering lakes, lush green valleys, ancient woodlands and mighty fells to explore it’s a perfect place to get out and experience the great outdoors, whatever the weather throws your way.
Here’s our list of must-do activities from Grasmere.
Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread
Tucked between The Wordsworth Hotel and St Oswald’s Church sits the Old Grasmere School, now the home of Grasmere Gingerbread. It’s no exaggeration to say that people flock to sample the world-famous gingerbread and no visit to Grasmere would be complete without a stop here.
Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse, now owned by the National Trust, is a veritable time capsule of her life and the inspiration behind her tales. Take a look around the farmhouse garden and learn about her deep connection to the place. Perhaps you will meet the real-life Mr McGregor!
Heaton Cooper Studio
Established by the landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper in 1905. The present Grasmere studio was built by his son William Heaton Cooper in 1938. The gallery is home to the work of the Heaton Cooper artistic dynasty whose paintings and books have influenced the landscape view of the Lake District for generations. There’s a varied programme of events running throughout the year.
In the heart of the Lakes, between Coniston and Windermere you’ll find Grizedale Forest. Explore the miles of waymarked paths on foot or bike, taking in the unrivalled views of the lakes and mountains under the shelter of the trees and amazing forest sculptures. If you’re looking for some high adrenaline activities why not hire an all-terrain forest Segway or bring out your inner-Tarzan and tackle the zip-wires and high ropes on the Go Ape Tree Top course.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Explore the beauty of England’s largest lake by boat and take in the wonderful views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands. With a wide choice of trips ranging from 45 minutes to 3 hours in duration, or even a whole day’s cruise, you can plot your route around the attractions you want to visit.
Once home to William Wordsworth, arguably the most famous of the many poets who have been so inspired by the beauty of the Lake District. His first family cottage and the museum next door is now a much-visited attraction for those seeking to find out more about his everyday life and the works written at the cottage. You can also attend a wide programme of events and exhibitions during the year.
Rydal Mount and Gardens
Between Ambleside and Grasmere and with magnificent views of Windermere, Rydal Water and the fells stands the best loved family home of William Wordsworth where he lived from 1813 to 1850. Tour the house, walk in the gardens and take in the scenery that moved Wordsworth to write some of his best loved romantic literature.
St Oswald’s Church
The 13th century church in Grasmere is now one of the most visited shrines in the world thanks to its associations with the poet William Wordsworth who, together with his wife Mary, is buried here. The Wordsworth Daffodil memorial garden next door is a little haven of calm and glorious when in bloom.
Between Ambleside and Windermere, you’ll find Brockhole, the National Park Visitor Centre. With 30 acres of magnificent gardens to explore as well as mini golf, archery and pony riding there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. Go caving, orienteering and cycling or children over 5 years can try the 35 treetop challenges including aerial rope bridges and wobbly logs and a fabulous 250 metre triple zip down to the shoreline. Take a lake cruise from the Brockhole jetty, or if you’re happier on terra firma, there’s always an exhibition to view, a lovely gift shop and a restaurant/tea room.
The World of Beatrix Potter
The Lake District is Potter country, where Peter Rabbit and his friends were created over 100 years ago just down the road in Near Sawrey. Head to The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere and take time to explore a magical world in which the sights and sounds of Miss Potter’s much-loved characters are brought to life – an enthralling day out for the young and the young at heart. If you’re visiting during the summer don’t miss the popular Where is Peter Rabbit? musical running at the Old Laundry Theatre here.