Grasmere in the Lake District

The Lake District was designated as a National Park in 1951 – at 880 square miles, one of the largest in the UK – to promote the area’s outstanding beauty and the enjoyment of it. It is home to England’s longest lake (Windermere), its deepest lake (Wastwater), the steepest road (the Hardknott Pass) and the country’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike).

To find out more about some of our favourite Lake District places to visit, see our blog entry on visitor attractions.

The delightful village of Grasmere has withstood the changing times and still personifies charm and old world English heritage. Here are some essential ‘things to do’ on our doorstep.

Guided Walks

The Lake District National Authority, which looks after this unique corner of England, employs rangers, field workers, ecologists and visitor centre staff. Check out their series of guided walks, including ‘Grasmere Riverside walk’ and ‘White Moss Common walk’, both of which start close to the Rothay Garden Hotel.

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Walking in the Lake District


Loughrigg Terrace, Easedale Tarn, Alcock Tarn, Helm Crag and the Coffin Trail are just a few of the better known shorter routes. Major climbs such as Helvellyn, Langdale Pikes, Fairfield Horsehoe and Scafell Pike are accessible without using your car. Famous peaks such as The Old Man of Coniston and Skiddaw are just a short drive away.

Wordsworth Grasmere

Wordsworth Museum

Wordsworth and his family lived in Dove Cottage from 1799 to 1808. Today, it has been brought back to life while the adjacent Museum tells the story of the poet’s creative life, with hands-on things to do for all ages. The Garden-Orchard has been restored as a woodland space where you can explore and play.

Open Tuesday to Saturday to welcome guests to visit from 10am–4pm

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Rydal water

Rydal Water

The poet William Wordsworth lived in Rydal, and it’s hardly surprising that he was inspired to put pen to paper in such a beautiful, natural environment. You’ll see reflections of Loughrigg fell in the water, and there are lovely paths around such as the footpath up to Loughrigg Terrace and cave. Rydal Water is popular with wild swimmers too.

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Shopping in Grasmere

There is an abundance of speciality shops in the village of Grasmere, including crafts, gifts, delis, bookshops, coffee shops, outdoor specialists and art galleries. Perhaps the most famous is Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop which has been producing gingerbread to Sarah Nelson’s original recipe since the 19th century.

Other popular shops include the Heaton Cooper Art Gallery, the Sam Read Bookseller, and Barney’s Newsbox – one of the best shops in the lakes for maps, jigsaws and magazines.

For a great selection of the best shops in Grasmere, from arts to edibles, as recommended by our staff, read our special blog entry on Shopping in Grasmere.

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