Renowned worldwide for its spectacular scenery, Grasmere and its lake have entranced poets, artists and painters for centuries. Right at the heart of the Lake District National Park, it is one of the smaller lakes at 1,540 m (1,680 yd) long and 640 m (700 yd) wide. The lake lies to the south of the village of Grasmere, once famously home to the poet William Wordsworth. He lived at Dove Cottage from 1799 – 1808, one of his most prolific writing periods, and there you can see the landscapes and views that inspired him. He was especially entranced by visits to the small island in the middle of the lake, although this is now privately owned and not accessible to the public.
His home from 1813 until his death in 1850 was Rydal Mount – still owned by his family, it is also open to the public and you can see his house and the extensive gardens he landscaped himself. To see the end of his journey, you can even visit his grave at St Oswald’s Church. There’s also a Wordsworth Museum which tells the story of his life and those of his innermost circle of friends and fellow artists. Carrying on the tradition, Grasmere plays host to a thriving community of local artists and painters, with several galleries and exhibitions open all year round, such as the Heaton Cooper Studio, showing the much renowned watercolours of Alfred Heaton Cooper and his son William.
If art isn’t enough of a reason to visit this beautiful landscape, the village is charming in its own right and the lake provides excellent walking for a range of energies and stamina, from restful low-lying walks around the lake to more strenuous climbing on some of the most famous peaks in the district, Helvellyn, Scafell Pikes and Skiddaw. The area also provides excellent coarse fishing, with an abundance of perch and roach.