The village of Grasmere adjoins the A591, which connects it to Thirlmere in the north and Rydal and Ambleside to the south.

Walks and hikes

There are easy gradient walks around the small Grasmere lake, which is found to the south of the village. For serious hiking and climbing Grasmere is central to the peaks of the Scafell Pikes, Helvellyn, Skiddaw and the Langdale Pikes.

William Wordsworth

Wordsworth described the village, its little lake and the surrounding mountains as 'the loveliest spot that man hath ever found'. The poet, who is buried in the churchyard at St Oswald's with his wife and sister, lived at Dove Cottage from 1799 to 1808, when he moved to Rydal Mount (see Ambleside). He occasionally taught in the Grasmere village school. Behind the cottage is a new museum with letters, manuscripts, memorabilia, portraits and Lakeland paintings.

Timed tickets may be issued to the rose covered cottage to avoid overcrowding.

Dove Cottage was visited by the Romantic poets: Coleridge, Southey and De Quincey.

A vegetarian country house hotel

Lancrigg is a highly recommended 'vegetarian-only' country house hotel in private grounds half a mile from the town. It has stunning views, its own organic and vegetarian restaurant and mix of characterful rooms. It was a favourite meeting place for the Lakeland poets and has connections with other famous 19th century figures like Dickens.

Four star guesthouse

White Moss House, in Rydal Water also has Wordsworth connections, as William bought it for his son Willie. It is an AA four star guesthouse with a number of awards and mentions in tourist guides. There is also a detached Brockstone Cottage available to rent as self catering.

The Dove and Olive Branch

The in-house pub, the Dove and Olive Branch, attached to the elegant and central Wordsworth Hotel, is recommended for real ale and filling bar snacks. Seats and tables are also to be found on the veranda for those who like people watching.

The Travellers Rest Inn

The Travellers Rest Inn is a solid 16th century pub on the A591 road. It is oak beamed with slate fireplaces and real ale. Accommodation is also offered.

How Foot Lodge

How Foot Lodge is a 'good value for money' bed and breakfast owned by the Wordsworth Trust. It has four rooms.


Grasmere has three hostels: two YHA (Youth Hostel Association) and one independent. Thorney How YHA hostel was the first one purchased by the YHA in 1931. It is a small stone house. Butharlyp How is a much bigger Victorian house that has a cafe and Internet access.The independent Grasmere Hostel has a 'Nordic sauna' and luxurious lounge.

The Jumble Room restaurant

The Jumble Room restaurant, open Monday nights, then Wednesday to Sunday, won a top award from Les Routier: restaurant of the year in 2003/4 and is mentioned in many food guides. The tiny dining room is lively with fabric prints, paintings and porcelain. The menu is both traditional and international but, where possible, organic and local.

Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop

Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop is a classic tea and cake shop. The same recipe gingerbread has been made since 1854.

Public transport

Buses connect with Windermere and, in the season, April to October, with Kendal.

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