15 Best Things to Do in Grasmere (Lake District)
The Lake District is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, with people travelling from all over the world to visit its many beautiful spots and absorb the local culture. Regardless of whether you’re planning a relaxing break from the stresses and strains of modern life or an action-packed adventure, you can be sure that this beautiful corner of northern England has plenty to offer.
When it comes to deciding on where to choose as your base, you are not likely to find a more ideal candidate than the picturesque and perfectly situated village of Grasmere. Read on to discover some of the best things to do in Grasmere.
1 – Go for a Walk or Hike
There is nothing more inevitably associated with the Lake District than the idea of taking a peaceful walk among the natural landscape. Boasting some of the most breath-taking scenes of quaint beauty on offer anywhere in Europe, this part of the country is also home to a huge number of wildlife reserves, nature trails and other places to enjoy anything from a pleasant stroll to a strenuous hike.
One of the most popular walks near Grasmere is the ‘Helm Crag’ walk. This trail allows visitors to take a gentle climb up to the top of a famous local fell, where they will be rewarded for their efforts with some truly spectacular views.
2 – Hire a Boat on the Lake
Grasmere Lake is one of the nicest places to visit in the Grasmere area. If you are looking for an outdoor activity that is bound to provide something to please every member of your group, hiring one of the boats and heading out onto the water is the perfect option.
As well as being one of the best things to do in the Grasmere area for kids, going out on the lake will also allow you to enjoy a completely different perspective on the nearby village and surrounding countryside. You can do all this while basking in the blissful calm of the still waters!
3 – Visit Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
Perhaps the most alluring thing about Grasmere for many visitors is the fact that it was once home to the celebrated poet William Wordsworth. One of the founders of English Romanticism, Wordsworth lived in Dove Cottage on the edge of Grasmere at around the turn of the nineteenth century. He later went on to become the Poet Laureate of the UK.
The cottage has been kept in the same style as it was during Wordsworth’s day. Today, it attracts pilgrims from all over the world who are eager to walk the same halls that were once were walked by one of the most popular and widely read poets in the English language.
4 – Explore Town End
If your visit to Dove Cottage has inspired you to discover even more about local history and its connection with Wordsworth, you are bound to enjoy a visit to Town End. This small hamlet on the edge of Grasmere has hardly changed at all since Wordsworth’s time. In fact, most of the buildings are over 150 years old, and traditional features like oil lamps and cobbled streets are still standing.
For a rare chance to be immersed in a visage of traditional, unspoilt rural England, Grasmere’s lovely Town End is hard to beat!
5 – Go to St Oswald’s Church
For the literary traveler, no visit to Grasmere is complete without stopping by at St Oswald’s Church to pay your respects to the writer whose legacy looms large over Grasmere and the whole of the Lake District.
Wordsworth and his wife Mary are both buried in the grounds of the church. The old poet’s gravestone is a key location for those on the trail of the many great writers who have been inspired over the years by the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the lakes.
Regardless of whether you are a long-term fan of his work or whether you have simply had your interest stoked by the experience of treading in his footsteps, paying homage here at his final resting place is one of the most moving things to do in Grasmere.
6 – Wander in the Daffodil Gardens
“And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils” – so concludes Wordsworth’s popular poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, in which his enduring theme of finding solace in the natural world is poignantly expressed.
Whilst the particular flowers immortalised in Wordsworth’s famous lines are inevitably no more, you can still wander amidst their kind during your stay in Grasmere, where the Wordsworth Memorial Daffodil Garden was opened in 2003. This is one of the more unusual things to do in Grasmere, and it is the perfect way to start or end a busy day of exploring.
7 – Take a Trip to Hill Top: Beatrix Potter’s House
Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets were not the only writers to have been inspired by the scenery and culture of the Lake District. The much-loved children’s author, Beatrix Potter, also spent much of her life writing from her home here.
In fact, Potter’s house is still standing today, and it is open for visitors less than half an hour down the road from Grasmere. If you have run out of things to do in Grasmere and you would like to get in the car and go for a trip out, paying a visit to Hill Top is an excellent option.
8 – Take Afternoon Tea
There are lots of great tourist attractions in Grasmere to keep you busy during your stay, but sometimes all you want to do is sit back and spend some time relaxing in a comfortable environment with friends or relatives.
If this rings true, then there is nothing more quintessentially English than choosing to spend an hour or so passing the time of day in one of the local cafes or tearooms. Here, you will be able to sample warming beverages and classic English snacks like light sandwiches and scones.
9 – Try the Famous Grasmere Gingerbread
Trying the local delicacies and specialities is an essential part of any travel experience, and your trip to the Lake District should be no exception. Grasmere in particular is famous for their delicious gingerbread which has been produced at the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop since the mid nineteenth century.
These days, Grasmere gingerbread has a global reputation, making a visit to the shop one of the most essential things to do in Grasmere for anyone possessing a sweet tooth!
10 – Experience a Traditional British Pub
As well as high tea, another true British institution is the local pub. And for many people, one of the best things to do in Grasmere is to take advantage of the many friendly establishments offering a wide selection of beers, ciders and spirits to be enjoyed in cosy, traditional surroundings.
11 – Visit Allan Bank
Another former Wordsworth residence, Allan Bank is a Grade II listed building near Grasmere with lovely gardens and stunning views over the local area. The building itself was also once frequented by Wordsworth’s friend and one of the most significant poets in English history, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Allan Bank attracts plenty of excited visitors every year, but many find the grounds even more impressive. As well as enjoying the impressive views, be sure to be on the lookout for the extremely rare red squirrels which can sometimes be spotted here!
12 – Explore the Independent Shops
Even though the Lake District is largely associated with outdoor adventures, there is still plenty to do in the Grasmere area when it rains.
One of the best things to do in Grasmere is to wander through the village streets and duck into some of the old, traditional shops by the side of the road. Here you will be able to discover quirky and unusual wares which are not to be found in large chain stores. This makes them great places to visit in the Grasmere area in order to pick up unique souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes.
13 – Take a Tour of the Lakes
There are lots of tour companies throughout the Lake District offering outstanding guided tours of the various lakes for which the region is famous. One of the most popular things to do in Grasmere is to book onto a tour and explore, with the guidance of a local expert, just how many beautiful landscapes, unspoilt villages and rich cultural secrets are still waiting to be discovered by tourists.
14 – Go on a Lake Cruise
If you don’t feel like hiring a boat yourself but still want to experience the unique view of the lakes and surrounding countryside, why not consider booking onto a lake cruise?
You can jump aboard traditional steamers as well as more modern boats from nearby Ambleside on Lake Windemere, and then simply sit back and relax as your captain takes you on a journey around all the beautiful coves and islets which you simply cannot see from land.
15 – Indulge Yourself at the Spa
If all your exploring has left you feeling tired and in need of rejuvenation, you can always take advantage of the excellent spa facilities available at the Wordsworth Hotel and Spa.
This luxury hotel, with its fine-dining restaurant, swimming pool and jacuzzi, is a great place to relax and recuperate from all of your adventures. It is also a romantic setting in which to mark a special occasion, making a visit here one of the best things to do in the Grasmere area for couples.
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