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A Writer’s Blog for your writer’s block!

Maybe it’s the drama of the landscape that has provided the inspiration for countless classics, maybe there is just something in the water, lake water that is. Whatever the reason, The Lake District, Cumbria has a magnetic effect on the literary world. The area is synonymous with names like Wordsworth, Ruskin and Wainwright. Beatrix Potter has enchanted ours and our parent’s childhoods and our children are still enjoying Peter’s escapades. Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Edward Fitzgerald soaked up inspiration from the Cumbrian scenery and more recently travel writer Bill Bryson said of Morecambe Bay, “It may be the most beautiful bay in England.”
The Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival has just finished for another year and hopefully that’s filled you with inspiration. They say each of us have a book within us, if you are poised with your laptop but faced with a blank screen we can help. Here are nine inspirational literary places in The Lake District, Cumbria to help you write that novel. You can thank us when you are a best-selling author!


1. Dove Cottage, Grasmere was once the home of William Wordsworth. 2020 is the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth and the museum is being expanded to tell the full story of his work and his relevance today with his interests in conservation and radicalism.

Dove Cottage
2. The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is a vibrant hub for literary lovers with regular readings from renowned poets and open mic nights where anyone can get involved. There is a poetry festival with talks, workshops and readings.

3. Hill Top, National Trust. This 17th Century cottage, built from local stone, looks exactly as it did when Beatrix Potter lived there. You can just imagine Peter Rabbit scampering through the vegetable patch or Squirrel Nutkin scaling the fir tree. You can even see the desk where Miss Potter sat and wrote the tales that enchanted our childhood. Literature
Hill Top
4. Swarthmoor Hall near Ulverston. The creative juices are bound to start flowing during a writing retreat in a 16th Century mansion with likeminded folk. This place started the whole Quaker movement, so is the perfect environment for reflection, contemplation and inspiration.

5. Kendal Mountain Festival. Maybe your adventures will be the focus of your writing. Meet fearless explorers and outdoor experts and enjoy sessions with poets and writers with many tales to tell of extraordinary exploits. 14th -17th November.

6. Speaking of mountains, maybe inspiration will come from scaling England’s highest peak. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, was a prominent writer and friend of Wordsworth. He mentioned Scafell Pike in his writing, in what was one of the first written records of rock climbing.
7. The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick is exactly as the name suggests, a vibrant arts hub on the shores of Derwentwater. As well as a programme of original drama, the theatre plays host to lectures, workshops and visiting poets.

8. The Armitt Museum is a little gem in the heart of the Lake District. It’s a combination of museum, library and gallery and features a fascinating array of literature including some of Beatrix Potter’s personal collection.

9. Sedbergh is England’s Book town. This Cumbrian town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales is a dream. One bookshop is a former cinema holding over 70,000 books! There are specialist booksellers, collectable booksellers, places selling popular fiction- as well as a plethora of sweet cafés where you can try to fulfil C S Lewis’s dream of a never-ending mug of tea and a book. They call it a Book Town. How wonderful is that?

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