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Lakes Culture World Heritage Signature Experiences - Grasmere & Rydal

Experience the World Heritage cultural landscapes of the Lakes.

The landscape of the Lake District has been inspiring artists and writers for centuries and now it has been recognised by UNESCO and awarded World Heritage status.
Lakes ignite
The cultural story continues in 2018 with the Lakes Ignite festival, which sees six contemporary artists showing new pieces of work in response to the World Heritage status across six different locations in the Lake District between January and July.

And to really encourage visitors to discover more about the rich cultural offer in the Lake District a range of World Heritage Signature Experiences are also on offer.

These experiences aim to excite and unearth more treasures and let visitors really explore the Lake District’s identity, its role in conservation and how it has inspired so many artists and writers to produce great work.

Based around the iconic geographical locations, the Signature Experiences really do have something for everyone taking you on a journey of a lifetime.
Offering a diverse range of activities, whether you are an adrenalin junkie or happier staring at the stars or tucking into an afternoon tea, they aim to cater to all tastes.

Keswick and Ullswater

Keswick and Ullswater boast the breath-taking scenery of Skiddaw and Hellvellyn and the Mountain Goat tour is a great way to see the Lakes. Taking you from Windermere over the Lake District’s highest mountain pass to enjoy the impressive views over Ullswater.

You can then stop at one of the UK’s oldest stone circles at Castlerigg before exploring the glacial valley of St John’s in the Vale. The trip ends with a wander around the historic village of Grasmere.

With tips on where to stay too the Signature Experiences offer a menu for visitors to pick out a range of activity based on how long their stay and their interests.

Ullswater Steamers

Coniston and Grizedale

You could arrive in style with a unique opportunity to travel across Coniston Water in a pristine Steam Yacht Gondola typically used by wealthy Victorians. You will dropped off at the Jetty to Brantwood, Ruskin’s famous home.

Ruskin was a lover of art and architecture and a radical thinker in Victorian society. His influences are still seen today; he inspired the founders of the National Health Service, the National Trust and public libraries.

Brantwood was his home and with eight carefully designed gardens – including the journey to Dante’s paradise – here you will have the chance to play the musical stones, before re-joining the Gondola for your return journey.

Stargazing by Justin Grammer

If you wanted to explore Brantwood further there will be a literary retreat in September, allowing you to look at the ways in which writers have expressed the different landscapes. This event is an opportunity to let the Brantwood estate inspire you.

Grizedale Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, is a beautiful space and the UK’s first forest for sculpture. With artworks located across ten square miles of natural woodland and a new installation by Lakes Ignite artist Charlie Whinney.

Added to this, Grizedale is hosting tours of constellation you can see in the dark skies above the forest canopy. With a number of events throughout winter and spring including Jupiter watch and Dark Sky Festival you are sure to enjoy a magical starlit experience.

Windermere, Kendal and Ambleside

Blackwell, is a masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts movement and is located overlooking England’s longest lake, Windermere, and the Lake District mountains beyond. This beautiful house, designed by architect MH Ballie Scott, has a calendar of exhibitions and events and is the location for one of the Lakes Ignite installations from May 18 this year.
Photo: The Bridge House, Ambleside by Kurt Schwitters 1945. Courtesy of the Armitt Trust)
Di Mainstone’s Time Mirror is an interactive sculpture that will allow audiences of all ages to experience and capture the stunning Lake District surroundings in an experimental and abstract way. 
The Time Mirror is a large tessellated funnel shaped structure, covered in polished, mirror-like steel, that can spin 360 degrees to reflect the landscape from any angle. It can also tilt to reflect the sky and mountains. It will also reflect back any participants and viewers that interact with it capturing them in the Lake District landscape. Visitors will be able to use the time mirror device to create abstract portraits of themselves, set within the landscape at Blackwell.

Alan Bennett, acclaimed British playwright is known for the powerful and engaging series of monologues Talking Heads that featured actresses such as Patricia Routledge. In March this year, the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal will be hosting a workshop where you can learn themes and techniques to create your own absorbing monologue.
Lakes Culture

Grasmere and Rydal

One of the Lake District’s most well known associations is perhaps with William Wordsworth and Dove Cottage in Grasmere is where he wrote many of his greatest poems. You can explore the traditional cottage with the dark panelled rooms; authentic furniture and cottage garden making this visit a step back in time.

Continuing Wordsworth’s journey Allan Bank is where he lived for three years and the National Trust has partially restored this property following a fire in 2011. Children are encouraged to play the piano, draw or paint in the art room and are even allowed to write their ideas on the walls.

Rydal Hall Wool Sculpture
Completing the trip you can book afternoon tea at Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s family home from 1813 until his death. The house is situated in a four-acre estate with views out to Lake Windermere and Rydal Water. With your booking you will receive a copy of his famous poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

Why not try something different this year and enjoy the cultural landscape of the Lake District.

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