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Grasmere, cradled in a vale in the heart of the Lake District, is crowned with magnificent fells and mountains all around. From Dunmail Raise in the north, the vale of Grasmere opens up with the rugged peak of Helm Crag (otherwise known as ‘the Lion and the Lamb’) sheltering the town to the south. The combination of scattered hamlets and farmsteads, verdant woodlands, and lush meadows fringing the lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water and Loughrigg Tarn conjures up a quintessential image of romantic Lakeland.

The natural beauty of the area has provided inspiration for painters, poets, writers and craftsmen for years. The vale of Grasmere and Rydal, described by Wordsworth as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’, became his adopted home. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott also stayed here, whilst the writer Thomas de Quincey moved into Dove Cottage on Wordsworth’s departure. From the 18th century onwards, many artists journeyed here in search of ‘the picturesque and the sublime’, including William Green, John Constable and Turner. In more recent times, the Heaton Cooper family succeeded in capturing the changing moods of the Lake District in watercolours.

Book Your Stay

The MacDonald Swan Hotel

The MacDonald Swan Hotel

Hotel with 41 rooms, £64-£250 pppnb

Oak Bank Hotel Garden

Oak Bank Hotel

Hotel with 13 rooms, £78-£715 prpnb

The Travellers Rest Inn

The Travellers Rest Inn

Inn with 9 rooms, £80-£140 pppnb, £60-£130 prpnb

Little Parrock

Little Parrock

Self-catering with 1 unit, £1350-£2950 pupw sleeps 8-10

Raise View House

Raise View House

Bed & Breakfast with 6 rooms, £114-£165 prpnb

Beck Allans

Beck Allans Self Catering Apartments

Self-catering with 4 units, £325-£610 pupw sleeps 2-4

The Wordsworth Hotel bedroom

The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa

Country House Hotel with 61 rooms, £110-£380 prpnb

Elterwater Hostel

Elterwater Hostel

Tourist Hostel with 40 bedspaces, £15-£140 pppn, £13-£146 prpn

Thorney How Independent Hostel

Thorney How

Tourist Hostel with 11 bedrooms, £20-£28 pppn, £24-£36 pppnb, £65-£203 prpn

7 Lingmoor View, lounge

2 & 7 Lingmoor View

Self-catering with 2 units, £275-£590 pupw sleeps 1-4

3 Tarn Cottages, Grasmere

3 Tarn Cottages

Self-catering with 1 unit, £294-£645 pupw sleeps 1-4

Broadrayne farm Cottages

Broadrayne Farm Cottages

Self-catering with 4 units, £370-£875 pupw sleeps 1-5

Langdale Hotel & Spa

Langdale Hotel and Spa

Country House Hotel with 57 rooms, £170-£210 prpnb

Broadrayne Farm

Grasmere Independent Hostel

Tourist Hostel with 24 bunks, £23-£24 pppn, £69-£550 prpn

Bramrigg House

Bramrigg House

Self-catering with 1 unit, £126-£500 pupn sleeps 4-10

Riverside Cottage

Riverside Cottage

Self-catering with 1 unit, £75-£500 pupn sleeps 1-6

Beck Allans Guest House

Beck Allans Guest House

Guest House with 5 rooms, £88-£120 prpnb

Wistaria Cottage & No.3 Main Street

Wistaria Cottage & No.3 Main Street

Self-catering with 2 units, £440-£520 pupw sleeps 1-4

Things to do

What's on

 January 2018>
There are a variety of events taking place in and around the Grasmere area.

From the famous Grasmere Sports Day to venue showcases, check out what is on during your visit and browse the events of most interest to you.

browse all events

Surrounding Areas

Rydal Water

Culture and Heritage

Rydal mount
Rydal Cave
Wordsworth Museum
Grasmere’s early history was devoted to farming, wool manufacture and some mineral and rock extraction. In the mid 16th century, there were around 15 fulling mills in Grasmere. Fulling was the process of pounding newly woven cloths in soapy water with heavy hammers (or stocks) to shrink the fibres and create a denser fabric. Stock Lane in Grasmere derives its name from this process. Most of the local woods were managed for coppice wood to supply charcoal for iron ore smelting and bark for tanneries. In the early 18th century, as prosperity increased, there was an expansion in new building and many small quarries were opened up to provide stone – White Moss quarry (on the A591) being one of these (now a car park).

Several packhorse trails once radiated out from the village; the ponies carrying cloths, fleeces, and other goods to markets in Keswick, Penrith and Kendal (via Ambleside). The old packhorse trail between Ambleside and Grasmere used to be the main route between the two towns before the new turnpike road (now the A591) was opened in 1770.

Painters, writers and poets started exploring the Lake District in the mid 18th century in search of the picturesque and romantic notions of beauty. William Wordsworth (1770–1850) described the vale as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’ and came to live here in 1799. He spent much time walking in the area, composing lines of poetry based on what he experienced. His most inspirational years were spent at Dove Cottage (1799–1808). He and his family then moved to the more spacious Allan Bank (1808–1811), followed by a short stint at the Rectory (1811–1814) and lastly to Rydal Mount (1814–1850). Fellow poets and writers, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott, were frequent guests of the Wordsworths.

Once the new turnpike roads were completed in the late 18th century and the railway had arrived in Windermere in 1847, Victorian tourists came in their droves to experience the landscapes that had inspired the Lake Poets.

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