From Wordsworth to gingerbread, the charming Lake District village of Grasmere certainly has a lot of offer – and all just a few short miles from Skelwith Fold.
To help you make your most of your stay at Skelwith Fold, we’ve found five of the best things to do in Grasmere.
Step in the Footsteps of Wordsworth
Grasmere has long been associated with the Lake Poets, whose 19th-century Romantic poetry was inspired by the rural beauty of the region. The village’s most famous resident was William Wordsworth, who described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.”
As such, it’s not surprising that today, one of the most popular things to do in Grasmere is to have a nosey around Wordsworth’s former home, the tiny Dove Cottage. It appears much as it would have in Wordsworth’s time, with its original stone floors, panelled walls and the Wordsworth family’s belongings still intact.
The price of entry also includes admission to the Wordsworth Museum next door, which is home to a veritable treasure-trove of objects related to Wordsworth and the Romantic era – from handwritten manuscripts to interactive displays.
Explore St Oswald’s Church
After poking around Wordsworth’s house, it seems fitting to pay your respects in person by visiting his grave at St Oswald’s Church, where he is buried alongside his wife, and close to his sister and children. While you’re there, be sure to take a look around the interior of the church, which is a Grade 1 listed building dating back to the 14th century and has some stunning medieval stained glass windows.
Also of interest is the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden, which sits in between the churchyard and the nearby River Rothay and aims to recreate the idyllic scene described in Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’:
All at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Feast on Grasmere’s Famous Gingerbread
Today, you can sample some for yourself at Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, where the recipe has remained unchanged (and under wraps) since the shop first opened in 1854. With its mouth-watering display of treats, twee interior and friendly, pinafore-clad staff, it’s easy to see why a visit to this legendary sweetshop remains one of the most popular things to do in Grasmere.
Visit Grasmere Lake
Just a five-minute walk from the village centre lies Grasmere Lake, which, like the village itself, packs a lot of punch despite its small size. It may be one of the littlest lakes in the region – it’s just one-mile long, half a mile wide, and 75 ft deep – but has nonetheless succeeded in winning the hearts of countless poets and artists who’ve lived in and visited Grasmere over the years.
One of the best ways to experience Grasmere Lake is by rowboat or canoe, both of which you can easily hire. Alternatively, if you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, you can admire the lake from the path that loops around it – or even from the comfort of one of the nearby tearooms or cafés.
Wander Lonely As a Cloud
Of course, as you’d expect from a village at the heart of the Lake District, one of the most rewarding things to do in Grasmere is to explore the surrounding countryside. After all, this is the landscape that inspired some of the English language’s most beloved poems, after all.
Popular walking destinations close to Grasmere include Helm Crag, Easedale Tarn, Stone Arthur, and a rocky outcrop known as Wordsworth’s Seat (said to be his favourite viewpoint). If you’re feeling daring, you might even want to follow the ‘Coffin Trail’ – the route between Grasmere and Rydal formerly used by medieval coffin bearers.
We’re sure you’ll agree that, with so many exciting things to do in Grasmere, this is a village that merits a day’s visit – at the very least. Do you have any other favourite things to do in Grasmere? Then share your tips with other guests on our Facebook page.
Dream of owning your own slice of paradise just a stone’s throw from Grasmere? A Skelwith Fold caravan holiday home could provide you with your own comfortable refuge in the heart of the Lake District countryside, at a fraction of the price of a cottage.