This private literary tour sets off from your hotel or guest house with your local private guide and driver in a comfortable car for a short drive through the Lakeland fells to two of the houses most closely associated with the 19th century poet, William Wordsworth.
Step back in time to the 1770s to birthplace and childhood home of the much-loved poet, William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy.
Situated in the small market town of Cockermouth, Wordsworth House is presented as it would have been when they lived here with their parents, three brothers and servants in the 1770s.
Today, this homely Georgian townhouse is almost like a real working house with real food on the dining table, a fire burning in the working kitchen and a recipe William and Dorothy might have eaten for you to taste. Ink and quill pens are ready in the clerk’s office, and if you play the piano, you might like to try the replica harpsichord.
The children’s bedroom is full of toys and dressing up clothes, and in the Wordsworth Room there are books and games to enjoy. Down in the cellar, the household’s ghosts are waiting to tell their stories.
The garden is packed with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, just as it would have been when William played – and learned his love of nature – here.
There are plenty of fine old pubs in Cockermouth should you wish for a drink or a tasty lunch before heading down the A591 road, officially the best road in Britain to the beautiful little town of Grasmere and Dover Cottage. It was in this little cottage, at times ‘crammed edge full’ with people, in the heart of the remote Lake District, that William Wordsworth wrote some of the greatest poetry in the English language and Dorothy kept her famous ‘Grasmere Journal’, now on display in the adjoining Museum.
William came across his first Grasmere home by chance as he and his brother John walked along this lane with his fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in late 1799. He and his sister Dorothy moved in just a few weeks later.
The cottage had once been an inn, the ‘Dove and Olive Bough’. It was now to be the Wordsworths’ home for the next eight years. In 1802 William married Mary Hutchinson and three of their five children were born here.
Step into Dove Cottage to get a sense of that time: stone floors, dark panelled rooms, glowing coal fires and the family’s own belongings. Little has changed in the house since the Wordsworths lived here.
Stroll in the Dove Cottage garden, a place of refuge, meditation and inspiration. It was, wrote Wordsworth, ‘the work of our own hands’. Here they planted flowers and vegetables, watched birds and butterflies and, most importantly, read, talked and wrote poetry.
Next door to Dove Cottage is the wonderful Wordsworth museum which is full of his handwritten manuscripts and lots of personal momentos of the great writer, a must-see for all fans.
1 Adult = £200
2 Adults = £195
3 Adults = £190
4 Adults = £175
City Location: Cumbria – The Lake District
Duration of Tour: 7 hours
(Approximate times as all tours are bespoke)
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