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10 things to do in Grasmere.

Updated on October 30, 2017

St Oswald's Grasmere- before the new tower refurbishment

10 things to do on a visit to Grasmere, Lake District

Let me introduce you to my village-Grasmere, home to William Wordsworth.Grasmere is a small village in the heart of England's Lake District,visited by thousands of tourists every year. The Lakes are one of the biggest attractions for UK tourism. I live in Grasmere, and here's my personal guide to Grasmere Village.

Thousands of visitors come to Grasmere every year from all over the world, and there are lots of things to do in this small village.

Visitors come to Grasmere because of William Wordsworth, to visit the Wordsworth homes,to see the scenery the poet loved, and to pay homage at the Wordsworth family graves. Even though Grasmere is just a small village it is home to many Lake District activities.

St Oswald's Church is at the heart of the village, and is at the hub of the community.The tower was crumbling so we've had a fund raising project to restore it. It's now a lovely cream colour made of traditional lime render.

William Wordsworth wrote his best poetry in Grasmere, and is buried, along with his family, in St Oswalds' Churchyard. The church dates back to the 13th Century.It is built in traditional Lakeland style, with rendering on the walls. Inside it is fairly plain, with the East Window being clear so that you can look out at the hills- no need for stained glass when you can "lift up your eyes unto the hills".One of the first things that people do on their visit to Grasmere is to look at the Wordsworth Graves in St Oswald's churchyard, and look inside the historic church.

Today Grasmere is a thriving village, with lots of great community activities. If you stay for a few days you might be able to see a play , an art exhibition, or attend a lecture or talk.

Grasmere is a hugely popular tourist destination, with excellent hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts.

Visitors come for the amazing scenery, the superb hiking, the glorious fresh country air, and the wonderful nature so loved by William Wordsworth.

All photos are my own, or Cumbria Tourism official photos,unless otherwise credited, which may not be used without permission of Cumbria Tourism

Ten Things to do on your visit to Grasmere.

Grasmere is an historic little village with lots to do and see.

Some people whizz through Grasmere on a whistle stop tour of England. Others visit year after year, spending weeks in the village, hiking the hills and trails, and enjoying immersing themselves in the local culture.

Even if you have just an hour to visit, try to spend some time ( and money- the local economy needs you!) in this lovely village.Try visiting the little speciality shops, the great cafes, the pubs, the garden centre....

1. Visit Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum.

Dove Cottage Grasmere was where Wordsworth wrote his best poems.

Dove Cottage Grasmere is where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy at the time when he was writing his most famous poetry.

His devoted sister jotted down lots of notes, discussed everything with him, made lots of astute observations on nature that found their way into Wordsworth poems, and generally helped her beloved brother in every possible way.

When Wordsworth married Mary, the three lived together, but had to move out of the tiny Dove Cottage when children came along.

In addition to visiting Dove Cottage and experiencing at first hand the poet's home, visitors can also visit the Wordsworth Museum, which houses a huge amount of interesting information and exhibits.

Photo of Dove Cottage thanks to Cumbria Tourism and David Willis, not for reuse

Dove Cottage has a great programme of events throughout the year. Click here to find out what's going on at Dove Cottage right now

Read the journal the Dorothy Wordsworth wrote at Dove Cottage, Grasmere - It's a fascinating view of Grasmere 200 years ago

I love to read Dorothy Wordsworth's journals. and find out the daily life of Wordsworth and his family. A lot of the journal is about very mundane things such as meals and bedtimes, aches and pains.

2 Visit St Oswald's Church

St Oswald's Grasmere dates from the 13th century.

Set in the centre of Grasmere Village, St Oswald's church used to serve the parishes of Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale. Each Parish had its own entrance into the church yard.

Inside the church are many old memorials, including some of the wealthy Le Fleming faimly from Rydal.

There is a statue of the Madonna and Child by Ophelia Bell.

The West Window is made of plain glass so that worshippers can see out to the Lakeland hills- not need for a stained glass window here to appreciate the glory of God and nature.

We were married here in 1973! Its a really beautiful place for a wedding!

The church is also the centre for poetry readings, organ recitals , concerts and exhibitions.

For more information about St Oswald's Church in Grasmere click here to go to the informative website written by Grasmere vicar Cameron Butland.

Be sure to stop by on your visit to Grasmere ( and please leave a donation!)

For information about Weddings or Baptisms in Grasmere church, use the link above

3. Visit Heaton Cooper's Art Gallery and shop

The Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

Heaton Cooper was a famous artist, known for his paintings of Lakeland landscape. Other members of Heaton Cooper's family were also painters and sculptors.

In the Heaton Cooper Studio you can buy prints, postcards and cards of the artists' work. There are also some orginal works there.Artists materials are on sale too.

Visitors to my Guestbook tell me that they come to Grasmere specially to stock up on artists supplies at this unique gallery.

You can also order from Heaton Cooper online in the UK. Heaton Cooper are also willing to post overseas if you can't get here in person.

You can find out more here about the Heaton Cooper Studio. You can also order prints and cards online. At the present time ( April 2017) a new additional gallery and coffee shop is being added to make this an even better place to visit.

photo of Heaton Cooper studio thanks to David Willis and Cumbria Tourism.

4. See Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread shop - The famous Grasmere Gingerbread shop

Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread shop
Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread shop | Source

Outside the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Once the village school, this quaint little building is now the famous Grasmere Gingerbread shop.

Pop inside to buy a souvenir!

Inside the shop
Inside the shop

Photo thanks to Cumbria Tourism and David Willis, not for reuse.

For more information take a look at The Grasmere Gingerbread shop's website

Where is Grasmere, and where do I live? - Here's the map to show you my home, White Moss House, by Rydal Water and Grasmere Lakes

Grasmere is in the Lake District National Park, in the county of Cumbria. The largest Lake, Windermere, is 5 miles south of Grasmere.

My home, White Moss House, once owned by Wordsworth:
LA22 9SE

get directions

5. See and hear Taffy Thomas, Storyteller Laureate.

Taffy Thomas MBE lives in Grasmere- catch him if you can.

Taffy Thomas MBE, Storyteller Laureate, lives in Grasmere. Taffy travels the world sharing his folk tales. Here you can see Taffy in his Tale Coat in a photo which comes thanks to David Miller under a flickr commercial creative commons license

Opposite Grasmere Church and the Grasmere Gingerbread shop is Taffy Thomas' Storyteller's Garden. Check out Taffy Thomas Storyteller's website to see if Taffy is telling his tales when you are in Grasmere, or if Taffy is coming near you to weave his magic.

If you can't get to see Taffy in person, you can buy his latest book. Cumbrian Folk Tales, and enjoy Taffy's wonderful tales anytime you like.

6.Sit at a pavement cafe and watch the world go by

There are several cafes where you can sit outside.

Morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea? Lots of cafes serve delicious home made scones, cakes and snacks.

What's the rush? Take a break!

This photo is of the Rowan Tree Cafe, down by the River Rothay. Thanks to David Willis and Cumbria Tourism , all rights reserved.

7. Have a pint in a pub

Try a pint of the local beer

There are lots of local breweries in the Lakes, and the barman will always be happy to advise you on which to chose!

The pubs will also serve you with a hearty meal- maybe our traditional Cumberland sausage

My favorite pub in the centre of Grasmere is Tweedies , at the back of the Dale Lodge hotel.. It has a good selection of ales, always has a great cider, good choice of wine, and good food. There's a fire inside, and tables in the garden outside. They also have music and quiz sessions.It's a great place to relax at the end of a walk.

The other bars in Grasmere are the Lamb, round the back of the Red Lion hotel, and the Dove and Olive, part of the Wordsworth hotel.

The oldest pub in Grasmere The Travellers' Rest on the main road , about 1 mile from the village centre. It's been a coaching inn since the 16th Centrury, and has lots of old world charm.

8. Visit Sam Read's Bookshop

A proper local bookshop in the centre of Grasmere

Established in 1887 by Sam Read, this lovely bookshop at the heart of Grasmere is a joy. If you can't find it what you want, Elaine and her team will order it for you. There's a huge selection of books about the Lake District.

For more information, take a look at Sam Read's Grasmere Bookshop website

Grasmere and William Wordsworth - some more readings

You can't get away from Wordsworth in Grasmere. The number of books available is enormous. I've chosen a couple here, and if you click through to Amazon you'll find lots more.

Dorothy Wordsworth.

William's sister Dorothy was his muse. Her life story is fascinating. It was Dorothy who gave William the idea for his most famous poem, Daffodils. She was devoted to her brother- his marriage came as a huge blow to her in the first instance, though she continues to be close to her brother all her life.

9. Get those new boots on a go hiking - Walks around Grasmere, Rydal and Whitemoss

There are so many great walks around Grasmere. Try to make time to get out and really see the wonderful Lakeland scenery. This is the view from Loughrigg Terrace, which was used as a location in the film "Miss Potter" starring Renee Zellweger.

Allan Bank Grasmere

Allan Bank Grasmere
Allan Bank Grasmere | Source

10. Visit the National Trust's Allan Bank

Allan Bank, perched on a hill above Grasmere Lake

Allan Bank is a large house with a wonderful view. Once owned by Canan Rawnsley, founder of the National Trust, and lived in at one time by Wordsworth, this house had been privately rented for many years. Now it is open to the public, and has been restored following a fire. However, the house has been intentionally left partly decorated.

Allan Bank hosts lots of events and workshops, and has a welcoming cafe in the old kitchen. The gardens and grounds are being restored.


Even more things to do in Grasmere

Buy a Jigsaw.

Barney's Newsbox has one of the largest stocks of jigsaws in the country, or even the world! For details click here

The little shop is stuffed full of all sorts of gifts, toys, cards, models- all sorts of things! My grandchildren just love visiting Barney's. Adults watch out- there will be all sorts of wonderful things that you're children will love here- great quality and quirky toys and presents.

Take a rowing boat out on Grasmere from Faeryland

Go for a row on Grasmere from Faeryland on the shore of the lake. This is a the place to hire your traditional rowing boat to take out on the lake. There is also a tea garden where you can buy exquisite pots of loose leaf tea, a great selections of other treats and eats. You can buy these special teas in packets to take away as a souvenir. Here is the Faeryland website.

Thousands of visitors from all over the world come to Grasmere each year. If you have visited I'd love to know what you enjoyed. If you haven't- do you think you would like to visit?

There are lots more Things To Do in Grasmere- if you know of something that should be included on this lens, please leave a message and I'll be happy to add your information .I'm going to add to this lens regularly, so please come back.

I'd love to hear from you!


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