What is special about Grasmere?
Grasmere is a beautiful little village, in the middle of the Lake District, with a view of stunning mountains and fells surrounding it. It is a popular tourist destination with plenty of places to stay, eat out and visit.
The town has lovely unique shops and cafes making for a most pleasant visit or a base for a longer holiday exploring the Lake District. It has to be said that Grasmere is famous for two things: William Wordsworth and gingerbread.
From Grasmere village, many of Lakeland’s most rewarding walks are easily accessible taking you to spectacular fells or the tranquillity of the lakeside paths.
Grasmere facts card:
Location – Central Lake District National Park
District – South Lakeland
Shire County – Cumbria
Nearest train station – Windermere
Distance from Windermere – 9 miles
Buses – Regular services from Ambleside, Windermere, Kendal and Keswick
Postcode for Grasmere – LA22 9SW (Approx. for GPS)
In summer, there are numerous celebrations in Grasmere such as Rushbearing Procession that starts at St Oswald’s Church or the famous Grasmere Sports Day – a festival of Lakeland sporting activities dating back hundreds of years.
The stunning countryside of Grasmere has been the inspiration for many of the romantic poets and artists and equally lifts the spirits of visitors to this day.
American president, Woodrow Wilson in 1908 has been quoted saying ‘My wish is fulfilled – I am back in Grasmere‘ !
Things to see in Grasmere
William Wordsworth and Grasmere
William Wordsworth, the famous poet, lived in the Grasmere area for 14 years altogether and in the town itself from 1799-1808. It was here, in the inspirational set of Dove Cottage that he wrote one of his most famous poems ‘I wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ and his sister Dorothy wrote her famous ‘Grasmere Journals’. The cottage has barely changed since Wordsworth and his family lived there and can be visited today to discover and get a feel for how the poet lived and worked. The Wordsworth Museum is located next door and houses Wordsworth’s journals, letters and poems as well as that of his sister’s. There are also paintings, objects and maps on display allowing the visitor to follow events and happenings that affected Wordsworth’s life.
Famous Grasmere Gingerbread
In the corner of the churchyard of St. Oswald’s Church in Grasmere, lies The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.
Built in 1630, this building was originally the village school for over 220 years but was later rented by Sarah Nelson who became famous for making incredible gingerbread.
The building has hardly changed since its school days with some cupboards and coat pegs still in place. Sarah’s recipe for gingerbread was kept very secret and was even locked away in the local bank vault.
Now, 160 years later, the gingerbread is still being made today following the same secret recipe and being sold in the little shop in the churchyard. This churchyard has the graves of Sarah Nelson and her family as well as William Wordsworth and his family.
Riverside walk in Grasmere including pictures and maps
There is a lovely circular riverside walk around Grasmere, suitable for all ages, prams and wheelchairs.
It can be accessed from different points in the village as well as from the side of the gingerbread shop. This small detour from the village high streets allows visitors a chance to see the beautiful scenery of the mountains, river and churchyard that Grasmere has to offer.
Difficulty – Easy
Length – 800 metres
There are other walks that channel off from the riverside path shown in the map below that are clearly way marked and easy to follow once you start the riverside walk.
Altogether, the walks are around 2 miles so if you have some time to explore this precious little town, then it is highly recommended you do so.
Map of Riverside walks near Grasmere
Facilities, access, car park and other services at Grasmere
Car parking – There are pay display roadside parking facilities in the village.
Public toilets – Well maintained public toilet facilities on College Street which require a small fee.
Pets welcome – Dogs are welcome but are advised to be kept on leads at all times
Tea rooms and cafes – There are numerous tea rooms and cafes in Grasmere serving light lunches, cakes and drinks