Day Eight - English Poet William Wordsworth homes - Dove Cottage & Rydal Mount 

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look for Grasmere & Rydal, south of Keswick

William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) lived his entire life in the Lake District, except when he attended St. John's College, Cambridge. He married his childhood sweetheart Mary Hutchinson, and his sister Dorothy lived with them for the rest of their lives. The three were inseparable and took long walks almost every day. Only a short distance away from their later home Rydal Mount was a medium-sized lake called Rydal Water. Only a mile or so beyond that lake is where the scenic Langdale area begins (photo below). 

Wordsworth became the most well-known English Romantic poet of his time. He also authored an early guide book to the Lake District, praising its inherent natural beauty. As might be expected, tourists read & responded, and began to pour in, on horseback, and in carriages, and shortly thereafter, on a new railway line to Kendall, at the south end of the Lake District.

Wordsworth was horrified, and had to live with the bitter uf irony, whereby his popular guide book had brought him meaningful income, but it was accompanied by an influx of tourists, signaling the end of the unspoiled wilderness he knew so well. 


Driving south from Keswick, first you arrive in Grasmere, where Wordsworth's earlier home, Dove Cottage, is located.  It is currently in limited-access mode due to renovations, and they only had a 2 pm tour on offer.  We signed up and then drove further south to Rydal, his later home.  


Rydal Mount seems modern, with good-sized, well-lit rooms. Wordsworth built an impressive hillside garden here, which we enjoyed walking up & down through, in a steady rain.       

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

nearby waterfalls a research building Rydal Mount fall berries
  fall in the garden    < William  Wordsworth and & his wife Dorothy >
    the study Wm. & family read Scott's Waverly novels
  view of Rydal Water      
portrait of Robert Burns   W.W. painted by Hideyuki Sobue (recently done) there was a nice cafe
  Hydrangea wandering through the garden  
  gardener's shed Rydal Water is nearby last looks at Rydal Mount
  lovely setting two web photos of Langdale an area where he & his family used to walk


After a coffee break at the Rydal Mount cafe, in an old stone outbuilding, we drove back to Dove Cottage, and since we had extra time we walked into the tiny town of Grasmere, visiting St. Oswald's Kirkyard, where Wordsworth's family members are buried. It was raining the entire time.

Back at Dove Cottage for the 2 pm tour, our 12 person group had to wear reflective construction vests.  The rooms inside Dove Cottage had no furniture or decorations, allowing work on the flooring to be done.  Floors and walls here were of dark wood, and the rooms were small & poorly lit, overall very primitive-looking.           

Photos were not allowed & since there was essentially nothing to see, the tour was brief.  

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

Dove Cottage in the morning afternoon walk to Grasmere constant rain old house
River Rothay shops near the Church  interior of St. Oswald's
see note below in the Kirk yard Wordsworth family graves
tour group Dove Cottage

note - this photo has been lightened in order to show the 'rough-hewn' wood structure.

weather note - the Lake District, in the English County of Cumbria, is the rainiest part of England. 

That night it was cold and windy outside and we had a good fire going.     

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