Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage, Grasmere, LA22 9SH
Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage (Jane McIlroy / Shutterstock.com)

"I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils"

A fixture of the English Literature school curriculum, these lyrical words are perhaps William Wordsworth’s most famous, and they were written in 1804 by the poet whilst he resided at Dove Cottage with his sister Dorothy.

Today you can explore this quaint family home as it would have been presented during Wordworth’s tenancy, whilst the adjacent museum will give you an in depth understanding of the man, his works, and what inspired him.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 435 544 / Website
Cost:
Adults £7.75, Child 6+ £4.50
Seasonal Opening:
Closed Christmas & January
 

History

Situated on the main route between Keswick and Ambleside, it’s thought that Dove Cottage was originally a public inn called the Dove and Olive, no doubt providing much needed refreshment for weary travellers.

The inn closed in 1793 and Wordsworth and his sister moved in during 1799. In 1802, Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson and she moved in with William and Dorothy to Dove Cottage following their wedding. Mary had three children whilst at the property, and the expanded family moved out in 1808 in need of larger accommodation. 

During their time at the property Wordsworth wrote a number of works including "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud", "Ode To Duty", and parts of "The Prelude". They were also visited regularly by other notable figures including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walter Scott, and Robert De Quincey who took over the tenancy of Dove Cottage once the Wordsworths left.

Successive tenants resided at the property until 1890, when the Reverend Stopford Brooke purchased the property and created the Wordsworth Trust, with a view to preserving the famous family home.

Things To See

The actual cottage has been faithfully recreated as the Wordsworth’s family home using furnishings from the period and some of family’s own possessions. A guided tour will give you an understanding of what life was like for the family at the turn of the nineteenth century, and outside you can stroll through the gardens that provided endless inspiration for the poet.

Adjacent to the cottage there is a museum where you can see some of Wordsworth’s original manuscripts, as well as informative displays and artwork from the period.

Useful Information

  • There is a tea room serving light lunches and snacks throughout the day. There is also a shop on site selling a range of souvenirs and gifts.
  • The museum is wheelchair accessible but the cottage is not thanks to its historic nature. Pushchairs are also not permitted in the cottage.
  • No photography is permitted in the museum or cottage due to copyright restrictions.

Tickets

A small discount is applicable if you purchase tickets online in advance. Tours of the cottage are timed and it is recommended that you book in advance during the peak season.

Map

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