Allan Bank

Grasmere, Ambleside, LA22 9QB
Allan Bank Painting Room

Allan Bank Painting Room (Ian Livesey /

William Wordsworth once described Allan Bank, a Georgian house on the banks of Grasmere, as an eyesore, and yet later it would become home to him, his wife Mary, and their three children, John, Thomas, and Dora.

Today the house is a National Trust property that has only recently been open to the public. Unlike most other National Trust properties, Allan Bank is not a recreation of a period property and many rooms are stripped back, allowing visitors to use their imagination about the building’s potential.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 435 143 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
Closed Jan to Mid-Feb; Limited Opening in Nov & Dec


Wordsworth lived in the property for two years and during that time he often entertained his peers, amongst them Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas De Quincey. Two more children, Catherine and William, were added to the family during this time.

Later, during World War 1, Allan Bank became home to Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who helped to found the National Trust. Rawnsley bequeathed the house to the trust following his death in 1920. However, it wasn’t until a fire nearly destroyed the building in 2011 that the National Trust decided to restore Allan Bank and open it to the public.

Things To See

Family enjoying a picnic outside Allan Bank

Family enjoying a picnic

You won’t find any historical artefacts or displays about Wordsworth at Allan Bank. Instead the house has become a place for visitors to relax with various activities for all ages throughout, including painting, board games, lacemaking, bird watching (binoculars are provided), and plenty of toys and dressing up clothes for children.

There is a library with an extensive selection of mountaineering literature that you can peruse at your leisure, whilst outside the large gardens and surrounding woodland provide children with a fabulous natural playground and are a great place for a picnic.

Useful Information

In the house’s kitchen, you can help yourself to complimentary tea or coffee, though a donation is always welcome. You can also purchase cakes and sandwiches to enjoy in one of the house’s numerous rooms.

No cars are permitted on the site and, therefore, you need to park in the village and take a short walk up to the property.


In the house’s kitchen you can help yourself to a cup of tea, coffee, or squash, along with a biscuit or two, with just a small donation requested to cover costs.

Other than for those with mobility difficulties, cars are not permitted on the site, therefore, you need to park in the village and take a short walk up to the property.


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