Grasmere Village

The picturesque village of Grasmere

Described by William Wordsworth as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found,” Grasmere is one of the most popular villages in the Lake District for visitors. In fact, Wordsworth loved the area so much that he chose to live in four different houses in the village and its surrounds, and he and his wife are buried in the churchyard of St Oswald’s Church, located in the centre of the village.

Today, thousands of visitors are drawn to Grasmere each year, in part because of the Wordsworth’s legacy, but also thanks to the unique shops and stunning walks that can be found here. The village also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the ever popular Grasmere Sports where competitors flock to the village to compete against one another in a host of traditional sporting events.

Top Grasmere Hotels

Most of the buildings in Grasmere are either holiday cottages or hotels, so there is plenty of accommodation to choose from. That being said, it’s also a very popular tourist destination, so rooms book up quickly. Whether you are after a luxury spa break, or to hunker down in a cosy inn, Grasmere has some fabulous hotel choices.


Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage

The oldest building in Grasmere is St Oswald’s Church, which is thought to date back to the 14th century. However, it’s understood that Oswald, King of Northumbria, founded a church here in 642. The church served a largely rural community, with few other buildings in the area for several centuries, other than farm buildings. Most of the industry in the area focused on hill farming, though some quarrying took place south of the village at White Moss.

Grasmere underwent significant change during the 19th century. William Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage, a former inn, in Grasmere in 1799. He moved twice more within the village, first to Allan Bank, and then to the Old Rectory opposite St Oswald’s Church, before finally settling into Rydal Mount, just outside of Grasmere. When he died in 1850 he was the Poet Laureate and his Romantic poems about the Lake District landscapes had drawn many visitors to the area. As a result, the population of Grasmere increased significantly and many of the buildings you can see in the village were built in the 19th century.


It might be a small village, but Grasmere is a delightful place to do a spot of shopping, especially if you love independent shops. The most famous shop in Grasmere is Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop, which sells gingerbread made to a secret recipe that was created by Sarah Nelson in 1854. The shop is still located in the cottage that was once Sarah Nelson’s home, so it’s quite cramped and queues out of the door are not uncommon. However, most customers would agree that it’s certainly worth the wait.

You can find a wide variety of products amongst Grasmere’s other shops, including outdoor gear and clothing, books, art, crafts, homewares, and handcrafted chocolates. Once you have finished perusing Grasmere’s shops, pop into one of the many cafés to enjoy a well-deserved slice of cake and a hot drink.

Key Attractions

Rydal Water

Rydal Water

Most people are drawn to Grasmere because of its connections to William Wordsworth. It is here that you will find Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. The cottage has been beautifully preserved and gives you a glimpse into life for the Wordsworths during the early 19th century, whilst the museum allows you to explore the works of both William and Dorothy Wordsworth, as well as some of their contemporaries, in greater detail.

Allan Bank is a National Trust owned property that also once housed the Wordsworths. The house came to the Trust without any contents, and as a result, the charity took the decision to open the property as somewhere for visitors to relax and simply enjoy the moment. You can make yourself a cup of tea, paint the view, read a book, play a board game, or stroll through the gardens. Just south of the village you will find Wordsworth’s last home. Rydal Mount is still owned by the Wordsworth family and still resembles a family home, with exquisite gardens outside to explore.

Wordsworth’s final resting place is the churchyard at St Oswald’s Church, and you can still find his tombstone there today. Of course, what many people forget when reading his works is that poems are generally written to be spoken aloud, and the spoken word tradition continues in Grasmere in the Storyteller’s Garden, where on bank holidays and other times of the year, you may hear a wondrous tale from one of Cumbria’s best loved story tellers, Taffy Thomas.

Another reason why Grasmere is so popular is because of its location right in the heart of the Lakes that gives some wonderful walking opportunities. From the village you can easily walk along the shore of Grasmere lake, and onto the adjacent Rydal Water and up to Rydal Caves. Helm Crag is a small fell above the village with fantastic views, and for a longer day out you can walk over the fells to Elterwater.

Getting There

If you are travelling by car then Grasmere is located just off the A591, south of Keswick and Thirlmere, or north of Ambleside. There is some free parking in laybys along the A591 and several pay and display car parks within the town. However, in peak periods, especially during the school summer holidays and on bank holidays, finding a space can be tricky.

Alternatively, there are hourly buses that operate between Keswick and Lancaster that call at Grasmere (Stagecoach route number 555) and there are open top buses during the summer months between Kendal and Grasmere (Stagecoach route number 599).