A short distance from Grasmere and Ambleside, you will find Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth's beloved last home. Set in beautiful grounds with views of two lakes, and with the poet's influence in every nook and cranny, it's well worth a visit if you are staying at one of our cottages in the area. This is where the Romantic poet wrote much of his best work and finalised his most famous poem, 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'.
Still owned by Wordsworth's descendants, the 16th century house is full of history and fascinating insights to the Laureate's life. Whilst preserving much of the Wordsworth family's original furniture and decor, it is still a home that is often used by the current owners.
Take a right as you enter the house and you will be in the original farm cottage that features in the Parish register of 1954. The dining room on the lower floor of this section of the building is full of character and features dining chair seat covers that were worked by Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy. Crossing to the other side of the house, which was added in 1750, you will find the poet's drawing room and library, which are full of fascinating family heirlooms and Wordsworth's original bookcase - an absolute dream for any bibliophile!
Enjoy the views from this room's large windows and take in some quirky features including a portrait of Dorothy and her dog, Little Miss Belle, and a cutlass chair, designed for men who wore swords and needed to be ready to draw them at any moment!
On the first floor are the bedrooms with views of Lake Windermere and a 'secret' window in Dorothy Wordsworth's room that was recently rediscovered following building work. Continue upstairs to the second floor and William's study. With a desk overlooking the garden, you'll perhaps find it easy to be inspired yourself! There is also a fascinating look into military history in this room, focusing on Wordsworth relatives that were part of the armed services of the day.
William Wordsworth was known to spend many hours wandering the countryside and enjoying his five-acre grounds. A keen gardener, he landscaped the whole area and you could spend many a happy hour yourself exploring the varying sections, which include a fellside terrace, a summer house, ancient mound, and rock pools. Wordsworth would even have had direct access to the coffin route and fell walks directly outside the garden wall!
Dora's Field is a semi-open woodland that was purchased by William Wordsworth himself when his family was faced with eviction from their much-loved home at Rydal Mount. Threatening to build on the field - therefore destroying the view for future owners of the house - Wordsworth 'persuaded' his landlady to allow the family to stay. In the end, he was successful, his building plans were scrapped, and the field instead became a beautiful tribute to his daughter, Dora. When she died at the age of 43, William was heartbroken and hundreds of daffodils were planted. It's a sight to behold in the spring: 'a host of golden daffodils', indeed!
Dora's Field is now owned by the National Trust but is accessible from the gardens at Rydal Mount. There are picnic benches dotted about and these, coupled with the open views, make it a relaxing place for a reflective moment.
Tearoom and Gift Shop
What would a visitor attraction be without a good tearoom and a place to purchase a little souvenir? In the summer, a garden tearoom is open for your enjoyment of tasty treats in the lovely grounds. For the rest of the year, Dora's old schoolroom is a cosy outbuilding that hosts an indoor tearoom as well as the gift shop. After a walk around Rydal Mount, their delicious scones and a strong cup of tea are just the ticket!
Rydal Mount is off the A591, which runs between Keswick and Windermere. From Keswick and the north, continue driving past Rydal Water until you see The Badger Bar on your left. Rydal Mount is the first left after that. From the south and Windermere, pass through Ambleside and follow the road until you see Rydal Lodge on your left. The turning to Rydal Mount is directly opposite.
Continue up the small road, past Rydal Hall on your right, until you come to the very steep car park that sits next to Rydal Mount.
Grasmere, Rydal, and the surrounding areas are full of literary connections and well worth a visit if you are a lover of poetry. Even if you're not, the stunning scenery, wealth of walks, and pretty villages make for a wonderful stay. You can find your perfect holiday cottage in Grasmere, Ambleside or the South Lakes.
You might also like:
- The Lake District's Literary Heritage
- Exploring Wordsworth's Lake District
- A Tale Of Miss Potter
- Top 10 Lakeside Walks