Nestled in the heart of the Lake District National Park, in the picturesque village of Grasmere, Cumbria, lies Dove Cottage. This quaint, 17th-century cottage is steeped in literary history, having once been the home of one of England’s most celebrated Romantic poets, William Wordsworth. Today, Dove Cottage stands as a testament to Wordsworth’s life and works, attracting literature enthusiasts and tourists from around the globe.
The History of Dove Cottage
Dove Cottage was built in the early 17th century and was initially an inn named ‘Dove and Olive Bough’. However, it gained prominence in 1799 when William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved in. The Wordsworths lived in the cottage for eight years, during which William penned some of his most famous poems. The cottage’s rustic charm and the stunning natural beauty of Grasmere inspired much of Wordsworth’s poetry, making it a significant site in England’s literary history.
Attractions at Dove Cottage
Visitors to Dove Cottage can explore the rooms where Wordsworth lived and worked, preserved to reflect the period’s lifestyle. The cottage garden, designed by Dorothy Wordsworth, is another highlight, offering breathtaking views of Grasmere and the surrounding Lake District.
Adjacent to Dove Cottage is the Wordsworth Museum, which houses a vast collection of the poet’s original letters, journals, and poems. The museum also features exhibits on the lives of the Wordsworth family and other Romantic poets.
Visiting Dove Cottage
Dove Cottage is open to the public year-round, with guided tours available to provide insights into Wordsworth’s life and works. Admission to the cottage includes entry to the Wordsworth Museum and the poet’s garden.
- Opening hours: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (March to October), 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (November to February)
- Admission: £8.50 for adults, £4.25 for children (under 5s free), £20 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children)
Tips for Tourists
Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes as the cottage has uneven floors and the garden features steep paths. Photography is not allowed inside the cottage, but visitors are welcome to take photos in the garden and the museum. The site also has a tea room and a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs.
Getting to Dove Cottage
Dove Cottage is located in Grasmere, Cumbria, within the Lake District National Park. It is easily accessible by car, with free parking available on site. Public transport options include buses from Windermere and Ambleside, and the nearest train station is in Windermere, about 8.5 miles away.
Whether you’re a fan of Romantic poetry, a history buff, or simply a lover of beautiful landscapes, a visit to Dove Cottage offers a unique glimpse into the life of one of England’s most beloved poets. Its idyllic location in the Lake District also makes it a perfect stop on a tour of this stunning region.